Stay Active and Stay Strong: Managing Osteoporosis With Physical Therapy
Our bones play a critical role in our body’s stability, balance, and structure. They store calcium, support our bodies, and protect our vital organs. They will regenerate and heal with new bone tissue over time, similar to the way your skin heals, to remain healthy.
When bones lose density or weaken, chronic pain, physical limitations, and loss of mobility may follow. Osteoporosis is a disease of the bones that causes them to become weak, brittle, and more susceptible to fractures and injuries. This condition is known to affect more than 54 million Americans, but many don’t realize they are affected until they’ve broken a bone.
Although osteoporosis isn’t a curable condition, there are steps you can take to improve your bone health and prevent the loss of bone density.
How to Manage Osteoporosis?
With proper treatment and guidance, you’ll be able to strengthen your bones and lessen the effects of osteoporosis-related injuries. Physical therapy is a common osteoporosis treatment, helping patients improve their safety and overall quality of life through hands-on care with mobility & stabilization exercises, balance training, and fall prevention.
You can manage osteoporosis with the right plan and adherence to your prescribed treatment. Treatment may include:
Healthy diet and nutrition
Patient education to maintain level of activity
Lifestyle changes that encourages exercise and movement
Posture and positioning training
Physical and manual therapies
Not everyone’s treatment plan will look the same. Your doctor or therapist will tailor your plan specifically for your needs, taking the following into account:
Progression of bone loss
Previous fractures or bone conditions
Existing health conditions
Current fitness level
Rebuilding Bone Density: Targeted Exercises
It’s scary to find out that your bones are losing or have less density. Often when combined with lifestyle adjustments, your physical therapist will work with you to rebuild your bone density through targeted exercises.
Here are some types of exercises that are safe for increasing muscle and bone strength:
Weight-bearing. Exercises or routines that have your bones support your weight — such as dancing, jogging, or heel drops — help to rebuild your bone strength in the lower half of your body.
Resistance. Resistance training directly targets certain muscle groups and joints, improving balance, posture, and bone density.
Aerobic. Aerobic exercises like dancing and walking improve your body’s spinal curve, stamina, and strength. Swimming is another good aerobic exercise, but it doesn’t provide you with the weight-bearing pressure needed to slow bone density loss effectively.
Balance. Working on your balance through exercise will improve your stability and center yourself to prevent falls.
It’s important that you get guided help from a licensed professional so you can continue to have an active lifestyle, slow down the bone density loss and prevent bone injuries. The wrong type of exercise and activities can be more detrimental to your condition and put you further at risk.
Osteoporosis Treatment Delivered with In-Home Physical Therapy
With the help of a Luna PT, the osteoporosis treatment you need is delivered right to your home, when and where it’s convenient for you. Your therapist can assess your home living situation and help to eliminate habits that put you at a higher risk for a fall or breaking a bone, all while helping to improve strength, function and improve your quality of life.
The best part is, you’ll have 45-55 minutes of uninterrupted, one-on-one care with your Luna PT, and you don’t need any special equipment to complete your prescribed exercises.
Contact us if you or a loved one is ready to get started restoring bone health. Physical therapy helps you stay active, stay strong, and begin healing from osteoporosis.