As a health professional who treats many runners, I am very concerned by the number of clients presenting to me with bone stress issues.



Certainly females strongly outweigh males with this issue. However it is not only isolated to the chicks.


It is my opinion that if you have had a boney stress related issue the first culprit is usually loading – generally increasing your run distance too quickly.  Following this, I believe assymetry in your running pattern may also contribute- particularly if one side is experiencing stress and the other is fine – this suggests to me that you may actually be loading the affected side more (eg by landing unusually on it, or having more of your weight on that side without being aware of it).


This blog aims to educate you on some of the internal (health related) factors that may effect your bone density.



Bone health – factors

  • Calcium in your diet
    • A diet low in calcium contributes to diminished bone density, early bone loss and an increased risk of fractures.
  • Physical activity levels
    • People who rarely exercise are more likely to have bone density issues than their more active friends.
  • Tobacco and alcohol use
    • Tobacco may contribute to weak bones.
    • Regular moderate alcohol consumption may increase the risk of osteoporosis.
  • Gender
    • You’re at greater risk of osteoporosis if you’re a woman, because women have less bone tissue than do men.
  • Size
    • Being smaller frames (particularly with a BMI less than 19)
  • Age
    • Your bones become thinner and weaker as you age, which is normal with the aging process.
  • Race and family history
    • Asians and causasians are at higher risk of bone loss.
    • Having a parent or sibling who has osteoporosis puts you at greater risk — especially if you also have a family history of fractures.
  • Hormone levels.
    • Excessive thyroid hormone can cause bone loss.
    • In women, bone loss increases dramatically at menopause due to dropping estrogen levels.
    • Prolonged absence of menstruation (amenorrhea) before menopause also increases the risk of osteoporosis.
    • In men, low testosterone levels can cause a loss of bone mass.
  • Eating disorders and other conditions
    • People who have anorexia or bulimia are at risk of bone loss.
    • In addition, stomach surgery (gastrectomy), weight-loss surgery, and conditions such as Crohn’s disease, celiac disease and Cushing’s disease can affect your body’s ability to absorb calcium.
  • Certain medications.
    • Long-term use of corticosteroid medications is damaging to bone.