Health Services: Osteoporosis
Currently, over 13,000 Missoulians have low bone density. Our goal is to assist in preventing osteoporosis in Missoula County. Testing is available for men and women.
- Factors affecting peak bone mass
- Risk factors
- Client services
- Health care provider services
- Worksite services
- Cost of services
- Make an appointment - for screening
- Other resources
Osteoporosis is a disease that causes bones to become fragile and break easily. It is most common in older people but can also occur in young and middle-aged adults. When someone has osteoporosis, it means his/her "bank account" of bone tissue has dropped to a low level. If there is significant bone loss, even sneezing or bending over to tie a shoe can cause a bone in the spine to break. Hips, ribs and wrist bones also break easily.
Optimizing peak bone mass and developing lifelong healthy bone behaviors during youth are important ways to prevent or minimize osteoporosis risks as an adult.
Gender - Bone mass or density is generally higher in men than women, but men can still have osteoporosis.
- Race - For reasons still not well understood, African American tend to be at lower risk for osteoporosis.
Hormonal factors - Estrogen and testosterone are essential for the development of bone mass. Girls who start to menstruate at an early age typically have greater bone density. Those who frequently miss their menstrual periods sometimes have lower bone density.
Nutritional status - Having an adequate intake of calcium, magnesium, zinc, and vitamin D throughout childhood is crucial to developing strong, healthy bones.
Physical activity - The benefits of activity are most pronounced in those areas of the skeleton that bear the most weight, such as the hips during walking and running and the arms during gymnastics and upper-body weightlifting.
- Family history
- Petite build
- Caucasian or Asian descent
- Approaching or past menopause
- Lactose intolerant or few dairy products in diet
- Smoking or chewing tobacco
- More than 6 alcoholic beverages per week
- Excess caffeine, protein or sodium in the diet
- Use of thyroid, seizure, cortisone medication or Depo-Provera
- Bone density screening using Sahara Heel Sonogram FDA approved machine.
- Counseling on how to prevent bone loss.
- Information on how to protect and enhance skeletal health.
- Referrals to health care providers to those at risk for osteoporosis.
- Exercise, nutrition and fall prevention information.
- Follow-up to heel scan scores.
- Help accessing free prescriptions (if you qualify).
- Send heel scan results from patients to client's health care provider.
- Help access free calcium supplements for patients.
- Assistance in enrolling in the National Osteoporosis Foundation Continuing Education Program for health professionals.
- Wellness staff will participate in health fairs at local worksites and administer heel scan screenings, in service workshops on osteoporosis prevention.
- The Missoula Wellness program works with grade schools to promote "got milk" days. They promote the consumption of dairy products, play fun, interactive games and award prizes. This service is by appointment only.
- The Missoula Wellness program also works with University of Montana to provide training for students in Health Sciences (Nursing, HHP and Pharmacy) on osteoporosis prevention. Students get a bone density testing. There is also an internship opportunity for undergraduate seniors and/or graduate level students to learn about planning and delivery of public health.
- The Wellness program is currently working with the Missoula County School District to improve the nutritional standards for vending machines and in calculating calcium rich foods in lieu of foods with minimum nutritional value.
- Heel scans cost $25.00 for the general public.
- Some Montana basic insurance providers reimburse for bone density testing.
- Bone density grant funding for special populations including residents of Seeley Lake, Ovando and Helmville are available.
Make an appointment for screening
Call the Missoula City-County Health Department Wellness Program to make an appointment 1-800-823-4740 or 258-4837.
- National Osteoporosis Foundation
- National Institute of Health
- Big Bones Bash
- Eat Smart
- Eat Smart Play Hard Healthy Lifestyle
- Eat Smart Play Hard Kids'
- Jump Start Your Bones
- National Osteoporosis Research Center
- The Medicine Program
- Bone Strength