Monday, August 22, 2011


No bones out about it: Reduce your risk for osteoporosis

No matter how old you are, exercise is important at every age for healthy bones and to prevent osteoporosis. Staying active not only improves bone health, it also increases muscle strength, coordination and balance and leads to better overall health.

This will be the topic of our next Enjoy LIFE (Lifelong Investment in Fitness and Exercise) program, “No Bones About It,” on Sept. 15 from 6:30-8 p.m. at the Plainfield Recreation Center.

Dr. Ammar Anbari, an orthopedic surgeon on the Backus Medical Staff and the Norwich Orthopedic Group, will give tips on how to take care of your bones through exercise and other measures.

One of the most important tests you can get to determine your bone health is a bone density scan. This enhanced X-ray can reveal the health of your bones and determine your risk for osteoporosis, bone fractures and other serious conditions.

While age is generally a factor – the older your are the more bone loss you are likely to experience, especially if you are a woman – I have personally seen many younger people whose bone health is not where it should be.

That’s why we will follow-up the Sept. 15 educational event with free bone density scans on the Backus Mobile Health Resource Center on Oct. 20. Our medical center on wheels will travel to the Plainfield Recreation Department and offer free tests – which are simple, quick and non-invasive -- to men and women who want them.

Bone density scans are recommended at least once for all women over 65 years old. Others who should consider getting them include:

• Post menopausal women and men with additional risk factors for osteoporosis. These risk factors include cigarette smoking, excessive alcohol use, low calcium diets, family history, thin frame, age, inactive lifestyles, being female and early menopause.
• Women who sustain a fracture.
• Women who have been on hormone replacement therapy
• Men or women on prolonged steroid therapy.

To register for the Sept. 15 education session or the Oct. 20 bone density screening, call 860-889-8331, ext. 2495.

Alice Facente is a registered nurse and clinical educator with the The William W. Backus Hospital Education Department. This column should not replace advice or instruction from your personal physician. If you want to comment on this column or others, visit the Healthy Living blog at or e-mail Ms. Facente or any of the Healthy Living columnists at

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