Exercise is essential for maintaining healthy bones at all ages. Exercise as a child and into early adulthood maximizes bone production, which for the most part occurs by the time you are 35. Continued exercise into middle age and beyond can help to reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis. Many people with osteoporosis believe that exercise increases the risk of injury from broken bones, but the truth is quite the opposite. A regular, properly designed exercise program, may actually help prevent fall-related fractures that can easily result in disability.
Physical therapists are experts in improving and restoring mobility and can play an important role in ensuring optimal bone health. Healthy bones can help you stay strong and active throughout your life. Your physical therapist can create a program that takes your overall health, age, fitness level, and personal risk for fractures into account; designing a program specifically for you.
For many people, their first experience with osteoporosis is a fracture to the spine, hip, wrist, or ankle resulting from an impact that may not have caused an injury in earlier years. Rehabilitation focuses on pain management immediately after the fracture, and then on returning to an active lifestyle as the fracture heals. Both the diagnosis of osteoporosis and a bone fracture can have a paralyzing effect. Fortunately, following a rehabilitation program can get back on your feet.
Injury prevention is a huge part of rehabilitation. If your doctor has diagnosed you with osteoporosis, you should consult your physical therapist and begin to make changes that will prevent an injury before it happens.
- Learning how to lift items without using your back
- Learning how to move without twisting your spine
- Implementing fall prevention strategies at home, work, and on the go
- Identifying exercises that can keep you safely active
- Asking for help with tasks that require lifting heavy items or climbing
Preventing fractures before they happen is obviously best. But if you do suffer a fracture, healing properly and getting advice on how to prevent another one is going to be even more important. Your physical therapist is a great resource to keep you enjoying an active and healthy lifestyle!
Vann, MPH, Madeline. “Physical Therapy for Osteoporosis Treatment.” everydayHEALTH. N.p., 11 Mar. 2009. Web. 14 Mar. 2016.