You may have heard of a DXA (or DEXA) scan. You may have even had one or more in your lifetime. A DXA scan can give you valuable, detailed information about your bone mineral density (BMD) and bone quality. But most people don't know that it can also provide information about your muscle mass.
This recent article, published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine, reviews the basics of a DXA scan, including what information it can provide for you and your doctor about your body.
DXA scans take about 1-3 minutes and are non-invasive. From the scan, you get information about your bone mineral density in the form of either a Z-score or, more commonly, a T-score. Both scores compare your bone mineral density against a standard, with T-scores comparing against the young adult average and Z-scores against your age-group average.
A DXA scan can also give you information about your body composition, including lean muscle mass. Why is having information about your muscles mass important? Your muscles hold your body upright, help with balance, and keep you from falling. Making sure your muscles are strong is key to maintaining strong bones and preventing fractures.