osteoporosis

Osteoporosis/Osteopenia

What is osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a common bone disorder in individuals over 40 years of age ofter  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 it feel?

Often there are no symptoms or pain with osteoporosis until a fracture occurs.

How is it diagnosed?

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
  • Genetics
  • 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

Basics for Healthy Bones:

  • Get enough calcium and vitamin D
  • Make healthy lifestyle choices
  • Exercise regularly
  • Talk with your healthcare provider about your bone health

How can a physical therapist help?

Working with your healthcare team/provider, a physical therapist can help 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 you in a safe, effective individualized exercise program for YOUR bone health needs.

Your individualized exercise program will include:

  • Impact exercise (which includes a walking program)
  • Resistance strength training
  • 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

Call us today to learn how we can help you manage your Osteoporosis/Osteopenia with a safe exercise and movement program.

References:
  • Boning Up on Osteoporosis, A Guide to Prevention and Treatment. National Osteoporosis Foundation, Copyright 2008 National Osteoporosis Foundation.
  • APTA Move Forward Guide to Osteoporosis.