Osteoporosis is a common disease that affects people of any age and gender. However, women are at greater risk than men. Approximately 55% of Americans who are 50 and older are affected by this disease. Osteoporosis causes a thinning and weakening of the bones and thin bones are the cause of more than 1.5 million fractures each year in the United States.
Let’s take a closer look at Osteoporosis. It is a bone disease that is characterized by low-bone density, decreased bone strength and a change in the bone structure. All of these characteristics lead to an increased risk of fractures. Fractures from osteoporosis and low-bone density can be serious and painful which affects a person’s quality of life.
There are many risk factors for Osteoporosis and it is crucial for you to understand the risks and create a proactive treatment plan. These risk factors include controllable and non-controllable.
Non-controllable risk factors are:
- Petite Body Frame
- Mature or Advanced age
- Preexisting Medical Conditions
Controllable risk factors are:
- Excessive Alcohol Use
- Excessive Caffeine Intake
- Cigarette Smoking
- Inactive Lifestyle
- Lack of weight-bearing activities/exercises
- Poor health
- Low vitamin D levels
- Calcium-poor diet
As far as symptoms, osteoporosis doesn’t really have any outward symptoms. Some clues to diagnosing the disease are fractures that occur from things that shouldn’t normally create a fracture. Some examples of this are breaking a hip after falling, breaking an ankle after stepping off a curb or even breaking a rib while opening a window.
Diagnoses for osteoporosis consist of a specialized x-ray called the DXA which measures bone density. The results from the DXA are reported using T and Z scores. T-scores compare your score to that of a healthy 30-year-old adult while Z-score compares your bone mineral density to the those of the same weight, age and sex. Other methods of measuring bone density might also include x-ray, ultrasound and CT scan.
So why should a see a physical therapist for osteoporosis. At Oklahoma Physical Therapy, our professional therapists will create a customized treatment plan based on your needs which will hep to improve your overall bone health allowing you to avoid fractures. The treatment plan will include exercises that will build bone or slow bone loss and the two types of exercises that are effective for bone health are resistance and weight-bearing.
Resistance exercises consist of weight lifting, water resistance, exercise bands and gravity resistance exercises such as yoga and push-ups.
Weight-bearing exercises consist of jogging, dancing, heel drops, racquet sports and stomping.
Our trained physical therapist at Oklahoma Physical Therapy will work with you to:
- Build bone or lesson the amount of bone loss through exercise
- Improve your posture
- Improve your balance to avoid falls
- Educate you on exercises and movements to avoid such as sit-ups or crunches, excessive spinal or hip twisting
Contact Oklahoma Physical Therapy either by phone at 405-749-6281 or online at www.oklahomaphysicaltherapy.com/make-appointment to make your appointment with one of our trained physical therapists.