Playing Basketball Linked to Osteoporosis Prevention

Great news for basketballers! Studies show that playing basketball at a young age could help people reduce their risk of osteoporosis later in life. Osteoporosis causes bones to become thinner and less dense. Osteoporosis affects more than 200 million people worldwide yet many are unaware that they are at risk. The disease has been called the silent epidemic because bone loss occurs without symptoms, and the disease often is first diagnosed after a fracture. About 16 percent of women and 4 percent of men age 50 and older have osteoporosis. Young men who played 4 or more hours of basketball a week were shown to have a higher peak bone mass. Having heavier bone mass is believed to protect older men against osteoporosis and fractures.
Sports that involve jumping, fast starts and stops or increased loading seemed most associated with the enhanced protection for men. Basketball and volleyball seemed the best kinds of activities for building bone mass, followed by soccer and tennis. However, not all physical activity produced the same results; men who jogged or performed non-load sports like cycling and swimming didn’t experience comparable benefits.

High activity levels at a young age may have the farthest-reaching benefits but exercise can still improve bone density in older adults. Exercise and chiropractic can also reduce the pain of a number of musculoskeletal conditions associated with aging. Ask your chiropractor to help you create a safe exercise plan to reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis.

Although most young men may not worry about osteoporosis, there’s no doubt that regular load-bearing exercise like basketball is a great way to maintain bone strength and density. So get active!
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