Updated February 2024

Osteoporosis is when the amount of calcium and minerals in the bone decreases, reducing bone density. As a result, bones become fragile and prone to fractures. A fracture can occur from a minor fall or simple actions like sneezing or bumping into furniture.

Osteoporosis can be a debilitating problem for women, but physical therapy can help.

Treatment involves calcium supplements and prescription medication. Physical therapy plays an important role in maintaining a better quality of life for patients with osteoporosis, and for good reasons. Muscles and tendons can be strengthened to provide a protective effect for bones. Although it cannot be cured, the rate of progression of osteoporosis can be managed with physical therapy and medication.

Living with Osteoporosis

Here are important factors to consider when living with osteoporosis:

  1. Dietary measures: A diet rich in calcium and vitamin D provides the body with important minerals that form the building blocks of bones.
  2. Weight-bearing exercises: Always seek approval from a physician before starting any exercise program, especially if you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis. Simple exercises like walking and climbing up a flight of stairs are beneficial. A physical therapist will prescribe an exercise program tailored to the patient’s needs.
  3. Muscle strengthening exercises: Supervised weight training helps improve muscle strength. A physical therapist may recommend using tools such as elastic bands, free weights, and exercise equipment. Patients are also encouraged to use their own body weight to perform a number of exercises.
  4. Core stabilization exercises: Exercises that support your core muscles improve posture and balance and help prevent falls, injuries, and fractures. Yoga and Pilates are examples of exercises used to improve posture and balance. All exercises should be done under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist.

New Horizons Await You

If you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis, don’t despair. Millions of individuals with this condition live healthy, productive lives. If you work with a physical therapist and take the right precautions, you can experience a renewed awareness of movement and function.

Physical therapy can improve balance, increase strength, and reduce the incidence of falls. Ask your physical therapist for movement, lifting, and injury prevention precautions. In the unfortunate event that you experience a fracture, your physical therapist is uniquely qualified to help you recover. Your therapist may suggest using assistive walking devices (cane, walker).

Don’t allow fear of injury to hold you back. Talk to a physical therapist and learn the differences between safe and unsafe exercise. A new world of freedom and independence awaits you. We are here to help you improve your life with the benefits of physical therapy.

How STARS Physical Therapy Can Help

The primary goal of the Saint Alphonsus Osteoporosis Rehabilitation program is to restore mobility, function, strength, and confidence to enhance the safety and security of your daily life.

If you have questions or would like to talk to a STARS specialist about osteoporosis in your body, click the link below to schedule an appointment.

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