Most of us know someone who struggles with Osteoporosis, or Osteopenia. 1 in 2 women and 1 in 5 men have had fractures related to Osteoporosis. What you may not know is that there is more you can do for Osteoporosis besides taking medication, stop smoking, and getting enough calcium.
Osteoporosis is a disease that causes bones to become weak and brittle. When bones become fragile, light everyday activities such as bending over to tie your shoes, or even sitting, can increase your risk of fracture. Doing daily activities with a flexed or bent over posture (such as making the bed, picking up an item from the floor, or getting groceries out of the car) can increase your risk of spinal fractures. Falling also increases your risk of hip and wrist fractures.
PT & OT Can Help
Physical and Occupational Therapists can help you improve your bone strength and decrease your risk of falls! A study from The Mayo Clinic found that strengthening the back extensor muscles reduced the risk of subsequent spinal compression fractures more significantly, and for a longer period, than surgical procedures such as vertebroplasty.
Therapy can help you learn ways to cope with and manage your Osteoporosis by helping you:
- Learn safe ways to exercise at home or the gym. Many “healthy” exercise techniques, such as yoga or use of weight machines, can increase risk for fracture due to the flexed postures of the exercises. We can teach you weight bearing exercises to improve bone density.
- Improve your balance to decrease risk of falls.
- Improve your posture to decrease the risk of spinal compression fractures. Improved posture helps to strengthen bone through your spine and hips.
If you have osteoporosis or osteopenia and are interested in doing something to help your bones, consider physical or occupational therapy to make an Impact on your health and wellness.
– Kris Siegenthaler, OTR/L, CHT, CLT