What is osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a common bone disorder in individuals over 40 years of age often characterized by weakened bone strength which can lead to an increased risk of bone fracture.
Why is it important to know about this?
Osteoporosis is serious especially when you are older as broken bones cause pain and affect your quality of life. Broken bones due to osteoporosis are most common in the hip, spine, and wrist, but any bone can be affected. With osteoporosis, broken bones can occur with a fall, but in some individuals with the disease, a break can occur with simple activities as bending, lifting or even a sneeze. So, prevention in younger people is also very important.
How does Osteoporosis feel and how is it diagnosed?
Often there are no symptoms or pain with osteoporosis until a bone fracture occurs. Depending on your age and other risk factors, your healthcare provider may recommend a bone mineral density (BMD) test. The test will tell if you have osteoporosis or are at risk of developing it.
Non-controllable risk factors:
- Female gender
- Small frame
- Advanced age
- Predisposing medical conditions
- Hormone levels
Controllable risk factors:
- Cigarette smoking
- Excessive alcohol intake
- Inactive lifestyle
- Excessive caffeine intake
- Lack of weight-bearing exercise
- Drugs (eg, steroids, heparin)
- Poor health
- Low weight
- Calcium poor diet
- Low vitamin D levels
How can a physical therapist help?
Working with your healthcare team/provider, physical therapy for osteoporosis can help patients prevent osteoporotic fractures with an appropriate exercise and fall prevention program. Research has shown that exercise can slow down the rate of bone loss and improve bone strength. Exercise improves mobility, muscle strength and balance, reducing the risk of falling and thereby reducing the risk of breaking a bone.
Our physical therapists have specialized training and certification in orthopedic physical therapy. They will perform an evaluation and develop and train osteoporosis patients in a safe, effective individualized exercise program for their bone health needs.
Your individualized physical activity & exercise program can include:
- Impact exercise (which includes a walking program)
- Resistance training
- A combined program of aerobic exercise with strength training
- Posture training
- Balance and endurance training
- Education on exercise, movement and environment precautions for your individual needs
Schedule your physical therapy for osteoporosis treatment today at an Sunshine location near you.