Osteoporosis: How Physio Can Help

Osteoporosis affects more than 1 million Australians.

This disease is more commonly known to affect middle aged and elderly women, although men are also at risk. Women who are post-menopausal have a heightened risk of developing osteoporosis.

 

WHAT EXACTLY IS OSTEOPOROSIS?

Osteoporosis is a disease that makes bones become brittle, making those who have it more likely to break or fracture a bone. Osteoporosis occurs as a result of our bones losing calcium and other minerals much faster than it can all be re-absorbed.

Bone mass, also referred to as bone density, generally decreases after 35 years of age. Reduced bone mass results in weak bones that are somewhat porous and can be easily compressed (similar to a sponge).

 

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF OSTEOPOROSIS?

Some of the common symptoms of osteoporosis are:

– Bones that easily break or fracture often
– Back pain
– The development of poor posture or a ‘hunch’
– Decrease in height overtime
– Pain performing everyday tasks

More severe cases can even see bone breakage after something as simple as a sneeze or cough.

 

HOW CAN PHYSIOTHERAPY HELP WITH OSTEOPOROSIS?

Apart from reducing pain and discomfort, physiotherapists can help you with your osteoporosis in many ways, such as:

– Strengthening your core muscles which can improve your posture
– Increasing muscle strength, in particular the legs, back and upper body
– Improve your flexibility and balance which results in less chance of falls and fractures
– Provide relief to pain in the back
– Light exercise through physiotherapy will improve bone strength
– Getting you stronger and more confident, to perform everyday tasks with less pain

 

KEY TIPS FOR OSTEOPOROSIS PREVENTION

– Getting outside for your daily dose of vitamin D (sunshine is great for strong bones)
– Eat plenty of calcium rich foods like milk, yogurt & cheese
– Eat a balanced diet containing lots of fruits and vegetables
– Exercise in your early years if you know you have a family history
– Exercise as regularly as possible to improve bone strength
– Speak to your local physiotherapists about a tailored plan to increase bone strength

 

The team at Progressive Sports & Spinal Physiotherapy are an experienced team who can talk you through your treatment options and assess your scenario.

If you’d like to take the first step to preventing or better managing your osteoporosis, contact the clinic today on (02) 4721 7798

Suzanne graduated from Western Sydney University with a Bachelor of Health Science (Sports and Exercise Science) in 2015. She then went on to continue her studies at Macquarie University graduating from the Doctor of Physiotherapy post-graduate degree in June 2019.

Since graduating, Suzanne has worked in the local Penrith area in both private practice and Sports Physiotherapy. Suzanne has worked with sporting teams including Penrith District Netball Association, Mt Druitt Rangers (NPL), Penrith Valley Figure Skating Club, and local dance and cheer schools. 

Suzanne has a particular interest in working with artistic athletes including cheerleaders and dancers. She has a professional background in both cheer and dance and has previously worked as both a cheer coach and dance teacher. Suzanne’s previous experiences are an invaluable resource to her as a physiotherapist, as she has a thorough understanding of the level of physical fitness and skill acquisition that these athletes must have in order to be successful on stage and in competition.

Suzanne’s other areas of clinical interest reside in lower limb musculoskeletal injuries, spinal pathologies and women’s health.

Nathanial graduated as a physiotherapist in 2012 which saw him work in private practice and hospital settings gaining experience in all areas of physiotherapy including hand therapy, splinting/casting, pre/post-operative care, Men’s Health and general musculoskeletal, occupational and sports physiotherapy. Since then he has gone on to complete further studies in physiotherapy enabling him to be the only dual titled Musculoskeletal, Sports and Exercise Physiotherapist in Penrith.

Nathanial has a strong background in sports physiotherapy achieving accreditation with NSWIS as a service provider and working with many elite sports teams.

Nathanial has a particular interest in working with elite athletes, complex cases and in particular assessment and management of knee, hip and shoulder pain.

Andrea graduated from the Australian Catholic University completing her Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science in 2018 and Master’s of Clinical Exercise Physiology in 2020. After graduating she attained accreditation with ESSA as an Exercise Physiologist.

During her studies she gained clinical experience in both hospital and private practice settings, working in the cardiac rehabilitation program, heart failure service and mental health unit at Nepean Hospital. And at the ACU Exercise and Lifestyle Clinic working with clients with neurological conditions, cancer and chronic musculoskeletal injuries.

Since graduating, Andrea enjoys working with a variety of clients. She has a particular interest in treating musculoskeletal injuries and neurological conditions, striving to help people increase their functional capacity to get them back to work, sport or the things they love doing.