About Bones

Bone facts

Bone health is an important part of general health. Bones are flexible yet strong for movement and protect vital organs. Bones grow in childhood, have a growth spurt in adolescence and are constantly rebuilt during adulthood in a process called ‘remodelling’. Bone is living tissue with some cells breaking down the bone (osteoclasts) while other cells (osteoblasts) rebuild new bone. This is why bones can heal after a break.

Fun fact: There are 206 bones in the body – the smallest bone in the skeleton is in our ear, and the largest is in our leg.

A close up image inside a healthy bone below reveals a dense matrix style structure. 

Image: A close-up image inside a healthy bone (above) reveals a dense matrix-style structure

What causes poor bone health?

Research has identified common risk factors for developing osteoporosis. Your doctor should investigate these risk factors. This mainly applies to patients 50 years and over but can also apply to younger adults with specific risk factors. A bone density scan is the most common test to help diagnose osteoporosis. 

Tips for maintaining bone health

Maintaining healthy bones requires adequate levels of calciumvitamin D and exercise. Protein is also essential for muscle development and strength to support staying active. Some micronutrients also play a lesser role in bone health.

The skeleton 

Maintaining healthy bones is important to remain mobile and independent. Avoiding unwanted fractures from poor bone health is an important health priority in adults. Bone breaks can occur in different parts of the skeleton due to osteoporosis, but common areas include the wrist, arm, leg, hip and spine. Read more about osteoporosis.