Dexa Scans, Strength training and bone health

Long term benefits on bone density

Having recently started our online ‘better bones’ exercise class, we have had some excellent feedback and some really interesting questions around bone density. The best measure of bone density is a DEXA scan. This scan is used to assess your risk of osteoporosis. 

In previous blogs we have touched on the benefits of strength training for bone health and the mechanisms behind this. In this blog, we will discuss how regular strength training may affect your DEXA scan findings in the long term.

The first thing to be aware of, is that the response time of bone to loading is slow because the typical bone remodeling cycle lasts 3 to 8 months. Thus interventions must last a minimum of 6 to 9 months (preferably 12 to 24 months) to detect any measurable or ‘true’ physiological skeletal changes.

Yes, strength training must become a regular part of your weekly routine in order to keep your bones strong and healthy in the long term. Think of it like brushing your teeth – sometimes you don’t want to do it, but we all know it must be done to keep our teeth strong and healthy. Strength training is to bone health what brushing your teeth is to tooth health.

Another important factor to consider when looking at your DEXA scan result is that even a maintenance in Bone density may be clinically relevant given that the average rate of bone loss is around 2 to 4% per year in the first 5 to 10 years after menopause and 1 to 2% per year thereafter.

Ultimately, we are battling the natural age related process of bone loss that all of us will face. So remember, with every movement of the dumbbell, every squat from a chair and every forward lunge – you are making beneficial steps towards maintaining and even building stronger and more resilient bones for the future!
Please contact reception on 021 206 1844 or email help@foxphysiotherapy to learn more about our ‘Better Bones’ exercise class. Each session is recorded, so even if you missed our start date, you can purchase our recordings and use them at your convenience. With no expiry date, you can commence the class anytime in the future also, all from the comfort of your own home!

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