Posts Tagged ‘Menopause


Should You Have a Bone Density Test?

??????????Osteoporosis is one of the most prevalent conditions among older people. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, one in two women and one in four men over age 50 will have an osteoporosis-induced fracture at some point in their lives.

A loss of bone mass becomes more common as we age, causing bones to become more brittle and increasing the risk of a fracture or break. Many fractures that occur are asymptomatic.  However, some may cause shooting pain or chronic pain in areas such as the back, where a fracture will only be evident on imaging tests. A bone density test can be a very useful tool for helping to keep your chances of having a fracture to a minimum.

There are a few good reasons why you may want to have a bone density test. First, it can tell you if you have osteoporosis or if your bones are weak before you experience a break or fracture; second, it can predict the likelihood of you experiencing a break in the future; and third, it can measure if your bone density is getting better or worse based on any actions you are taking (such as medications or exercise).

The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends that people who are likely to be at greater risk for osteoporosis have a bone density test done.  You should consider having one if any of the following descriptions apply to you:

  • You are a woman age 65 or older
  • You are a postmenopausal women under age 65 with risk factors
  • You are a women of menopausal age with risk factors
  • You are a man age 70 or older
  • You are a man between the ages of  50 and 69 with risk factors
  • You have broken a bone after the age of 50
  • An x-ray has shown a break or bone loss in your spine
  • You have back pain that may indicate a break
  • You have lost ½ inch or more of height in one year
  • You have lost 1 ½ inches from your full grown height


The bone density test uses a DXA machine (dual energy x-ray absorptiometry) to measure the density of bone in your hip and spine, and occasionally other bones, depending on your particular situation. The density of the hip and spine is measured because these are the bones most likely to break with osteoporosis, and because breaks in these areas are also among the most debilitating. The test is painless and non-invasive and is performed with the patient fully clothed. It takes about 15 minutes and the level of radiation from the machine is minimal.

If you feel you fit into any of the at-risk categories above, it may be beneficial for you to have a bone density test done so you and your health provider can develop strategies to reduce your chances of breaking or fracturing a bone.



Can Exercise Help Menopause Symptoms?

Any menopausal woman can tell you that hot flashes are no fun. Neither are the night sweats, insomnia, increased irritability, anxiety and depression. And while about a quarter of all women experience no symptoms, half have mild to moderate menopausal symptoms, and the rest suffer from severe menopausal problems. However, some studies have shown that menopausal women who exercise fare far better than their more sedentary counterparts.

A 1990 Swedish study found that women who exercised regularly had half the number of moderate to severe menopausal symptoms as those who did not. And in a recent study performed on 92 menopausal women, researchers at Pennsylvania State University found that those who exercised had fewer hot flashes in the following 24 hours. According to Steriani Elavsky, assistant professor of kinesiology and co-author of the study, “For women with mild to moderate hot flashes, there is no reason to avoid physical activity for the fear of making symptoms worse. In fact, physical activity may be helpful, and is certainly the best way to maximize health as women age. Becoming and staying active on a regular basis as part of your lifestyle is the best way to ensure healthy aging and well being, regardless of whether you experience hot flashes or not.”

Another study reported in the Journal of Advanced Nursing was performed by Carmen Villaverde-Gutierrez, professor of nursing at the University of Granada in Spain and fellow researchers on 48 menopausal women. Approximately half of the participants had menopausal symptoms, and they were divided into an exercise and non-exercise group. The exercise group completed a year-long program that involved cardiovascular exercise, muscle strengthening, stretching and relaxation. At the end of the year the two groups were compared and it was found that the exercise group reported a significant reduction in the symptoms of menopause and a greater improvement in both their physical and psychological state and mood, as opposed to the non-exercise group, whose symptoms actually worsened.

Villaverde-Guttierez noted, “Joining the regular exercise program improved the women’s health and also gave them the chance to join a sociable group activity and reduce feelings of loneliness. Our findings suggest that regular exercise programs can help to alleviate some of the physical symptoms associated with the menopause and improve women’s health and quality of life.”

Exercise not only helps to reduce the physiological changes of menopause, it also helps to reduce the incidence of diseases associated with this time of life, such as cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis. And it is not necessary to become an athlete; any type of exercise that gets you moving is good. Walking, yoga, bicycling and swimming are all excellent low-impact forms of exercise that anyone can do. You’ll feel much better and can look at menopause as the beginning of a whole new life!

If you are experiencing any sport related injury, don’t hesitate to call us 919.484.1400, We can help!

Dr. P. Y. Dubois, DC, CCSP.

About the author: Dr. Dubois, a Swiss physician, and a Triangle Certified Sport Chiropractor has over 20 years of experience in the treatment and prevention of disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Amongst his patients, two world champions in martial arts (gold medalists in 2005 WMJA), one carrier of the Olympic flame in 2004, and numerous soccer players, swimmers and athletes of all levels who benefited from his chiropractic care.

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