Osteoporosis and treating it:
Osteoporosis is a condition in which bones lose their strength and are more likely to break. Bone density and mass decrease after the age of 35 and particularly after the menopause in women, and this can lead to OP. Often the first time a person knows that they may have OP is when they have broken a bone. Broken bones and fractures are the same thing. The bones most commonly fractured as a result of osteoporosis are the wrist, hip and spine.
Between the ages of 9-15 is when you build your bone density the most, so it is at this age that we need to encourage our children to eat healthily (get plenty of calcium as well as oily fish and green leafy vegetables) , to do lots of exercise (being on a scooter and running around at the park!) and spending short periods of time in the sunshine- without sunscreen – do this at your own discretion, but a bit of sunshine is good for you.
Osteoporosis itself is does not cause pain. But broken bones caused by osteoporosis can be painful, and sometimes lead to long-term difficulties. Spinal compression fractures can cause a change in body shape and ongoing, chronic back pain. Hip fractures can result in loss of independence or reduced health and wellbeing. These long-term difficulties can have a big impact on quality of life for those affected.
What can physio do for Osteoporosis?
Unfortunately, there is no cure for OP, and sometimes it is only diagnosed when you have had a broken bone. There are strengthening exercises to prevent further deterioration of the weakened bone. If you think you may have the risk factors for OP, it is worth being assessed before the problem worsens.
Our physio’s have completed special training in osteoporosis, so can help you with exercises that are safe, and help prevent further postural and bone deterioration.
Annelies is experienced in Pilates exercises designed for this type of bone problem, so will be able to give you a program depending on your needs. The main thing with OP is to tackle it before it becomes a problem. Weight-bearing and extension exercises are key. A lot of the exercises given are done in standing.