What is osteoporosis and what causes it?

Osteoporosis is a common disease affecting over 1 million Australians. It occurs when bones lose minerals, such as calcium, more quickly than the body can replace them, causing a loss of bone thickness (bone density or mass). Osteoporosis makes the bones become more brittle leading to a higher risk of breaks than in normal bone.

“It is estimated that 3.8% of the Australian Population have Osteoporosis” (1)

What is the best treatment for Osteoporosis?

A combination of strength training and impact and balance exercise are evidence-based ways to improve and maintain your bone density. We prescribe exercise aimed at increasing bone mass. Specific exercise prescription will depend on your physical ability, preferences and the area of your body that is affected. If your balance is a concern, your therapist can assist you with exercises to prevent falls.

Other complimentary treatments may include;

  • Vitamin D supplements
  • Prolia injections
  • Dietary intervention

What are the benefits of treatment?

Unfortunately, once you have been diagnosed with Osteoporosis it is incurable, however, both physiotherapy and Exercise physiology are beneficial in the management of Osteoporosis.

  • Strength training exercises helps to strengthen muscle
  • Impact exercises: such as walking, stair climbing, jumping and hopping, target and affect mainly the bones in your legs, hips and lower spine.
  • Balance exercises can reduce your risk of falling especially as you get older.

Exercises such as swimming, cycling and exercising on machines such as elliptical trainers can provide a good cardiovascular workout, unfortunately they don’t improve bone health.

How can Physiotherapy and Exercise Physiology work together?

Here at Caboolture Physical Therapy Centre, our therapists will assist to give you better strength, increased confidence and better able to deal with day to day activities. As an additional bonus our inter-disciplinary health care team will work together to improve your overall bone health and get you back to doing the things you love.

Using physiotherapy in osteoporosis makes you better able to deal with day-to-day activities, can improve your general health and well-being and assist in the management of any other conditions that are limiting your mobility. This can include general mobilisation and stretching.

Your Exercise Physiologist will help you establish an exercise program to manage your Osteoporosis. Exercise can help you to build stronger bones and prevent falls from occurring. You

What happens if Osteoporosis is left untreated?

Left untreated, your osteoporosis will likely decrease. This means that if you do have a fall, you are more likely to have a fracture. The hip, wrist and spine are common sites for osteoporotic fractures.

reference: 1: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/chronic-musculoskeletal-conditions/osteoporosis/data