Effects of Ageing on Bone

Introduction[edit | edit source]

Osteoporotic posture

As a result of the ageing process, bone deteriorates in composition, structure and function, which predisposes to osteoporosis. Bone is a dynamic organ that serves mechanical and homeostatic functions. It undergoes a continual self-regeneration process called remodelling ie removing old bone and replacing it with new bone. Bone formation and bone resorption is coupled tightly in a balance to maintain bone mass and strength. With aging this balance moves in a negative direction, resulting in greater bone resorption than bone formation. This combination of bone mass deficiency and reduction in strength ultimately results in osteoporosis and insufficiency fractures.[1]

Ageing Bone Dynamics[edit | edit source]

Bone cells

As people age the rate of bone resorption by osteoclast cells (multinucleated cells which contain mitochondria and lysosomes that is responsible for bone resorption) exceeds the rate of bone formation so bone weaken.[2] The reasons for this are multi factorial, including:.

Non-Modifiable Risk Factor

Modifiable Risk Factor

Adverse Effects[edit | edit source]

Osteoprosis of Spine

The effects of bone structure changes may bring about:

Prevention[edit | edit source]

Ladies gym

For more see the informative on prevention, management and physiotherapy for see Osteoporosis

  1. Exercise: (See also Age and Exercise) Ageing is associated with reduced physical activity and mechanical loading. Decreased mechanical loading exerts a decreased effect upon osteoblasts. Functional loading has been shown to improve bone mass in humans. However exercise training programs can prevent or reverse almost 1% of bone loss per year in both lumbar spine (LS) and femoral neck (FN) for both premenopausal and postmenopausal women.[1] It is important exercise to preserve bone density, however care must be taken to avoid high-impact exercises and exercises that present the risk of falling. Functional loading exercises include: Weight-bearing exercises e.g. walking; Strengthening exercises using free weights, elastic bands, dumbbells etc.; Balance exercises e.g. tai chi
  2. Diet: A healthy diet, including adequate dosage of Vitamin D and Calcium, is also useful for preserving bone mass. And it is important to limit coffee, alcohol and tobacco consumption as they may have deleterious effect on bone mineral density[7][8].

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Demontiero O, Vidal C, Duque G. Aging and bone loss: new insights for the clinician. Therapeutic advances in musculoskeletal disease. 2012 Apr;4(2):61-76. Available: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3383520/ (accessed 2.12.2022)
  2. https://www.boundless.com/physiology/textbooks/boundless-anatomy-and-physiology-textbook/appendix-b-development-and-aging-of-the-organ-systems-1417/bone-development-1497/bone-tissue-and-the-effects-of-aging-1500-11222/
  3. 3.0 3.1 Andrew A, Rita A, Dale A. Geriatric Physical Therapy. Third Edition. Elsevier Mosby. 2012
  4. Lumbar Compression Fracture
  5. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/004015.htm
  6. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/004015.htm
  7. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000360.htm
  8. Coronado-Zarco R, de León AO, García-Lara A, Quinzaños-Fresnedo J, Nava-Bringas TI, Macías-Hernández SI. Nonpharmacological interventions for osteoporosis treatment: Systematic review of clinical practice guidelines. Osteoporosis and sarcopenia. 2019 Sep 1;5(3):69-77.