By Holly Wilcox
Women are more likely to develop osteoporosis than men due to the declining levels of oestrogen during menopause. When oestrogen levels drop this affects the level of minerals in the bone such as calcium and this can affect bone density. Women lose approximately 2% of their bone density per year after menopause. (Osteoporosis Australia, 2017)
Loss of bone density can lead to an increased likelihood of fractures. Even the smallest bump might cause a fracture with osteoporosis. Fractures can lead to chronic pain, disability and even premature death. In 2012, the total costs of osteoporosis and osteopenia in Australians over 50 years of age were $2.75 billion. (Osteoporosis costing all Australians, 2013)
To prevent fractures caused by osteoporosis, a multi- disciplinary approach is required by GP’s, occupational therapists, nutritionists, physiotherapists and podiatrists. Podiatrists can advise patients on balance and strengthening exercises as well as advise appropriate footwear and orthoses to help prevent falls.