Receiving the diagnosis of osteoporosis or osteopenia (the early stage of osteoporosis) can be frightening and life-altering. It is the most commonly diagnosed bone disease, affecting at least 1 out of every 5 females over the age of 50. Osteoporosis results when the body no longer forms healthy bone, or when too much bone is reabsorbed into the body. During the normal aging process, calcium and phosphate are reabsorbed back into the body from the bones, which can weaken them and result in fragile, brittle bones. As the disease process progresses, the brittle bones can fracture even without trauma due to abnormal or increased forces encountered in everyday life. Trauma or injury can result in hip, wrist, vertebral (spine) fractures and further risk of falls and movement deficits.
Osteoporosis is common among post-menopausal women over 50-years old and men over 70-years old, due to hormonal changes. There are several other common causes of the disease, including a sedentary lifestyle, inadequate exercising or dietary habits.
Diet is important to maintain strong bones due to the significance of calcium, phosphorus, and Vitamin D. For a healthy diet, be sure to incorporate adequate levels of calcium (1,200 mg) and vitamin D (1,000 international units) daily, which are both critical nutrients for strong bones found in food and supplements.
Exercise is equally important to maintain strong bones. During cardiovascular exercise, light weight-bearing activities, or even muscle strengthening, the bones are subjected to forces that create new healthy bone, which in turn strengthens them. Exercise to improve posture, strengthen the muscles around the spine, and promote ease of mobility are indicated with such a diagnosis.
Physical therapy is beneficial for tailoring an individual exercise program in a safe and controlled setting. Physical therapy has been considered more effective than invasive surgeries to treat fractured vertebrae such as a vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty, which have found no long-term benefits regarding pain, disability, or quality of life. To begin physical therapy and actively help prevent the disease process of osteoporosis, or to manage your osteoporosis, contact Westwood Physical Therapy at 310-996-0085 receive treatment by physical therapists with extensive knowledge of osteoporosis and similar conditions.
Reference: New York Times