Osteoporosis and Physical Therapy

One out of four American women over age 65 have osteoporosis – a medical condition in which bones become brittle and fragile. Almost half of senior citizens – men and women — have osteopenia, which is decreased bone density not as severe as osteoporosis.

You probably know that lowered bone density puts you at a higher risk for serious injuries, like hip fractures. Did you know that physical therapy can help?

Strive! Physical Therapists say that many of the problems we used to attribute to old age – like brittle bones, and having difficulty lifting something heavy or getting out of bed – are actually inactivity problems. That means you don’t have to get brittle bones as you age. Getting out of bed doesn’t have to get harder.

Exercise it one of the best ways to defend your body against osteoporosis, and can actually increase bone density. Physical Therapists can help you develop an exercise program to strengthen your bones and improve your balance and posture to help prevent falls.

Do you know which of these forms of exercise is optimal for bone health?

  • Dancing
  • Hiking
  • Tennis
  • Water aerobics
  • Weight lifting

Answer? All of them! Both weight-bearing exercise and resistance exercise help you improve bone density to lower your risk of falls and fractures.

If you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis, talk with your doctor about the benefits of physical therapy.

Tips for Strong Bones from Strive! Physical Therapists:

  • Move! Aim for weight-bearing exercise like dancing, tennis, or aerobics at least three times a week.
  • Get strong! Incorporate weight lifting into your routine. Strive! offers wellness memberships and our staff can help you safely start weight training.
  • Get your calcium! Calcium doesn’t have to come in a pill, or just in dairy products. White beans, kale, almonds and even orange juice can be good sources of calcium.
  • Don’t forget vitamin D! It helps your body absorb calcium. Sun is a natural source, and so are fish like salmon and tuna.