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Why Maintaining Bone Health Starts in Youth

What our children do for their bone health now – like exercising and eating right – can stave off disabling disease later in life.

It’s a well-known fact that exercise is one of the healthiest and most beneficial things we can do for our bodies over the course of our entire lifetime. When most people think of the benefits of exercise, weight loss is often the first thing that comes to mind. Regular exercise helps us burn more calories to shed extra weight and prevent obesity, which comes with its own plethora of health problems, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. But regular exercise is also crucial to stave off many other health conditions, including one that many people might not be aware of: osteoporosis.

With age, the density of our bones can begin to deteriorate, eventually leaving them very weak and fragile. Osteoporosis ultimately “thins” our bones, putting them at high risk for fractures and breakage. Most young people aren’t actively thinking about weakening bones because the condition typically doesn’t occur until the later years of life (60’s or 70’s). But here’s the catch. Research tells us that preventing this disease actually begins in adolescence. In fact, the bone that’s developed between the ages of 10 and 18 is the bone that must last you the rest of your life. So reaching peak bone density during this time is absolutely essential to protecting ourselves later as adults and seniors. So what can we do for our kids to help them build up the strong bones they need for later in life? The answer lies in exercise and nutrition.

Exercise is an integral part of building strong bones, but it goes hand in hand with nutrition. The foods we eat (or don’t eat) have just as much impact on our future bone health as our activity level and can help add to our bone bank for later on. When most people are asked about how they think strong bones are built, the first answer given is usually related to calcium intake. Dairy products like milk, cheese and yogurt, white beans, kale and spinach are excellent sources of calcium. However, while this mineral is essential for the proper development of bones, the body is unable to absorb it without the addition of vitamin D. Many foods today, like cereal and orange juice, come fortified with vitamin D, but shrimp and tuna are excellent sources as well. And let’s not forget sunlight. Just 10 minutes of direct sunlight exposure three times a week provides what the body needs to produce enough vitamin D. Another contributor is vitamin K, which is essential in helping the body build the proteins necessary for healthy bones. Vitamin K also stimulates calcium absorption and reduces its excretion. You can fill up on it with kale, spinach and broccoli. And one thing to reduce is caffeine (especially for young people). It’s not necessary to cut it out altogether, but consuming too much (more than the equivalent of two cups of coffee per day) can interfere with the body’s ability to absorb enough calcium.

Exercise and nutrition are important for building strong bones when we’re younger and are essential for maintaining bone strength when we’re older. We only get one set of bones. Understanding this and preparing to keep them healthy in youth is vital to our health in our older years. Parents, you can help your kids get the right nutrition and set an example for them of an active lifestyle to prepare them for a healthy future. The most important thing to remember is that it’s never too late. Making healthy changes today is better than never making them at all. So kick your diet and exercise into gear and look forward to a stronger, healthier you – for you and for the generations coming after you.


New Mexico Orthopaedics is a multi-disciplinary orthopaedic clinic located in Albuquerque New Mexico. We have multiple physical therapy clinics located throughout the Albuquerque metro area.

New Mexico Orthopaedics offers a full spectrum of services related to orthopaedic care and our expertise ranges from acute conditions such as sports injuries and fractures to prolonged, chronic care diagnoses, including total joint replacement and spinal disorders.

Because our team of highly-trained physicians specialize in various aspects of the musculoskeletal system, our practice has the capacity to treat any orthopaedic condition, and offer related support services, such as physical therapy, WorkLink and much more.

If you need orthopedic care in Albuquerque New Mexico contact New Mexico Orthopaedics at 505-724-4300.

Ice or Heat: How to Treat Common Injuries

Original Article By John Donovan at WebMD

That sports-filled weekend was a big thrill. But now it’s over, and you’re feeling it.

Your back aches. Your ankle is sore. You can’t remember where you put the ibuprofen. After all that testosterone-filled fun, it’s time to take stock of your bumps and bruises. You need to see where you stand, physically. If you can stand at all, that is.

Should You See a Doctor? There are no set rules. But in general, see the doctor if:
  • Your injury causes severe pain, swelling, or numbness
  • You can’t tolerate any weight on the area
  • A longtime sore joint is weak
  • When to Treat It Yourself

If none of those apply, it’s probably OK to wait a little while. Do some self-treatment and see how you feel after a few days.

If you’re just sore, it will get better over time, says Kenneth Mautner, assistant professor of orthopaedics at Emory University in Atlanta. Take ibuprofen or acetaminophen for your aches and pains.

Ice or Heat?
Most of the time, ice is for comfort rather than true treatment, says R. Amadeus Mason, MD, assistant professor of orthopaedic surgery and family medicine at Emory.

Ice controls pain and closes your blood vessels to ease swelling. It can also limit bruising. Use it during the first 48 hours after you get hurt. Leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes, then take it off for the same amount of time. Wrap a wet towel or cloth around it so it doesn’t sit right on your skin. A cold water bottle will do in a pinch.

Follow the RICE treatment to do it right:

  • R for rest
  • I for ice
  • C for compression (Wrap something like an elastic bandage around the injured area.)
  • E for elevation (Keep the injured part above your heart, or at least parallel to the ground.)

Don’t use heat for a new injury. It works best to loosen tight muscles and ease aching joints before a workout or game. It can also help with ongoing problems, like tennis elbow.

Wrap or Brace?

An elastic bandage puts pressure on the hurt area, which holds down swelling. That might help you feel better, says Matt Gammons, MD, first vice president for the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine.

Braces are mostly used for long-term problems like knee arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome. But if you sprain an ankle, your doctor will put you in one. A brace that lets the joint move a little can help you heal faster.

Don’t use an elastic bandage or a neoprene brace to steady a shaky joint. “If you’re wrapping because your knee feels unstable, that’s not good,” Gammons says. You need a doctor to look at it.

When Can You Get Back Out There?

Rest the area for at least 48 hours. You should be good to go if the soreness disappears and there’s no injury or swelling you can see.

If you don’t give it some time off, that sore muscle or achy joint could turn into what doctors call an overuse injury.

We know these by clever names like tennis elbow, shin splints, and swimmer’s shoulder. You’ll need to see a doctor to get diagnosed and treated if you have problems with the same area time after time.


New Mexico Orthopaedics is a multi-disciplinary orthopaedic clinic located in Albuquerque New Mexico. We have multiple physical therapy clinics located throughout the Albuquerque metro area.

New Mexico Orthopaedics offers a full spectrum of services related to orthopaedic care and our expertise ranges from acute conditions such as sports injuries and fractures to prolonged, chronic care diagnoses, including total joint replacement and spinal disorders.

Because our team of highly-trained physicians specialize in various aspects of the musculoskeletal system, our practice has the capacity to treat any orthopaedic condition, and offer related support services, such as physical therapy, WorkLink and much more.

If you need orthopedic care in Albuquerque New Mexico contact New Mexico Orthopaedics at 505-724-4300.

6 Everyday Habits That Could Hurt Your Bone Health

Original Article By Carina Wolff

Most of us don’t spend too much time fretting about our bones. Not only can we not directly see them, but thinking about your bones seems like something you only have to deal with when you’re older. However, you might not realize it, but there are a number of everyday habits that could hurt your bone health. Although you might not feel the repercussions now, you won’t want to suffer the consequences later.

“It is important to protect your bone health at all ages to reduce the risk for osteoporosis and possible fractures or broken bones, which can be life-altering,” Dr. Andrea Singer, clinical director at the National Oste oporosis Foundation, tells Bustle. “Osteoporosis is a condition where too much bone is lost, not enough bone is made or both; this can result in more fragile bones which may be more likely to break. A fracture or broken bone can affect a person’s mobility, ability to live independently and impact their quality of life and ability to do the things they want or need to do.”

To make sure you reduce your risk of osteoporosis as well as injury, you’ll want to make sure you are aware of these six everyday habits that can hurt your bone health, according to experts.

1.) Not Getting Enough Sunlight
Many people know that spending time outside gives you a boost of Vitamin D, which is a critical nutrient when it comes to your bone health. “Vitamin D plays an important role in protecting your bones, both by helping your body absorb calcium and by supporting muscles needed to avoid falls,” says Singer. “If you aren’t getting enough vitamin D from sunlight and food, talk to your doctor about taking a supplement to make sure you get the recommended amount to support bone health.”

2.) Sitting On The Couch For Too Long
If you’re too sedentary, your bones can take a hit, as exercise can strengthen bones in the same way that it can strengthen muscles. “To build strong bones, you need weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening exercise,” says Singer. “Weight-bearing means ‘on your feet’ exercises, so walking, running, dancing, aerobics, are all examples. Muscle-strengthening means resistance exercises, such as light weights, using exercise bands, yoga and pilates.”

3.) Smoking
That cigarette habit is doing more than just hurting your lungs. “Several studies have linked smoking with an increased risk for osteoporosis and bone fractures,” says Singer. “Smoking is linked to an increase in production of the stress hormone cortisol, which weakens bone and it impedes production of the hormone calcitonin, which helps build bone.”

4.) Drinking Alcohol
“Drinking too much alcohol interferes with the balance of calcium in the body,” Singer says. “It also affects the production of hormones, which have a protective effect on bone and of the vitamins we need to absorb calcium. Excessive alcohol consumption can also lead to more falls and related fractures.” Singer suggests limiting your drinking to no more than two drinks per day to avoid harming your bones.

5.) Drinking Soda
Most of us know that soda isn’t exactly the healthiest of beverages, but in addition to its sugar content, it can also block absorption of important nutrients. “The phosphate in the soda-pop binds with calcium so that your body doesn’t absorb it,” orthopedic surgeon Dr. Victor Romano tells Bustle. Research is mixed — as there’s no good evidence that a high phosphate intake affects bone metabolism or bone density, according to Harvard Health. However, carbonated beverages have long been associated with low bone density and fractures in adolescent girls, so it’s best to go easy on the soda.

6.) Eating An Imbalanced Diet
The foods that you eat can affect your bones. “Getting enough calcium is essential to building strong, dense bones when you’re young and keeping them strong and healthy as you age,” Singer says. “Not eating a well-balanced diet that includes the recommended amount of calcium can have a negative effect on your bone development and remodeling. Too much salt in the diet can also be detrimental to bone.”

While bone health may not be top of mind now, it’s important to remember that these habits could lead to bone issues down the line.


New Mexico Orthopaedics is a multi-disciplinary orthopaedic clinic located in Albuquerque New Mexico. We have multiple physical therapy clinics located throughout the Albuquerque metro area.

New Mexico Orthopaedics offers a full spectrum of services related to orthopaedic care and our expertise ranges from acute conditions such as sports injuries and fractures to prolonged, chronic care diagnoses, including total joint replacement and spinal disorders.

Because our team of highly-trained physicians specialize in various aspects of the musculoskeletal system, our practice has the capacity to treat any orthopaedic condition, and offer related support services, such as physical therapy, WorkLink and much more.

If you need orthopedic care in Albuquerque New Mexico contact New Mexico Orthopaedics at 505-724-4300.

Exercises with impact benefit bone health

Original Article By Medicalxpress.com

Osteoporosis is associated with high morbidity, mortality and economic costs among older people. For prevention to be successful more needs to be known about the right forms of exercise to take.

Our bones are dynamic. Throughout our lives, their tissues are constantly undergoing changes, referred to as remodeling. Osteoporosis is a common disease estimated to affect around 22 million women and 5.5 million men between 50 and 84 years of age, across Europe. Its characteristics are reduced bone mass and deterioration of bone structure which increases the risk of sufferers developing fractures. It has been calculated that by 2050, incidences of hip fractures globally are likely to increase by 310 percent in men and 240 percent in women.

Currently, healthcare interventions are geared towards prevention, with exercise playing a key role for the maintenance and strengthening of bone density. By investigating the effects of swimming, cycling and football on adolescents, the EU-funded PRO-BONE project has demonstrated that some exercise regimes are more beneficial then others. The team discovered that low-impacts sports should be augmented with short bouts of weight bearing exercises to benefit the bone health of adolescents.

Pursuit of prevention rather than treatment

Osteoporosis has a strong genetic component with epidemiological studies showing that heritable factors account for 60-80 percent of the variability in bone mineral density. Both non-modifiable (e.g. hormones) and modifiable (e.g. calcium and vitamin D) environmental factors account for the remaining bone mass variation. One of the key modifiable factors being exercise.

PRO-BONE researchers reasoned that as football, cycling and swimming are among the most popular sports practiced by adolescents around the world, their influence on bone development would be scientifically instructive to study. As Dr. Luis Gracia-Marco explains, “Not all sports have a positive influence on bone mass because bone development is dependent on the skeleton’s mechanical load and the forces applied to it. These forces trigger bone modelling and remodeling.”

For the study, PRO-BONE originally recruited 121, 12-14 year-old males—37 footballers, 29 cyclists and 41 swimmers, with a control group of 14. Researchers followed these participants over a year as they undertook their specific sports training. For the nine-month intervention study footballers, cyclists and swimmers were randomly assigned to one of two subgroups: a control group and an intervention group. The intervention took the form of progressive plyometric jump training, where practitioners exert maximum jumping force for around 10 minutes a day, three to four times a week. The participants were then examined for their bone mass, geometry, texture and a range of biochemical markers.

Comparison of the athletes indicated that the young football players had better quality of osseous (bone) than the swimmers and cyclists. They also found that for the swimmers and cyclists the jump training could significantly improve bone quantity and geometry at the femoral neck and also the lumbar spine texture (regions of clinical relevance used in the diagnosis of osteoporosis), as well as maintaining bone turnover – the process by which new bone tissue is formed.

Working out a combined strategy

Low impact sports such as cycling and swimming are known to have a number of health benefits, such as for the cardiovascular system. PRO-BONE’s findings that they do not however improve bone mass means that sport clubs and athletes can combine their practice with weight-bearing and high impact sports involving jumps, such as football, tennis, badminton or basketball.

As Dr. Gracia-Marco summarizes, “These findings show the importance of implementing weight-bearing exercises to improve bone health as part of training routines in sports characterized by low or none impact at all.”

To further advance the work, the researchers intend to follow participants over a longer period of time to better gauge the effects of the jumping program. Additionally, they hope to measure the way the most practiced sports, such as swimming and cycling, affect peak bone mass attainment.


New Mexico Orthopaedics is a multi-disciplinary orthopaedic clinic located in Albuquerque New Mexico. We have multiple physical therapy clinics located throughout the Albuquerque metro area.

New Mexico Orthopaedics offers a full spectrum of services related to orthopaedic care and our expertise ranges from acute conditions such as sports injuries and fractures to prolonged, chronic care diagnoses, including total joint replacement and spinal disorders.

Because our team of highly-trained physicians specialize in various aspects of the musculoskeletal system, our practice has the capacity to treat any orthopaedic condition, and offer related support services, such as physical therapy, WorkLink and much more.

If you need orthopedic care in Albuquerque New Mexico contact New Mexico Orthopaedics at 505-724-4300.

Bone health: Tips to keep your bones healthy

Original Article By Mayo Clinic Staff

Protecting your bone health is easier than you think. Understand how diet, physical activity and other lifestyle factors can affect your bone mass.

Bones play many roles in the body — providing structure, protecting organs, anchoring muscles and storing calcium. While it’s important to build strong and healthy bones during childhood and adolescence, you can take steps during adulthood to protect bone health, too.

Why is bone health important?

Your bones are continuously changing — new bone is made and old bone is broken down. When you’re young, your body makes new bone faster than it breaks down old bone, and your bone mass increases. Most people reach their peak bone mass around age 30. After that, bone remodeling continues, but you lose slightly more bone mass than you gain.

How likely you are to develop osteoporosis — a condition that causes bones to become weak and brittle — depends on how much bone mass you attain by the time you reach age 30 and how rapidly you lose it after that. The higher your peak bone mass, the more bone you have “in the bank” and the less likely you are to develop osteoporosis as you age.

What affects bone health?

A number of factors can affect bone health. For example:

  • The amount of calcium in your diet. A diet low in calcium contributes to diminished bone density, early bone loss and an increased risk of fractures.
  • Physical activity. People who are physically inactive have a higher risk of osteoporosis than do their more-active counterparts.
  • Tobacco and alcohol use. Research suggests that tobacco use contributes to weak bones. Similarly, regularly having more than two alcoholic drinks a day increases the risk of osteoporosis, possibly because alcohol can interfere with the body’s ability to absorb calcium.
  • Gender. You’re at greater risk of osteoporosis if you’re a woman, because women have less bone tissue than do men.
  • Size. You’re also at risk if you’re extremely thin (with a body mass index of 19 or less) or have a small body frame because you might have less bone mass to draw from as you age.
  • Age. Your bones become thinner and weaker as you age.
  • Race and family history. You’re at greatest risk of osteoporosis if you’re white or of Asian descent. In addition, having a parent or sibling who has osteoporosis puts you at greater risk — especially if you also have a family history of fractures.
  • Hormone levels. Too much thyroid hormone can cause bone loss. In women, bone loss increases dramatically at menopause due to dropping estrogen levels. Prolonged absence of menstruation (amenorrhea) before menopause also increases the risk of osteoporosis. In men, low testosterone levels can cause a loss of bone mass.
  • Eating disorders and other conditions. People who have anorexia or bulimia are at risk of bone loss. In addition, stomach surgery (gastrectomy), weight-loss surgery and conditions such as Crohn’s disease, celiac disease and Cushing’s disease can affect your body’s ability to absorb calcium.
  • Certain medications. Long-term use of corticosteroid medications, such as prednisone, cortisone, prednisolone and dexamethasone, are damaging to bone. Other drugs that might increase the risk of osteoporosis include aromatase inhibitors to treat breast cancer, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, methotrexate, some anti-seizure medications, such as phenytoin (Dilantin) and phenobarbital, and proton pump inhibitors.

What can I do to keep my bones healthy?

You can take a few simple steps to prevent or slow bone loss. For example:

  • Include plenty of calcium in your diet. For adults ages 19 to 50 and men ages 51 to 70, the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) is 1,000 milligrams (mg) of calcium a day. The recommendation increases to 1,200 mg a day for women after age 50 and for men after age 70.Good sources of calcium include dairy products, almonds, broccoli, kale, canned salmon with bones, sardines and soy products, such as tofu. If you find it difficult to get enough calcium from your diet, ask your doctor about supplements.
  • Pay attention to vitamin D. Your body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium. For adults ages 19 to 70, the RDA of vitamin D is 600 international units (IUs) a day. The recommendation increases to 800 IUs a day for adults age 71 and older.Good sources of vitamin D include oily fish, such as tuna and sardines, egg yolks, and fortified milk. Sunlight also contributes to the body’s production of vitamin D. If you’re worried about getting enough vitamin D, ask your doctor about supplements.
  • Include physical activity in your daily routine. Weight-bearing exercises, such as walking, jogging, tennis and climbing stairs, can help you build strong bones and slow bone loss.
  • Avoid substance abuse. Don’t smoke. Avoid drinking more than two alcoholic drinks a day.

Enlist your doctor’s help

If you’re concerned about your bone health or your risk factors for osteoporosis, including a recent bone fracture, consult your doctor. He or she might recommend a bone density test. The results will help your doctor gauge your bone density and determine your rate of bone loss. By evaluating this information and your risk factors, your doctor can assess whether you might be a candidate for medication to help slow bone loss.