Osteoporosis can be a debilitating disease, and those who suffer from it often think nothing can be done to help. They would be wrong. Physical therapy can help.
Osteoporosis is a bone disease where the thickness of the bone becomes porous and brittle. The bone density gets low. Dense bone is stronger and less dense bone can lead to bones that fracture easily. That can lead to a lot of pain and disability. Fortunately, bone is living and growing tissue and normally when cells get old and die off, new bone cells are there to take their place. When someone has osteoporosis, the bones either lose too many old cells or doesn’t make enough new cells. It tends to be a problem in menopausal women due to changes in hormone levels, but men and children have been known to have it as well. There are a lot of risk factors, but there are also ways to help treat and prevent it.
Prevention involves being active and doing weight bearing exercises like dancing, jogging and racquet sports and aerobic exercise. If you’re at risk for developing osteoporosis, a physical therapist can help you design an exercise program that can keep your bones healthy and avoid fractures. They can teach you exercises that specifically build bone or decrease the amount of bone loss; improve or teach you correct posture; and improve balance which keeps the risks of falling to a minimum. They will find you exercises that stresses your bones enough to encourage growth of new cells, but not break them. Resistance exercise such as weight lifting, exercise bands, water exercises and yoga to name some.
If you have a fracture, physical therapy can help decrease pain, promote healing and posture with correct bracing and strengthen musculature to help keep the bones in place.
Contact Specialized Physical Therapy if you have osteoporosis or worry about getting it. We can help.