Spring for our bones!

30 March 2024


Isn’t it lovely when the mornings get lighter, the bulbs start coming through, and spring is finally here? It always reminds us of Moley in Wind in the Willows: ‘Pop! His snout came out into the sunlight’. 

We hope everyone gets to see some sunlight soon, especially as it’s so good for our bones. Too much sun can increase the risk of skin cancer, we all know that; but too little can lead to a deficiency of the essential vitamin D, as the body also needs sunlight to make vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential for helping to keep good bone health by promoting high bone mineral density (BMD), or in other words the strength of our bones. This is especially important for women, for whom oestrogen also has a role in regulating bone health by promoting the cells in the body (osteoblasts) to make new bone. When oestrogen levels drop, for example during and after the menopause, a person may lose bone density and therefore be more prone to fractures from even the most benign of activity or through falls. In fact, it is advised that everyone should consider taking vitamin D during autumn and winter, and that people who are not often outdoors, usually wear clothes that cover up most of their skin when outdoors, or have dark skin, should consider a supplement all year. It is also recommended that everyone spends a short time in the sun each day (2) – if you can find it! 

We also know that another way to keep a strong skeleton is weight-bearing exercise, for example high impact activities, like running or dancing, and low impact activities, like resistance training and walking. One study found that hip bone density can be improved in pre-menopausal women by jumping 10 times, twice daily, with 30 seconds of rest between each jump (3). So, deadhead a daff…then jump. Deadhead a daff…then jump. Repeat 10 times. If that sounds like a lot of hard work, another study showed that standing on one leg for one minute three times a day (both sides, no cheating!) also increases hip BMD (4).

Finally, remember our Osteopaths at Brixworth Osteopathic Clinic are highly trained musculoskeletal specialists and are available to you to discuss how we can assess your bone health and help make the bones and joints move as efficiently as possible. In addition we can assist is building an exercise plan that is targeted toward bone health, but also is simple and achievable for you.

If pain or stiffness is stopping you from gardening, standing on one leg, or anything else that will get you outdoors, let us help get you ready to enjoy the gorgeous English springtime!

Book an appointment here https://eubookings.nookal.com/bookings/location/GGNJC call 07500 580546 or email info@brixworthosteopathy.com


Vitamin D - NHS (www.nhs.uk)

Osteoporosis - Prevention - NHS (www.nhs.uk)

Effect of two jumping programs on hip bone mineral density in premenopausal women: a randomized controlled trial - PubMed (nih.gov)

Unipedal standing exercise and hip bone mineral density in postmenopausal women: a randomized controlled trial - PubMed (nih.gov)

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