Reduce Your Risk of Osteoporosis: Learn Preventative Exercise Tips

May 19, 2016 by Liz

by Meryle Richman, PT, DPT, MS, CST, RYT
Ivy Rehab

Osteoporosis is a disease affecting approximately 10 million men and women in America. It is the progressive loss of bone mineral density. With bone loss over time the bones become weak and brittle leading to the increased likelihood of fractures, and bone deformation. The cost to our nation’s economy can be as much as 13 billion dollars per year in lost productivity and health care costs.

Who is at Risk for Osteoporosis?

Eighty percent of those with Osteoporosis are women. Women over 65 years of age are at much greater risk than men for Osteoporosis. Anyone diagnosed with Osteopenia, low bone density and a precursor to Osteoporosis is at greater risk. Other risk factors include women who are white or Asian, postmenopausal, cigarette smoking, sedentary lifestyle and some medication. Also women who have had long-term menstrual problems or have mineral absorption problems may also be at risk.

What can happen if you have Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis causes a hunched forward posture and the formation of a hump, in the middle back and decreasing height. Poor posture and muscle tension due to the hunched posture can contribute to the increase of falling because the person’s center of gravity is shifted forward. Weak and brittle bones increase the likelihood of fracture during falls or fractures of the spine.

Some symptoms that may be caused by Osteoporosis include back pain, poor posture, lost height and decreased mobility. Anyone over 65 or postmenopausal women should be screened for osteoporosis even if symptoms are not present. Doctors will perform bone density scans to rate the persons bone density and determine their diagnosis based on that scan.

Tips on how Physical Therapy can help Osteoporosis:

1. Physical therapy can be utilized to manage to progression of Osteopenia, Osteoporosis and their symptoms. The patient’s goals include prevention of bone loss and increasing bone density.

2. According to the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), “The right exercises and good habits can keep bones strong and prevent or reverse the effects of osteoporosis. Weight-bearing exercise, such as walking, is an important way to build and maintain healthy bones. Muscle strengthening exercises have been found to stimulate bone growth and can help prevent and treat osteoporosis. These types of exercises are best if started early in life and done regularly. However, it is important to remember that you can begin exercising at any age and still reap great benefits”.

3. Avoid exercises and daily activities which round the spine, such as sit-ups, crunches, bending down to tie your shoes, certain exercise machines that involve forward bending of the trunk, and even movements and sports that round and twist the spine. Instead, hinge forward from your hips, while keeping your back straight.

4. Practice balance exercises (even at a wall or holding on) to reduce falls and resulting fractures. An individualized program may include a walking regimen, Tai Chi, yoga, Pilates and other exercises geared toward conditioning, balance, and coordination.

5. The APTA recommends: Using proper posture and safe body mechanics during all activities protects the spine against injury. Here are some tips:
– Keep your back, stomach, and leg muscles strong and flexible.
– Do not slouch.
– Use good body positioning at work, home, or during leisure activities.
– Ask for help when lifting heavy objects.
– Maintain a regular physical fitness regimen. Staying active can help to prevent injuries.

6. Always consult with your physician or physical therapist before beginning an exercise program, if you have osteoporosis, are at high risk for a fall, fracture, or have a medical condition that might affect your ability to exercise.

If you would like to be seen right away for learning how to set-up an exercise program, prevent an injury or chronic pain under Direct Access (no prescription is required), contact us at: www.ivyrehab.com.

Ivyrehab accepts most insurance plans (which our office obtains pre-approval from your insurance carrier) and will submit your office visit treatments for payment. You will be responsible for your co-payment depending on your particular insurance policy.
With one-on-one care this permits the therapist to construct a personalized program for the individual. After all, when it comes to rehabilitation, “it’s all about the people”.

References:
1. National OP foundation, www.nof.org/osteoporosis.
2. Meeks, Sara Walk Tall. Triad Publishing Company (FL); 1st edition (June 15, 1999).
3. Bassey E. Joan, Exercise for prevention of osteoporotic fracture. Age and Aging. Nov. 2001: 29-31.
4. Rahmani, Poupak, Morin, Suzanne. Prevention of osteoporosis-related fractures among post menopausal women and older men. CMAJ. 2009:181; 815-820.
5. American Physical Therapy Association, Bone Health.http://www.moveforwardpt.com/Resources/Detail/bone-health-2

Osteoporosis: A Safe Way To Exercise

April 3, 2014 by Liz

Osteoporosis and Exercise
Osteoporosis is a systemic skeletal disorder, with a reduction of bone mass. A as result this predisposes an individual to be at increased fracture risk. (NIH Consensus Development Panel on Osteoporosis Prevention, Diagnosis and Therapy JAMA 2001:285:785-795). Exercise is one of the important keys to help prevent the changes in posture, help restore loss of body height, increase muscle strength with an emphasis on core strength and improve balance to reduce the risk of falls.

After being diagnosed with osteoporosis, the question quickly becomes what exercises should I do? It is important to address some basic concerns for types of exercise that are not safe. First and foremost, any exercise that emphasizes trunk bending is contraindicated, side-bending and trunk twisting should be done with caution. When working out in the gym or independently, avoid any exercise that involves the above trunk movement especially exercise that combines these movements. It is important to avoid knee to chest exercise, toe touches, straight leg raise or raising both legs together. Use caution when working out in the gym on any seated exercises using machines. The rule of thumb is to avoid machines that cause increased compression on the spine or bend the spine. It is also important to warm up with stretching exercises prior to beginning weightlifting or weight training exercise

Walking is an excellent exercise because it promotes weight bearing through the hip joints. It strengthens the bones with different forces. You can also walk backwards, sidestep; walk on uneven surfaces (for example, grassy surfaces or a hike in the woods) and inclines additional exercising can be Yoga and Pilates are also excellent forms of exercise, but this should be modified if you are diagnosed with Osteoporosis.

On April 9, 2014 pm Wednesday, 1:00 – 2:00 pm Caron DuBois, PT, MS will present a free lecture on “Osteoporosis. Learn Safe Ways to Stretch and exercise” at Briarcliff Physical Therapy at Briarcliff inside Club Fit.

If you have questions, please call 914-245-8807 or 914-962-2222 for more information or free consultation. Visit our website at: www.ptrehab.com

Information used and/or adapted from the course OSTEOPOROSIS:A Comprehensive Treatment Strategy with permission of SARA MEEKS SEMINARS, P.O. Box 5577, Gainesville FLA