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