Osteoporosis is a common condition that affects many people in New Zealand. It is estimated that over 50% of women and 30% of men over the age of 50 will experience osteoporotic fractures in their lifetime. Osteoporosis can cause a range of mobility-related challenges, making it important to understand the condition and how to manage it.
What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a condition that occurs when the bones in the body become weak and brittle, increasing the risk of fractures. This is caused by a loss of bone density, which can occur due to a variety of factors, including genetics, age, and lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise.
Causes of Osteoporosis
There are several risk factors that can increase the likelihood of developing osteoporosis, including:
Gender: Women are at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis than men.
Age: The risk of osteoporosis increases with age.
Genetics: A family history of osteoporosis can increase the likelihood of developing the condition.
Hormonal changes: Changes in hormone levels, such as during menopause, can increase the risk of osteoporosis.
Lifestyle factors: Lack of exercise, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and a diet low in calcium and vitamin D can all increase the risk of osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis can cause a range of mobility-related challenges, including:
Fractures: Osteoporosis increases the risk of fractures, which can lead to mobility-related challenges such as difficulty walking or standing.
Decreased mobility: Fractures and pain associated with osteoporosis can decrease mobility, making it difficult to move around independently.
Reduced balance: Osteoporosis can also increase the risk of falls, which can further reduce mobility and independence.
There are several mobility aids that can help individuals with osteoporosis manage their mobility-related challenges, including:
Mobility scooters: Mobility scooters can provide individuals with osteoporosis with a means of transportation, allowing them to travel independently.
Walking aids: Walking aids such as canes, walkers, and crutches can help improve balance and stability, reducing the risk of falls.
Stairlifts: Stairlifts can help individuals with osteoporosis navigate stairs safely, reducing the risk of falls and fractures.
Lift chairs: Lift chairs can help individuals with osteoporosis stand up from a seated position safely and independently, reducing the risk of falls and fractures.
It is important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the best mobility aids for your individual needs.