What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a preventable and treatable disease characterized by low bone mass and structural deterioration of bone tissue. This causes bones to become thin and brittle. Osteoporosis causes pain, postural changes and increased susceptibility to fracture.
Osteoporosis has become an increasingly serious health concern as the population ages worldwide. Approximately 30% of postmenopausal women have osteoporosis in the United States and Europe. Of those affected, at least 40% of women and 15-30% of men will suffer a fracture related to low bone density. Hip fractures (17.5%), vertebral fractures (15.6%), and wrist fractures (16%) are the most commonly reported sites. Fortunately, numerous studies have shown the benefit of exercise on maintaining or even improving bone density at these key areas affected by osteoporosis and osteopenia.
Our Treatment Approach
We take an integrated approach to your physical therapy care by evaluating your posture, strength, nervous system function, balance and overall musculoskeletal health. We will discuss your exercise and fitness goals and any concerns you may have and design a prescriptive treatment plan with you to optimize your function, as well as eliminate any pains that are inhibiting your activities or preventing you from living a more active lifestyle. Interventions may include: postural stretching and strengthening, and weightbearing exercises appropriate for those with osteoporosis (to maintain bone density and reduce fracture risk), fall prevention, manual therapy, stabilization, balance and neuromuscular training.
- Maintain or improve bone density, especially at the lumbar spine, femoral head, femoral neck and radius
- Emphasize exercises to promote postural correction to prevent a variety of health related issues, including compression fracture (wedge fracture of the spine)
- Improve strength, balance, and coordination to reduce the risk of falls (up to 89% reduction in falls)
- Reduce the risk of fracture (up to 63% fewer fractures)
Tips for Osteoporosis Prevention
- Get the recommended amount of calcium and vitamin D daily, as recommended by your doctor
- Engage in regular weight bearing exercise or activity (weight bearing exercise maintains and can increase bone health while keeping your muscles strong)
- Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol (smoking, alcohol and poor diet can compromise bone health and increase your risk of osteoporosis)
- Talk to your health care provider about bone health
These exercises can help you maintain and improve your goals of preventing osteoporosis. You should always check with your doctor before starting new aerobic activities that place high stress on your heart.
If you have a medical condition or do not exercise regularly, you should consult your doctor before beginning a new exercise program.
For an expanded routine, a customized program, or any balance/mobility concerns related to exercising please contact our office to schedule a one-on-one evaluation.
Note: All exercise should be pain-free.
- Walking has many health benefits that target the cardiovascular system and musculoskeletal system. For individuals with osteoporosis or at a risk for developing osteoporosis, daily walking can help to maintain your bone health
- For every 1 hour of sitting, walk for 5 minutes
- Wear shoes that are supportive for your feet
- Walk on level surfaces that are clear of tripping/slipping hazards. Osteoporosis increases your risk of bone fractures, therefore we want to be sure to avoid situations that could lead to a fall
If you are unsure of where to start or are interested in a program specific to your needs, you may be interested in a walking program. Reach out and talk to your healthcare provider or physical therapist about a starting a walking program.
Slowly raise buttocks from floor, keeping abdominals tight. Initiate lift by squeezing buttocks. Repeat 10 times per set.
Sit to Stand
Perform in slow and controlled manner. Keep a counter or chair in front of you if you require any support for balance.
Repeat 10 times per set. Do 1 set per session. Do 1 session per day.
With feet placed approximately shoulder width apart, allow your hips to shift back and knees to bend to approximately a 45 degree angle. Keep your abdominal’s tight and do not round or arch your back excessively. Keep a counter or chair in front of you if you require any support for balance. Repeat 10 times per set. Do 1 set per session. Do 1 session per day.
Arm/Leg Opposite Lift
Lift right leg and opposite arm 1 inch from floor, keeping knee locked. Then repeat on opposite side. You can place pillow under abdomen for back support. Repeat 10 times per set. Do 1 set per session. Do 1 session per day.
Melton III LJ, Chrischilles EA, Cooper C, Lane AW, Riggs BL. Perspective:how many women have osteoporosis? J Bone Miner Res. 1992;7: 1005-1010.
Randell A, Sambrook PN, Nguyen TV, Lapsey H, Jones G, Kelly PJ, Eisman JA. Direct clinical and welfare costs of osteoporotic fractures in elderly men and women. Osteoporosis Int. 1995;5:427-432.
Gomez-Cabello A, Ara I, Gonzalez-Aguero A, Casajus JA, Vicente-Rodriguez G. Effects of training on bone mass in older adults: a systematic review. Sports Med. 2012; 42(4): 301-325.
Adami S, Gatti D, Braga V, et al. Site-specific effects of strength training on bone structure and geometry of ul-transdistal radius in postmenopausal women. J Bone Miner Res. 1999; 14(1): 120-124.
Kerr D, Ackland T, Maslen B, et al. Resistance training over 2 years increases bone mass in calcium-replet postmenopausal women. J Bone Miner Res. 2001;16(1):175-181.
Bocalini DS, Serra AJ, dos Santos L, et al. Strength training pre-serves the bone mineral density of postmenopausal women without hormone replacement therapy. J Aging Health. 2009;21(3):519-527
Swanenburg J, de Bruin ED, Stauffacher M, Mulder T, Uebelhart D. Effects of exercise and nutrition on postural balance and risk of falling in elderly people with decreased bone mineral density: randomized controlled trial pilot study. Clin Rehabil. 2007;21:523-534
Korpelainen R, Keinanen-Kiukaanniemi S, Keikkinen J, Vaananen K, Korpelainen J. Effect of impact exercise on bone mineral density in elderly women with BMD: a population-based randomized controlled 30 month intervention. Osteoporosis Int. 2006;17:109-118