​Physical Therapy Activities That Reduce the Risk of Osteoporosis | Blog

​Physical Therapy Activities That Reduce the Risk of Osteoporosis

  Posted: Feb 25, 2020

  Category: health and wellness


 Osteoporosis causes thinning and weakening of the bones, which increases the chances of fracture. Due to poor nutrition, aging, and diseases that affect bone development like cystic fibrosis, kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and celiac disease, the normal bone structure becomes thinned out and porous, lessening the ability of the bone to withstand the typical forces that are applied in everyday living.
 
While many factors certainly elevate the risk for osteoporosis, there are several ways to help reduce that risk, and working with a physical therapist can certainly help get you there.

Fast Facts About Osteoporosis

·      Women have the greatest risk at developing osteoporosis.
·      Osteoporosis affects 55% of Americans 50 and older
·      Thin bones cause 1.5 million fractures per year in the US.
·      Hip fractures alone resulted in 300, 000 hospitalizations.
·      Risk factors include noncontrollable (genetics, age, gender) and controllable (smoking, drug use, poor health, inactive lifestyle) risks.
·      Osteoporosis is best diagnosed through an X-ray called the DXA, which measures bone density. The results are reported using T-scores and Z-scores.

How can a physical therapist help?

You do not have wait until you get you results to consult a physical therapist. If you’re already working with a therapist for back pain or rehabilitation, he or she will review your medical, family, medication, exercise, dietary, and hormonal history, conduct a complete physical examination, and determine your risk factors for osteoporosis.
 
If you have high risk factors, your physical therapist will develop a specific program to help improve your bone health, keep your bones healthy, and avoid fracture.
 
A preventative program may include the following five activities:
·      Training on proper posture to protect your spine from fracture
·      Training on proper alignment during activities of daily living
·      Specific exercises to build bone or decrease the amount of bone loss
·      Balance techniques and movements to reduce your risk of falling
·      Adjusting your environment to protect your bone health
 
Two types of exercise are optimal for bone health: weight-bearing and resistance. Weight-bearing exercises include dancing, stomping, racquet sports, or jogging. Resistance exercises include weight-lifting, balance exercises, or body exercises like pushups or squats.
 
For patients diagnosed with osteoporosis or low bone density, a physical therapist will work with you to build bone and reduce the amount of bone loss. Balance, posture, and adjusting your work and living environments will be advised as needed. One, exception here is that exercises and movements that may contribute to any type of fracture will be avoided.
 
Find a physical therapist who specializes in the treatment of osteoporosis at Liberty Rehab. Contact us to discuss your needs and we’ll work with you to develop a program to improve your bone health and quality of life.