Saturday, July 13, 2024

Osteoporosis – Bone Density Throughout the Lifespan


On account of many fashionable advances in healthcare the previous century has seen important will increase in life expectancy. This truth, together with the ageing inhabitants we have now in Australia, has due to this fact additionally seen will increase within the incidence of well being situations that primarily have an effect on the older generations. One such situation is osteoporosis, and it’s precursor osteopenia. Osteoporosis is a illness during which the density and high quality of bone are lowered, resulting in weak spot of the skeleton and elevated danger of fracture, significantly of the backbone, wrist, hip, pelvis and higher arm. Osteoporosis, whereas a comparatively frequent situation, is usually a silent illness, and might thus stay undetected till a fracture or fall happens (1,2). 

Osteoporosis Introduction


In a gap assertion in the latest osteoporosis burden of illness evaluation, Chairman of Osteoporosis Australia John Hewson stresses the significance of consciousness and acceptable administration of osteoporosis when he states “Hundreds of thousands of Australians are affected by poor bone well being. Poor bone well being prices the group and governments, and comes at an amazing private price to these identified with osteoporosis or osteopenia and probably coping with debilitating fractures” (1). In line with the statistics revealed on this report within the 12 months 2012 4.74 million Australians over the age of fifty years have osteoporosis or poor bone well being. This equates to 66% of all Australians over the age of fifty. Presently it was predicted that by 2022 6.2 million Australians over 50 years of age, would have osteoporosis or osteopenia, being a 31% enhance from 2012.


The World Well being Organisation (WHO) defines osteoporosis and osteopenia by way of bone mineral density by way of imaging strategies corresponding to dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA). The T-score refers to the usual deviation between a affected person’s bone mineral density (BMD) and that of a younger grownup within the reference inhabitants, and is used to categorise bone densities into regular, osteopenia or osteoporotic as per under.


Osteopenia and Osteoporosis are the graded classifications of a web state of ‘low bone density’. For the aim of ease of studying / writing, the remainder of this weblog will use the time period ‘osteoporosis’, nevertheless please notice that the next info additionally applies to its precursor ‘osteopenia’. 

Threat elements for osteoporosis embody; 

  • Advancing age
  • Feminine intercourse
  • Low physique weight / physique mass index
  • Household historical past 
  • Early menopause 
  • Sedentary way of life 
  • Extreme alcohol consumption 
  • Smoking 
  • Low calcium and/or vitamin D consumption
  • Insufficient solar publicity 
  • Anglo-saxon or Asian race 

Secondary osteoporosis often is the consequence of sure endocrine, metabolic or gastrointestinal problems (corresponding to hyperthyroidism, hypogonadism, hypercortisolism, intentional malabsorption situations, rheumatoid arthritis, renal failure), or long run use of sure medicines (together with corticosteroids, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, anticoagulants, antidiabetic medicines).  (5,6). 


Osteoporosis is a systemic situation, that means its results are evident globally throughout the physique. Nearly all fractures, no matter location or sort, are elevated in these with low BMD. Adults who maintain an preliminary fracture (no matter space or sort) are subsequently at a heightened danger (2-4 fold) of sustaining one other fracture, in a distinct space. Vertebral deformity is especially related to elevated fracture danger, within the vertebrae or in any other case. Osteoporotic fractures can lead to excessive morbidity, as a consequence of related ache, lowered mobility, lack of perform and lowered high quality of life (7). 

Bone Density Throughout the Lifespan

Amy Harding featured in Episode #278 of The Bodily Efficiency Present made the next assertion; “Osteoporosis is a geriatric situation, however it’s actually acquired paediatric origins”. As Amy eloquently put, whereas osteoporosis manifests within the later years, bone progress and maturity happens within the youthful years. Osteoporosis is a significant public well being concern worldwide, due to this fact preventative measures must be addressed lifelong with a purpose to forestall the illness. 

Bone consists of two main compartments, during which bone remodelling happens; the periosteal (outer) floor and endocortical (interior) floor. Bone remodelling is a posh course of, during which previous bone is changed with new bone.  Bone consists of 4 totally different cell sorts; osteoblast cells, that are answerable for bone formation, osteoclasts, which resorb bone, osteocytes that are mechanosensors and management the bone remodelling course of and bone lining cells. Periosteal osteocytes detect and reply to mechanical pressure, with formation of recent bone by way of numerous molecular pathways. Wollf’s Legislation of bone remodelling states that wholesome bone tissue will adapt to the diploma of mechanical loading it’s positioned below, the place a rise in loading will lead to a rise in bone power, and vice versa. Intercourse hormones (oestrogen, testosterone) have a big affect on the perform of the bone cells answerable for remodelling, and thus as hormone ranges change all through the life-span, we see marked age-related adjustments in bone densities throughout the lifespan (11, 13). 

The next graph demonstrates the adjustments in bone density all through the life-span:


Puberty – Younger Grownup 

Bone mass will increase steadily via childhood, and extra quickly throughout adolescence, whereby >95% of the grownup skeleton is fashioned by the top of adolescence. Research recommend that from the top of adolescence into the twenties, slight adjustments are made to bones, with peak bone mass being reached between the mid-late twenties. Females have a tendency to succeed in a decrease peak bone mass, and at an earlier age than males (12). 

The steadiness of intercourse hormones in puberty are main elements within the growth of bone form, dimension and geometry. Bone surfaces, whereas below the affect of intercourse hormones in the course of the prepubertal to young-adult years, are extremely aware of the mechanical hundreds generated by bodily exercise. Subsequently, throughout these essential years, it’s crucial that bones are uncovered to all kinds of stimulating hundreds, with the purpose of reaching as excessive a peak bone mass as attainable (12). 

30’s – 50’s 

From the third decade onwards with every remodelling cycle we see a web discount in bone formation, leading to age-related bone loss, which continues at various charges for the remainder of the life-span. 


Oestrogen performs a significant position in bone remodelling, and thus the lower in oestrogen ranges as girls attain menopause, triggers a interval of marked bone loss. 

Therapy of Osteoporosis

Pharmacological Interventions

Low BMD on a DXA scan doesn’t straight represent the necessity to start anti-osteoporosis pharmacological therapy. A complete evaluation is required to find out the long-term fracture danger. This evaluation may even bear in mind a wide range of danger elements in addition to DXA scores. Pharmacological brokers are aimed for people who’re already osteoporotic and at a excessive danger of fracture, relatively than used as a preventative measure. Pharmacological brokers within the therapy of osteoporosis purpose to both lower bone resorption (antiresorptives), due to this fact leading to bone mass features, or straight stimulate will increase in bone mass (anabolics) (5).

Beneath is a quick overview of the foremost medicines utilized in osteoporosis therapy. 


Bisphosphonates are compounds with anti-resorptive exercise, whereby they act to inhibit osteoclast activation. A number of formulations of bisphosphonates can be found for administration of osteoporosis (.e.g. oral or IV formulations), with numerous dosing schedules. Frequent bisphosphonates listed on the PBS in Australia are Alendronate (model identify Fosamax), Risedronate (Actonel) and Zoledondrate (Zometa / Aclasta). Research have proven that bisphosphonates are efficient at growing bone density and lowering vertebral fracture danger, nevertheless solely a few of them are efficient at lowering hip or different non-vertebral fracture danger. Gastrointestinal signs are fairly a typical facet impact, and about 30% of sufferers expertise a transient flu-like syndrome after the primary IV dose. Atypical femoral stress fractures have been reported, related to long run bisphosphonate use, with an elevated danger of 5 fractures per 10 000 affected person years. Osteonecrosis of the jaw is one other uncommon complication in sufferers handled long run with oral bisphosphonates, with an approximate danger of 1 per 10 000 – 250 000 sufferers (13). 

RANK Ligand Inhibitor

Denosumab is an antibody that inhibits a selected bone receptor, which ends up in decreased bone resorption and due to this fact elevated bone density. Denosumab is listed on the PBS for postmenopausal girls who meet the factors for main or secondary prevention. Denosumab (Australian model names Prolia and Xgeva) is delivered subcutaneously (i.e. by way of injection). As with bisphosphonate utilization, denosumab utilization is related to an elevated danger of atypical femoral fractures and osteonecrosis of the jaw. Uncommon circumstances of anaphylaxis and extra gentle allergic reactions have additionally been recorded. Research present that denosumab has a withdrawal impact, whereby within the 12 months following cessation of therapy bone resorption markers are elevated as much as 40-60% above pre-treatment ranges (15). As soon as commenced on denosumab therapy compliance must be inspired to keep away from the bone loss that may happen if therapy is ceased. 

Hormone Substitute Remedy 

Estrogen substitute remedy has been proven to extend bone mass, nevertheless research would recommend that long-term adversarial negative effects can embody; growth of breast most cancers, danger of cardiovascular occasions and thromboembolism. The Wholesome Bones Australia place assertion (2023) states “advantages outweigh dangers when MHT is began <60 years of age or inside 10 years of menopause and in girls with a hysterectomy…” (8). The literature would recommend that HRT stay an choice for short-term use solely. 

Selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) are an artificial compound that binds to estrogen receptors to inhibit bone resorption. Raloxifene is without doubt one of the SERM compounds, and has been proven to enhance bone density on the lumbar backbone and femoral neck, and cut back the incidence of vertebral fractures. Whereas SERMs have a lesser affect on enhancing bone density and lowering danger of fracture than estrogen substitute remedy, they don’t carry the identical danger of estrogen induced breast most cancers. Nonetheless, they do have a comparable danger of cardiovascular occasions and thromboembolism as a facet impact because the estrogen substitute remedy (11). 

Parathyroid Hormone 

Teriparatide (Forteo or Terrosa) and Abaloparatide (Tymlos) are parathyroid hormone proteins, which act as anabolic brokers to stimulate and enhance bone formation. Research present that each compounds are efficient at stimulating bone formation, with comparable impact sizes between the 2 compounds. General each compounds are typically effectively tolerated, with solely gentle adversarial results corresponding to nausea, dizziness, headache or palpitations. Hypercalcemia can be related to each compounds, nevertheless to a lesser diploma with Abaloparatide (17). 

Remedy Efficacy

Regardless of adherence to remedy schedules, there are a proportion of sufferers who’re non-responders to the medicines, whereby they don’t see a lower in fracture danger at comply with up factors. A examine printed in 2016 title ‘Proportion of Osteoporotic Girls Remaining at Threat for Fracture Regardless of Adherence to Oral Bisphosphonates’ discovered that 35% of the cohort responded sub-optimally to oral bisphosphonates regardless of adherence and didn’t see any enhancements in bone density (2). The non-response charge varies between totally different classes and varieties of medicines. 

For additional info on osteoporosis medicines communicate to your GP or Endocrinologist.

The Bodily Efficiency Present – Professor Peter Ebeling Episode #312

Non-Pharmacological Interventions

The Royal Australian Faculty of Basic Practitioners (RACGP) means that routine therapy of osteoporosis should embody addressing modifiable danger elements. Versus the pharmacological interventions, the under way of life suggestions and interventions can and must be undertaken by all, to gradual the age-related decline in bone density and ideally forestall the danger of osteoporosis onset. Therapy ought to due to this fact embody recommendation to extend weight-bearing train and power coaching, sustaining a nutritious diet (together with sufficient vitamin consumption), guaranteeing protected ranges of solar publicity, and avoiding smoking and extreme alcohol consumption (7). 

Weight loss plan

Calcium is without doubt one of the minerals that varieties part of the bone mineral matrix, and is thus required for robust and wholesome bones, nevertheless many Australians don’t obtain sufficient calcium consumption. The Australian dietary calcium suggestions are as under;


One of the simplest ways to attain sufficient calcium consumption is thru dietary sources, corresponding to dairy merchandise, fish, legumes, and a few greens and fruits. The under desk outlines the calcium content material of sure meals; 


Whereas it’s excellent to attain sufficient calcium consumption from dietary sources, a few of these meals teams (e.g. dairy merchandise) could also be poorly tolerated by some people and in these circumstances calcium dietary supplements could also be of use. Wholesome Bones Australia recommends 500-600mg of calcium supplementation dose per day when required. For extra info on guaranteeing sufficient calcium consumption from dietary sources communicate to your dietitian, or for info on calcium supplementation, communicate to your GP or pharmacist. 

Vitamin D is a significant regulator for calcium absorption, making it due to this fact one other vital element of Osteoporosis prevention. Vitamin D is produced when pores and skin is uncovered to ultraviolet B mild from the solar, nevertheless it is very important steadiness the necessity for solar publicity with avoiding extreme publicity leading to pores and skin injury. Most cancers Council Australia recommends solar safety when open air within the solar within the UV Index is greater than 3. Solar publicity instances fluctuate relying on season, location and pores and skin sort. Wholesome Bones Australia has a sunshine map CLICK HERE and you’ll test the UV Index on the SunSmart app or Australian Bureau of Meteorology web site. 

Vitamin D ranges fluctuate all through the course of the 12 months; a Vitamin D stage of fifty nmol/L is beneficial on the finish of winter, with the next stage of 60-70 nmol/L throughout summer season. Round 30% of Australians have some stage of Vitamin D deficiency and in these circumstances Vitamin D supplementation could also be used to extend ranges. Your physician could check your Vitamin D ranges in case you are prone to a Vitamin D deficiency. 

These prone to Vitamin D deficiency embody;

  • Adults which might be primarily indoors (e.g. as a consequence of well being or work)
  • Those that keep away from the solar or cowl their physique, as a consequence of pores and skin safety, medical recommendation, cultural or non secular causes 
  • Some medical situations can affect capacity to soak up Vitamin D
  • Housebound people 
  • Naturally darkish skinned (darker pores and skin reduces UV mild penetration)
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding girls


Round 80-90% of Vitamin D consumption is obtained by way of sufficient daylight publicity and the remaining 10-20% from a restricted variety of meals, corresponding to oily fish, mushrooms and a few fortified dairy merchandise (9).

There are different dietary issues, corresponding to guaranteeing sufficient protein consumption, in addition to sufficient consumption of different Nutritional vitamins and minerals (corresponding to Vitamin C and Ok, potassium and magnesium), which have implications for bone well being. 

For additional info concerning the dietary issues of bone well being communicate to your GP or Dietitian. 

CLICK HERE for POGO Physio Dietitian companies:


Though train has many identified advantages, together with enhancing and sustaining bone density, there may be an alarmingly low quantity of osteoporosis identified Australian’s exercising. Most up-to-date statistics within the RACGP Osteoporosis medical tips (7) report that solely 20% of Australians with osteoporosis report exercising most days and solely 6% do power coaching.

Whereas train as a complete reveals all kinds of advantages systemically, analysis has proven that relating to bone well being, not all train is created equal. Bones profit from an train, when a specific amount of pressure is positioned on them, that means that there are explicit workouts which might be most helpful, relying on the particular method that’s applies stress to the bone. The precise varieties of train which might be most helpful embody; weight bearing affect loading train and resistance coaching. The opposite consideration is steadiness and falls prevention workouts. Present knowledge means that 30% of adults over 65 years of age will expertise at the very least one fall per 12 months (8), and this quantity is predicted to rise as Australia’s inhabitants continues to age. 


Onero ™ is a supervised, evidence-based train program run by ONERO Accredited well being professionals round Australia. The Onero ™ program is a excessive depth resistance and affect train program particularly designed for people with low bone mass to strengthen bone and muscle.  

Whereas many types of train could have delicate advantages to bone, the upper depth train carried out in the course of the Onero ™ program have been confirmed to be more practical. Onero ™ is an evidence-based program, developed from the findings of the LIFTMOR Randomised Managed Trial, printed within the Journal of Bone Mineral Analysis in 2018 (10). The aim of the LIFTMOR trial was to find out the efficacy of excessive depth resistance and affect coaching (HiRIT) on bone mineral density and bodily perform is postmenopausal girls with low bone mass. Individuals have been allotted to 2 therapy teams; 1) HiRIT which consisted of 8 months of twice-weekly, 30 minute, supervised HiRIT, or 2) a management group which carried out a home-based, decrease depth train program. Outcomes confirmed that in comparison with the management group, the HiRIT program was superior for bone mass, femoral neck geometry and bodily perform measures. Notably, there have been no adversarial occasions recorded, proving that HiRIT coaching is protected for postmenopausal girls with low bone density (10). 

The Onero ™ program is obtainable at POGO Physio by Onero ™ Accredited Practitioner Eliana Lonsdale. Previous to commencing the Onero ™ program an preliminary evaluation have to be accomplished to facilitate the variation of this system to your present bone and well being standing.

For extra info on the Onero ™ program at POGO Physio CLICK HERE to e book your preliminary evaluation with Eliana CLICK HERE

Podcast Hyperlinks: 

Belinda Beck    Amy Harding   Peter Ebeling




Eliana Lonsdale (APAM)
POGO Physiotherapist

Ebook an appointment with Eliana right this moment

Featured within the Prime 50 Bodily Remedy Weblog


  1. Osteoporosis Australia: Osteoporosis costing all Australians – A brand new burden of illness evaluation – 2012 to 2022. 2012
  2. Imel, E., Eckert, G., Modi, A., Li, Z., Martin, J., Papp, A., . . . Liu, Z. (2015). Proportion of osteoporotic girls remaining in danger for fracture regardless of adherence to oral bisphosphonates. Bone, 83. doi:10.1016/j.bone.2015.11.021
  3. Lorentzon, M., & Cummings, S. R. (2015). Osteoporosis: the evolution of a analysis. Journal of Inside Drugs, 277(6), 650-661. doi:
  4. Sleeman, A., & Clements, J. N. (2019). Abaloparatide: A brand new pharmacological choice for osteoporosis. American Journal of Well being-System Pharmacy, 76(3), 130-135. doi:10.1093/ajhp/zxy022
  5. Bernabei, R., Martone, A. M., Ortolani, E., Landi, F., & Marzetti, E. (2014). Screening, analysis and therapy of osteoporosis: a quick overview. Scientific circumstances in mineral and bone metabolism : the official journal of the Italian Society of Osteoporosis, Mineral Metabolism, and Skeletal Ailments, 11(3), 201–207.
  6. Michael P Jeremiah et al. Am Fam Doctor. (2015). Analysis and Administration of Osteoporosis. American Academy of Household Physicians. 15;92(4):261-8.
  7. The Royal Australian Faculty of Basic Practitioners and Osteoporosis Australia. Osteoporosis prevention, analysis and administration in postmenopausal men and women over 50 years of age. 2nd edn. East Melbourne, Vic: RACGP, 2017.
  8. Ebeling, PR., et. al., (2023). Place Assertion on the Administration of Osteoporosis. Wholesome Bones Australia. Retrieved from
  9. Muñoz-Garach, A., García-Fontana, B., & Muñoz-Torres, M. (2020). Vitamins and Dietary Patterns Associated to Osteoporosis. Vitamins, 12(7). doi:10.3390/nu12071986
  10. Watson, S., Weeks, B., Weis, L., Harding, A., Horan, S., & Beck, B. (2017). Excessive‐Depth Resistance and Impression Coaching Improves Bone Mineral Density and Bodily Perform in Postmenopausal Girls With Osteopenia and Osteoporosis: The LIFTMOR Randomized Managed Trial. Journal of Bone and Mineral Analysis, 33. doi:10.1002/jbmr.3284
  11. Bernabei, R., Martone, A. M., Ortolani, E., Landi, F., & Marzetti, E. (2014). Screening, analysis and therapy of osteoporosis: a quick overview. Scientific circumstances in mineral and bone metabolism : the official journal of the Italian Society of Osteoporosis, Mineral Metabolism, and Skeletal Ailments, 11(3), 201–207.
  12. Lu, J., Shin, Y., Yen, M. S., & Solar, S. S. (2016). Peak Bone Mass and Patterns of Change in Whole Bone Mineral Density and Bone Mineral Contents From Childhood Into Younger Maturity. Journal of medical densitometry : the official journal of the Worldwide Society for Scientific Densitometry, 19(2), 180–191.
  13. Florencio-Silva, R., Sasso, G. R., Sasso-Cerri, E., Simões, M. J., & Cerri, P. S. (2015). Biology of Bone Tissue: Construction, Perform, and Elements That Affect Bone Cells. BioMed analysis worldwide, 2015, 421746.
  14. Bell, S.J., Blacker, N., Edwards, S., Frank, O., Alderman, C. P., Karan, L., Husband, A., Rowett, D. (2012). Osteoporosis Pharmacological Prevention and Administration in Older Individuals. Australian Household Doctor, Vol. 41, no. 3 
  15. Zaheer, S., LeBoff, M., & Lewiecki, E. M. (2015). Denosumab for the therapy of osteoporosis. Skilled opinion on drug metabolism & toxicology, 11(3), 461–470. us about your injury

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