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Physical Therapy for Osteoporosis – Information, Exercises, and More

Whether you’ve recently been diagnosed with osteoporosis and you’re looking for more information on the disease.

Or

You’re curious if you’re more susceptible to getting osteoporosis and want to help prevent it from occurring …

We know how frustrating it can be when you’re searching for information and just can’t find what you’re looking for.

We’re here to help. In this guide, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about osteoporosis — causes, symptoms, treatment options, and how physical therapy for osteoporosis can help.

What is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis literally means, “porous bone.”

Our bones are living, mineralized, tissue. As we age, our bones grow and change just like we do.

But, when you have osteoporosis, your bone loss outpaces your bone growth. Your bones become weak and thin. They start to become fragile and can be fractured very easily — especially bones in the hip, spine, and wrist.

Osteoporosis is sometimes referred to as the “silent disease” because you may not know you have it until after you’ve fractured a bone.

It is also commonly confused with arthritis and other bone-related diseases.

What Causes Osteoporosis?

Researchers have an idea of how osteoporosis develops, but it’s not clear why it develops.

Some of the likely causes of osteoporosis include:

  • Certain medical conditions — like thyroid problems, kidney disease, intestinal problems
  • Use of certain medicines — long term use of corticosteroids
  • A decrease in hormones — estrogen, and testosterone play a large part in bone growth
  • Smoking and alcohol usage — chemicals in cigarettes make it harder for your body to absorb calcium, as does excessive alcohol usage.

Medications That Increase Risk of Osteoporosis

If used for long periods of time (over several years), there are medications that may increase your risk of developing osteoporosis.

Some of these medications include:

  • Steroids such as prednisone and cortisone can increase the breakdown of bone and slow down the building of new bone.
  • Proton pump inhibitors (PPI) increase your risk of developing osteoporosis because they prevent the intestines from absorbing sufficient amounts of calcium.
  • Cancer therapies and treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy are known to cause bone loss in patients.

There are many different medications that can increase the risk of osteoporosis, many of which are life-sustaining medicines. It is important that you speak with your doctor before you stop taking medicines that may cause the disease.

Physical therapy for osteoporosis of the spine

Osteoporosis Symptoms

Although osteoporosis sufferers often aren’t aware that they have the disease until they have a bone fracture, there are some symptoms patients may notice.

They include:

  • Backache
  • A slow loss of height
  • Stooped posture
  • Fracture of the wrist, hip or spine

Osteoporosis Treatment

Osteoporosis is irreversible, but there are treatment options available to help manage the disease. After being diagnosed, your doctor may recommend any of the following treatments:

  • Medications — Bisphosphonates are commonly prescribed because they keep the body from breaking down bone — but other medications may be prescribed by your doctor as well.
  • Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) — HRT can help preserve the bones in your body and reduce risks of fractures in postmenopausal women, but also comes with risks. Talk with your doctor about the benefits and risks of HRT
  • Vitamin supplements — a vitamin D or vitamin C supplement may be prescribed with other medications in order to maximize effectiveness
  • Physical therapy — learning how to properly exercise and make lifestyle changes plays an important role in combating the pain caused by osteoporosis. Exercising can help strengthen bones.
  • Diet — eating a nutrient-rich diet (specifically in vitamins D and K, as well as calcium) can help strengthen bones.

Osteoporosis physical therapy

Osteoporosis Physical Therapy – Will PT Help?

Physical therapy for osteoporosis is an effective non-surgical treatment option.

By working with a Doctor of Physical Therapy, you can restore healthy function, movement, and bone strength.

They will help you master exercises and lifestyle changes to decrease the risk of having an osteoporosis-related fracture.

Best Osteoporosis Exercises

Physical therapy for osteoporosis involves a lot of exercises to maintain bone strength.

There are two types of exercises that most physical therapists recommend for osteoarthritis:

  • Muscle strengthening
  • Weight-bearing

Muscle Strengthening Exercises

Resistance exercises are commonly recommended to osteoporosis sufferers to help prevent more bone loss by strengthening the muscles and bones. Some of these exercises include:

  • Lifting weights
  • Exercising with resistance bands
  • Lifting your own bodyweight

Weight-Bearing Exercises

Weight-bearing exercises force you to move against gravity. They help build and strengthen your bones.

Some of the most commonly recommended weight-bearing exercises for osteoporosis include:

  • Dance
  • Tennis
  • Jumping Rope
  • Hiking
  • Jogging/Running
  • Aerobics

Yoga and pilates may also be helpful to improve balance, strength, and flexibility, but certain positions may not be safe for osteoporosis sufferers and can increase the risk of fracturing a bone.

Doing these exercises 2-3 times a week per your physical therapist’s approval can help improve your osteoporosis symptoms.

Your physical therapist can walk you through which exercises are safe and appropriate for your specific situation.

Osteoporosis and physical therapy

How In Motion O.C. Can Help With Osteoporosis

If you’ve been diagnosed with osteoporosis, it may feel like there’s no way to find the relief you’ve been searching for.

But there is hope. In Motion O.C. has helped hundreds of patients overcome their symptoms of osteoporosis and we can help you too. Our highly trained Doctors of Physical Therapy can help you learn how to change your lifestyle to maintain healthy bone growth.

As the number one Physical Therapist in the United States according to Yelp! and Google, we are committed to providing the best care to each and every patient who walks through our door.

Don’t live with the pain of osteoporosis any longer — schedule your free consultation today to see if physical therapy for osteoporosis is the right treatment plan for you.

In Motion O.C.