Exercise for your bone health.
Sometimes calcium and supplements alone may not be enough for OSTEOPOROSIS. Exercise is vital at every age for healthy bones and is an important part of an osteoporosis prevention and treatment program. Not only will exercise improve your bone health by putting calcium and minerals where there needed, but it also increases muscle strength, coordination, balance and leads to better overall health.
Like muscle, bone is living tissue that responds to exercise by becoming stronger. Young women and men who exercise regularly generally achieve greater peak bone mass (maximum bone density and strength) than those who do not. We have until about age 30 to reach peak bone mass. After that time, we can begin to lose bone. Women and men older than age 30 can help prevent bone loss with regular exercise.
The Best Bone Building Exercise
The best exercise for your bones is weight-bearing exercise. This is exercise that forces you to work against gravity, such as walking, hiking, jogging, stair climbing, tennis and dancing. Some examples of non-weight-bearing exercises are swimming or bicycling. However, these exercises, as well as many weight-bearing exercises, have excellent cardiovascular benefits.
If you have health problems, such as heart trouble, high blood pressure, diabetes or obesity, or if you are over age 40, check with your doctor before you begin a regular exercise program. The optimal goal is 30 minutes to an hour at least four times per week.
Listen to your body. When starting an exercise routine, you may have some muscle soreness and discomfort at the beginning, but this should not be painful or last more than 48 hours. If it does, you may be working too hard and need to ease up. STOP exercising if you have any chest pain or discomfort, and see your doctor before your next exercise session.
If you have osteoporosis, it is important that you consult with your doctor to learn which activities are safe for you. If you have low bone mass, experts recommend that you protect the spine by avoiding exercises or activities that flex, bend or twist the spine. Furthermore, you should avoid high-impact exercise in order to lower the risk of breaking a bone. You also might want to consult with an exercise specialist to learn the proper progression of activity, how to stretch and strengthen muscles safely and how to correct poor posture habits. An exercise specialist should have a degree in exercise physiology, physical education, physical therapy or a similar specialty. Be sure to ask if he or she is familiar with the special needs of patients with osteoporosis.
A Complete Osteoporosis Program
Remember, exercise is only one part of an osteoporosis prevention or treatment program. Like a calcium-rich diet, exercise is a strategy that helps strengthen bones at any age. But these approaches may not be enough to stop bone loss caused by lifestyle, medical conditions or menopause. It is important to speak with your doctor about medications that can help keep your bones strong. See next page for information about our Complete Osteoporosis Program.
Speak to your Doctor or Therapist about our comprehensive OSTEOPOROSIS treatment program.
Osteoporosis Treatment Program
Physical Therapy plays an essential role in the treatment of Osteoporosis. When combined with medication, physician supervision, diet, and exercise, physical therapy can significantly help increase bone mineralization and prevent fractures.
Aspen Rehabilitation Physical Therapy offers a Comprehensive Osteoporosis Treatment Program which includes:
DECREASING VERTEBRAL STRESS
By increasing joint mobility. Treatments including gentle joint mobilizations, muscle energy techniques, and very specific exercises to increase thoracic mobility.
With stretching for tight structures anteriorly and strengthening posterior postural muscles.
IMPROVING SHOULDER AND NECK JOINT MOBILITY
With joint mobilizations, muscle energy, strain/counterstrain techniques and strengthening exercises.
Through the expansion of the rib cage treatments including manual techniques for rib modality and breathing exercises.
To prevent falls by improving posture, hip/knee/ankle mobility, strength, and balance reactions.
FALL PREVENTION EDUCATION
INCREASING MUSCULAR SUPPORT OF JOINTS
At Aspen Rehabilitation Physical Therapy, the patient is evaluated and treated for posture, rib cage expansion, strength, mobility of joints, alignment, flexibility, balance and endurance. Patients with osteoporosis often experience associated low back pain, cervical pain, bursitis or tendonitis of the hips and shoulders. All of these can be successfully treated through specific manual techniques and osteoporosis exercises.
Manual physical therapy techniques, exercises, and patient education can significantly reduce the risk of vertebral and hip fractures. Our prevention and treatment program will continue to help our patients treat their osteoporosis, and prevent postural changes, fractures, and loss of independence after discharge from the program.
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The Osteoporosis Prevention and Treatment Program at Aspen Rehabilitation Physical Therapy is recognized and covered by Medicare.