Bone health concerns everyone.
Some common health conditions contribute to low bone density. These include:
• Anyone on bed rest exceeding several days
• Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
• Parkinson’s disease
• Cystic Fibrosis
• Cancer (especially when the reproductive organs are involved)
• Ankylosing spondilitis
• Down’s Syndrome
We tend to take our health and healthy bones for granted. Although a large percentage of senior women have low bone density and are at an elevated risk of fracture, both men and women have to take care of their bones.
The sooner you start, the better it is for your skeleton. Strong bones reduce the risk of fractures in the future.
There is a growing preference for more natural ways to strengthen bones rather than using pharmaceuticals. Physiotherapy can play an important role in the prevention and management of osteoporosis.
Physiotherapists are trained to assess a person’s needs and identify an exercise program that is both effective and safe for the treatment and management of osteoporosis. We have the knowledge, training and skills to address this important and growing need.
An exercise program can increase bone strength. However, some exercises increase the possibility of a vertebral fracture. It is important to get the right guidance and education. This is where a Physiotherapist can guide you safely through your program. Physiotherapy can help you improve the health of your bones.
Physiotherapy intervention includes, but is not limited to, some of the following:
• Optimizing posture and body alignment (especially important before we start to load the body through strength training)
• Core stabilization
• Breathing technique
• Safety tips for exercising
• Reviewing all aspects of daily activities that can place the spine at risk
• Safe and effective flexibility exercises
• Safe and effective core strengthening exercises
• Individualized strength training that incorporates all the elements needed to stimulate bones
• Balance training and fall prevention
• Cardiovascular recommendations based on your fracture risk
Exercise in the water can be very beneficial. The resistance of the water helps strengthen muscles and it is safe even when balance is an issue.
by Erna Stassen (originally appeared on www.focusonhealth.ca)