Healthy bones and you

The adult human body has 206 bones – 26 in the foot alone – and it is vital that we look after them.

It’s Bone and Joint Action Week 2022 until October 20, an awareness campaign from the US that shines the spotlight on caring for what we at St Hugh’s Hospital like to call VIPs – Very Important Parts of ourselves.

Our physio manager, Kevin Teasdale, said: “It is common for people to experience musculoskeletal issues in their lifetime. In the worst cases, they can cause physical pain and discomfort and sometimes long-term disabilities, leading to a diminished quality of life.

“Each bone inside us plays an important role in how our bodies work overall – they support us and act as levers, too. They are also very resilient; yes, bones can break but they are also designed to take wear and tear.

“As you get older, bone loss gradually increases; your bones are strongest when you’re in your 20s. Although it’s important to look after your bones and joints at any age, this is even more so as you age.

“Regular physical exercise is one of the best ways to make your bones stronger, in particular weight-bearing exercise – anything that makes you work against gravity. This can be activities like walking, dancing, and climbing stairs. Making simple lifestyle changes, if possible, such as taking the stairs instead of the lift, is a great way of looking after yourself. Housework and gardening do count!

“A balanced diet is also important when it comes to bone health. The general advice is to eat lots of fruit and veg, starchy foods like rice, bread and potatoes, protein-rich products and dairy, and only small amounts of foodstuff that is high in sugar, salt, and fat.”

Did you know (thank-you the NHS for this information)…

Bones are made up of collagen, calcium salts and other minerals.
They are filled with bone marrow, where blood cells are made.
It’s calcium that keeps your bones healthy, and vitamin D that helps you absorb the calcium.
Adults need 700mg of calcium every day.
One of the best ways to increase the amount of vitamin D in your body (adults need 10 micrograms a day) is exposure to sunlight… it’ll also help your teeth stay strong, too.

In the UK, the Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance is showing its support for Bone and Joint Action Week 2022 by highlighting inequalities in musculoskeletal health access and experiences. You can read more here:

And as this initiative draws to a close on October 20, World Osteoporosis Day takes place – a year-long campaign devoted to raising global awareness of the diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis, and its prevention. Find out all about it here:

Kevin recently spoke about caring for your back. If you missed it, catch up here: