Osteoporosis is a bone disease where the bone begins to thin and weaken that can potentially cause many different issues. Because of osteoporosis, when a person falls, they risk a chance of fracture. In fact, hip fractures are high among people who have osteoporosis.
What Can Cause Osteoporosis?
Well, there are things that you cannot control such as being female, having a small frame, age, genetics, and/or having other medical issues. Other factors include your lifestyle in terms of food, unhealthy habits, lack of activity, and being calcium & vitamin D deficient.
How Do I Know if I have Osteoporosis/Osteopenia?
Osteoporosis can start early as in your mid 30s if you are a female. Especially so because of hormonal shifts with aging. It’s best to start getting a DEXA scan when your doctor suspects you may be experiencing loss in bone density and every 2 years after.
You can ask your doctor to refer you to get a DEXA scan, which measures your bone density. If you are under -2.5, your doctor will diagnose you for osteoporosis and may start you off with prescribed medication as well as over-the-counter items such as calcium with vitamin D (which can help assist in absorption of calcium). After that your doctor will send you to a physical therapist.
What Can Physical Therapy Do for Osteoporosis?
Your physical therapist will assess you based on the DEXA scan and the information they receive from your physician. He or she will then work on whichever is necessary first. Most times, a patient with osteoporosis first comes in post surgery after a hip fracture or a fall. They will be given a hip precaution for what the patient can and cannot do and will work on increasing strength and mobility with time.
Other times, a patient may have developed a degree of kyphosis (spine deformity which causes a bend forward). The physical therapist can then focus on strength and stability to reduce or stabilize the spine from further bending or improve in some degrees depending on the nature and the length of time of the disease’s progression.
If there are no other concurrent issues present, the physical therapist can then focus on increasing the density of your bone. By combining supplements from your physician as well as prescribed exercises from Physical Therapy New York, NY or your physical therapist, you may be able to increase your bone density and reverse or slow down the bone loss.
By adding resistance and weights, your bone will be stimulated to increase your absorption for calcium and increase bone density again. Your physical therapist will use, as well as make recommendations for your lifestyle, such as adding walking, jogging, dancing, bike riding, and other sports depending on your current condition.
If you suspect you have osteoporosis, don’t hesitate to call your doctor and check it out. Otherwise, it’s beneficial to stay fit, adding resistance to your daily lifestyle to keep your bones in top shape, as well as keeping up with your nutrition.