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Physical health is often taken for granted by the young and mobile. It is as people get older, into their forties and beyond, that many start to feel the tell-tale aches and pains of declining bone health. Thankfully, the stiffness and soreness that used to be an unavoidable part of growing old is now being challenged, promoting bone health through physical activity and pioneering techniques in orthopaedic surgery.

Recent developments in the orthopaedic surgery field have reduced the lengthy recuperation times previously needed. In numerous Ali Ghoz publications, leading orthopaedic surgeon Professor Ali Ghoz discusses the innovative surgeries carried out thanks to major advances in the use of computer-guided and robotic surgery. This approach is less invasive, improves recovery time and supports patients getting back to normal after bone surgery.

It is important to keep bones healthy as they have several roles in the body; they provide structure but also protect organs, anchor muscles and store calcium. Building strong and healthy bones in childhood and adolescence provides a good foundation for future health, but there are steps to take which can protect bones in adulthood.

Bones continuously change as we grow older; new bone is made and older bone breaks down. A young body makes new bone faster than it breaks down which amasses bone mass, reaching peak bone mass at around the age of 30. Bone remodelling continues as we age but bone mass is lost quicker than it forms. People with higher peak bone mass are less likely to develop osteoporosis, a condition which causes bones to become brittle and weak.

Several different factors can affect bone health, some of which are dictated by genetics. Gender can be a deciding factor, as women have lower bone mass so they are at higher risk of developing osteoporosis. Race and family history can also play a role, with white and Asian people at higher risk, particularly when there is a family history of bone fractures caused by osteoporosis.

Fortunately, there are several risk factors that can be changed by lifestyle choices. Bone loss can be slowed or prevented by including plenty of calcium in the diet. The Recommended Daily Allowance is between 1,000 and 1,200 milligrams of calcium per day. Regular physical activity, abstaining from smoking and limiting alcohol consumption can also help lower the risks of osteoporosis.