Women's Wellness Series: The ABC's of Bone Health

Posted by Angie Quehl on Jun 8, 2011 9:15:00 AM


Your bones...how often do you really think about them and their health? Chances are you don't really consider them until something goes wrong like you break one or you are diagnosedbone health for women logo with thinning bones at a later age. Contrary to the train of thought of most of us, your bones need to be protected and nurtured throughout your entire life just like any other part of your body. They are living things and what you do to help them to develop healthily and stay strong begins when we are babies and continues throughout our lives!

This month's featured speaker at The Women's Club, Dr. Gloria Ivey-Crowe recognizes that bone health is important even in the earliest stages of life and continues to be an important part of wellness for women our entire lives, that why she is bringing you this month's installment of our Women's Wellness Series:


No matter what your age, the health of your bones is vital for development. Our bone health is affected directly and indirectly by genetics, diet, medications, exercise, and smoking to name a few. Every visit to a health care provider has questions and answers that impact your bone health. Sometimes these questions are directly related to your bones and what you are doing to maintain them and other questions and answers may reveal an indirect impact on your bone health.

Even as a Baby?

Infants born with genetic defects in cartilage production may be born with a variety of disorders that make their bones brittle, bow, or even break. Pregnant patients are constantly reminded to take their prenatal vitamins daily for all the important elements they contain which affect the health of their unborn child; Calcium, Vitamin D, Iron, Folic Acid, and a host of other ingredients found on your bottle. Childbirth and Lactation classes stress the benefits of breastfeeding and those who choose not to are directed to various formulas which contain Calcium, Vitamin D, and other important ingredients. No regular or whole milk until at least one year of age and even that should be fortified with Vitamin D.

Why should I be concerned as a woman?

The more you know about your bones and how to protect them will be beneficial as you become older and at risk for bone loss and its associated injuries. Bone loss is minimal up to about 30 years of age. After that time, it begins to increase and women must make a concerted effort to maintain their bone health with supplements of Calcium, Vitamin D, and exercise.

How will I know if the there is a problem?

As women become older, health care providers will inquire more about what you are doing directly to impact bone loss, your mother’s history of bone loss, order additional testing, as well as make therapeutic recommendations to help you maintain your current bone health, and slow down the progression of any current or future bone loss. DEXA scans are ordered to assess a person’s bone health. Are your bones normal, starting to thin, or already have areas of bone loss? Your health care practitioner will interpret these results and make the necessary recommendations.

Main article submitted by:Dr. Crowe womens wellness

Dr. Gloria J. Ivey-Crowe    

Women Physicians of Northern Virginia





Topics: women's health, Women's Wellness, physical therapy, the women's club

Exercise for Women Can Recharge Mind-Body Energy

Posted by Angie Quehl on Nov 1, 2010 3:08:00 PM


After a long, tiring day, the last thing I want to think about is exercising. My body feels cranky and my mind is exhausted from focusing on a thousand details. My physical and mental batteries need recharging. The thought of getting home and collapsing on the sofa is all that my waning energy would seem to allow. It’s on those days that I find it’s most valuable to do the opposite.  

When it comes to boosting mood, new research suggests that exercise is a gift we can give ourselves that creates both an immediate and a long-lasting benefit.  Moderate-intensity aerobic exercise improves mood immediately and those improvements can last up to 12 hours, according to a study conducted by Dr. Jeremy Sibold, Assistant Professor of Rehabilitation and Movement Science at the University of Vermont.  

The mood-boosting effects of exercise are partly due to a rise in levels of chemical neurotransmitters, such as endorphins, in the brain.  “It’s clear that exercise is critical for both physical and mental health”, summarized Dr. Sibold.    After I read about this study, I decided to test it out. On the next day that I felt mentally burdened and physically unmotivated, I decided to take a moderately brisk walk, followed by some stretches.  I have to admit; in 30 minutes I had a major energy adjustment in my body. I even went grocery shopping on the way home! What a simple remedy, yet I had to choose it.  

So, I would invite you to try the same strategy: The next time you fall exhausted into your car after work (thinking of the shortest route to the couch), choose instead to go to the local fitness center for a mind-body “battery recharge”.  Take any one of the group fitness classes that are readily available with a friend, or listen to music while you walk or cycle. Just move your body and breathe deeply; the biochemistry will take care of itself!

Submitted by Lyn Loy, PT 




Topics: women's health, exercises for women, Women's Wellness, physical therapy, back health, back pain, Lyn Loy

Women's Wellness Series: How to Attain a Healthy Back

Posted by Angie Quehl on Sep 20, 2010 7:17:00 AM

It is estimated that over 80% of all women suffer back pain at some point in their lives.  Back pain is the #2 cause of loss of work next to the common cold and occurs in all age groups.  The encouraging news is that most back problems respond well to conservative treatment or rest from the offending activity.  But the majority of back injuries can be prevented by understanding how to take care of your spine. I have designed an easy way to remember the keys to keeping your spine healthy….


To attain a healthy back, remember the following “M.O.V.E.” principle:


MECHANICS:  The worst enemy of the spine is a mechanical force called compression.  Since we can’t escape gravity, a way to minimize compression on the spine is to CONTROL YOUR WEIGHT and AVOID PROLONGED SITTING.  The spine is happiest when there is proper movement and flexibility between vertebral segments and when there are balanced muscular forces around it. 

OXYGEN:  A main mechanism of injury in back pain is damage to the vascular structures of the spinal discs and joints.  Smoking constricts these small blood vessels, cutting off nutrients to the tissues.  DON’T SMOKE!!  Another way to facilitate nutrition to the spine is to INCREASE CIRCULATION through movement and deep rhythmic breathing…that is what happens when we EXERCISE!

VARIATION:  If we VARY POSITIONS & ACTIVITIES of the spine, we can minimize “wear and tear” on the joints as we age; this prevents the advancement of osteoarthritis.  Constant compressive forces and repetitive movements create unnecessary damage to the spinal system.  A variety of exercises and frequent changes of positioning helps the spine to be more resilient, so get out of your chair and move often throughout your day!

EXERCISE & EDUCATION:   The most important first step is to attain proper POSTURE in all activities of daily living: sitting, standing, sleeping, lifting, exercising.  MOVEMENT actually helps to keep our joints lubricated and can change the pressure inside our vertebral discs.  STRENGTHENING MUSCLES of the legs and core (trunk) gives stability to the spine, which prevents injury during activities.  If we EDUCATE ourselves about spine care, LEARN SUCCESSFUL WAYS TO EXERCISE, and consult with a health care professional if back pain persists more than 7 days, then we can begin the journey of attaining a healthy back.

Submitted by: licensed Physical Therapist, Lyn Loy



Topics: exercises for women, physical therapy, back health, back pain, fitness tips, fitness for women, exercise programs for women, Lyn Loy

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