No Bones About It

Specialized, once-a-week bone-building program reverses effects of osteoporosis.

While authoring three novellas, Martha has regained strength and built bone mass through OsteoStrong.

While authoring three novellas, Martha has regained strength and built bone mass through OsteoStrong.

It started with a short story she wrote for a writing class about 30 years ago. In time, that short story was expanded into a novella. That novella is now part of a series, the third installment of which was published in June.

If all goes as her editors hope, the fourth book in Martha Passel’s series “The Chronicles of MatiLou and PerryAnn” will be out sometime in the next year. From there, inspiration will be Martha’s guide, and her plan is to follow it wherever it takes her.

“I have a little more time to write now that I’m not working,” Martha relates. “I spent 30 years working behind a desk, and when you’re doing that, there isn’t a lot of time to devote to projects like this.

“But I’m not working right now, so I’ve had a chance to devote a little more time to my writing. I wrote the first book in this series in 2017 and the second one came out in 2019. All the books are self-published, but the whole thing is something I’m really enjoying.”

Martha, 64, also enjoys boating, kayaking, hiking and horseback riding. She didn’t have much time to devote to those activities while working either, but she’s semi-retired now so she has more time to devote to those ventures as well.

There’s just one catch. Martha learned several years ago through the results of a bone density scan that she has osteopenia, the precursor of osteoporosis, two potentially severe conditions that can greatly increase the risk of bone breaks.

Found most often in postmenopausal women such as Martha, osteopenia and osteoporosis develop when new bone growth fails to keep pace with natural bone degeneration to the point where bone mineral density becomes dangerously low.

About 54 million Americans suffer from either osteopenia, osteoporosis or low bone mass, which can eventually cause some to lose height as they can affect bones in the spine and lead to a stooped posture.

But it’s not just women who are affected by these conditions. Though statistics show that one in two women will suffer from an osteoporosis-related fracture at some point in their lives, studies also show that one in four men will deal with a similar incident.

Because it can go undetected until a fracture occurs, osteoporosis is considered a “silent disease” by many physicians, but it can be treated with medications. In fact, that’s what Martha’s doctors recommended for her.

Martha followed that advice for about a year, but after growing more concerned about the potential side effects associated with the medication she was prescribed, she soon began looking for a more natural remedy.

“I wanted to work on this holistically, so I was taking vitamin D and doing hormone replacement therapy, which is supposed to be good for it,” Martha reports. “I even started doing yoga and holding some of those poses longer for weight bearing.

“But then I saw a copy of Florida Health Care News, and read an article about OsteoStrong. This was in 2017, and it was like serendipity that I found the paper and read that article, because I started doing the OsteoStrong sessions in October of that year.”

Revolutionary Program

OsteoStrong is a revolutionary program that has helped more than 25,000 people reverse the negative effects of osteoporosis and osteopenia. It does this through the use of specialized biomechanical equipment that’s used once a week for about 15 minutes.

The equipment allows users to perform resistance-based pushing and pulling exercises with their arms or legs. During these sessions, the user can safely exert pressure four to 12 times their body weight.

“The difference between our equipment and that used at a traditional gym is that our equipment does not involve a counter force,states Mark Brady, president of OsteoStrong in South Pasadena. “You create the force you are comfortable with, and you are in control of it at all times.

“There is no force pushing against you, which means you create the force. For example, on our lower body and leg machine, I’ve had women in their 80s weighing 100 pounds who can exert forces in excess of 1,000 pounds.

“For a person who weighs 100 pounds to develop new bone working out on traditional equipment, they would need to create a resistance of over 400 pounds. That simply can’t be done for 99 percent of all people in a gym environment because it involves weights they couldn’t physically move. Or, if they could move them, they’d be at high risk of injury.”

To understand the difference, Mark invites people to come in and try the equipment, noting that his facility offers a free orientation session to experience OsteoStrong and learn more about the science behind the program. “This is an amazing concept that is the culmination of 12 years of research that looked into the body’s own adaptive response to growing new bone and muscle structure and improving the density of the bones we have,” Mark says.

“As a result of that research, it is now a known medical fact that when you put certain forces on the bones, the body responds by growing new bone tissue. And the results of these short sessions are absolutely amazing.”

According to Mark, studies have found that OsteoStrong improves bone density 3 to 7 percent a year. Also, people will increase their strength by an average of 73 percent over their first year at OsteoStrong.

Mark also points out that similar studies show that doing an OsteoStrong session more than once a week does not promote additional benefit. As a result, workouts are not only impactful, but time efficient.

Mark encourages men and women of all ages to accept his invitation to try the OsteoStrong equipment. He further notes it’s important to know that osteoporosis is not a disorder that is exclusive to a specific age group or gender.

“Osteoporosis is not something that only happens to old people,” he explains. “We have clients from young to old and everything in between. And men are not immune. When they start losing their testosterone, their bone loss becomes more rapid.”

In addition to helping people recover from bone loss, OsteoStrong wants to help educate them about it.

“We offer people an opportunity to learn more about osteopenia and osteoporosis and why the OsteoStrong program is so effective in fighting it,” Mark concludes.

Resistance Yields Results

Martha first learned she had osteopenia in 2014, when a bone density scan showed the disease was present in her spine and was bordering on osteoporosis in one hip. In 2019, two years after she started OsteoStrong, another bone density scan showed similar results.

“It was like everything was in a holding pattern,” Martha confirms. “Nothing had gotten any worse, but my bone density hadn’t really gone back up from where it was either. It was up slightly but not much.

“Then in early 2021, I had another bone scan and it showed a minor bone loss, like 0.1 percent, in the lumbar spine. But it also showed a significant bone gain in the hips, which is one of the toughest places to increase bone mass, so I’m pretty excited about that.”

Martha’s most recent bone density scan is proof the OsteoStrong program is working for her. Martha considers it “confirmation” because she had been feeling the positive effects of the program for quite some time.

“I intuitively knew it was working for me because I was feeling stronger,” she says. “I’ve always been pretty strong, but for a while I was losing some of that strength. Now I’ve got that strength and muscle back.

“I also feel like my frame is stronger, and I’m stronger on the OsteoStrong equipment than I was at first. And I’d be just fine if it stayed that way, if it stayed right where I am now because I feel good. Really good.

“I’m in a range now where my osteopenia is manageable. I’m not on a downward trend, so I’m going to keep doing the OsteoStrong workouts because they’re working for me and I don’t want to mess with medications.”

© FHCN article by Roy Cummings. Photo by Jordan Pysz. js
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