What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a disease affecting the bones. People with osteoporosis have bones that are more fragile and more prone to breaking. This is due to decreased mineral density and bone mass in the osteoporotic bone. It affects both genders and all races but white and Asian women post menopause are at the highest risk from the disease.
What are the symptoms of Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis develops over time and is one of the "silent diseases" - you may not notice any changes until your bone breaks. It is therefore important to look for the early signs of osteoporosis:
- receding gums
- weaker grip
- brittle nails
If you feel you might suffer form any of these and or have a family history of osteoporosis it is advisable you contact your GP to organise a bone density scan to get the accurate picture of your bone health.
In later stages people with osteoporosis can develop these symptoms:
- back pain or neck pain
- fracture after fall
- stooped posture
- loss of height
How can physiotherapy help to treat osteoporosis?
Physiotherapy is an effective method to prevent and treat osteoporosis. Through specific exercises the bones and muscles get stronger and your balance improves which decreases the chance of you falling.
During an appointment for osteoporosis in our clinic we will:
- assess your strength, balance and mobility, take your vocational and social history, history of any previous falls or medical conditions
- based on that we will make an exercise program to address any issues regarding balance or mobility and introduce you to the specific osteoporosis exercises program - we usually follow the LIFTMOR exercise program protocol which is an evidence based program specifically developed to treat osteoporosis
- we will talk to you about falls prevention if appropriate