Osteoporosis is a silent disease affecting about 25% of women and about 5% of men aged 65 and over. Many people with osteoporosis do not know they have it until they sustain a fracture at the hip, spine or wrist. Currently, screening for osteoporosis is recommended for people who are 65 or older, and women who are 50-64 years old with more risk factors. Some risk factors for osteoporosis include hormone imbalance, thyroid conditions, family history of osteoporosis or fractures, smoking, and sedentary lifestyle.
If you are diagnosed with osteoporosis, physical therapy can decrease symptoms through postural training, balance, and body mechanics to reduce fracture risk. Strength training exercises will also be used to increase strain on the bone increasing bone building production.
Strengthening exercises should avoid:
- Forward flexion exercises such as crunches or forward bending
- Extreme hip rotation such as pivoting when lifting.
Focus should be placed on:
- Strengthening of the back muscles and legs to help with body mechanics
- Strengthening of the shoulder blades to decrease forward leaning posture
- Increasing flexibility of the chest and front of the hips and thighs to improve upright posture
- Balance training to decrease fall risk
- Ergonomics for proper lifting techniques for activities of daily living and to reduce fracture risk
- A physical therapist can also teach you about proper sitting, sleeping, and standing spinal alignment.
If you have questions, please contact Capstone Physical Therapy. We are here to help you!