How Physical Therapy can Aid in Osteoporosis Prevention

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Osteoporosis

In the United States, over 10 million people have osteoporosis, which is a weakening of bones due to a lack of bone density. Engaging in a balance of these three exercise categories can help build muscle and bone mass to prevent brittleness and breaks in the future:

Weight bearing

Placing stress on a bone during exercise sends bone tissue into high alert, where they create more cells in response. These denser cells create denser bones, making breaks due to brittleness less likely.

  • Power walking – your quads, calves, and Achilles tendon work together in this exercise
  • Racquet sports – gripping and swinging tennis racquets or ping pond paddles places appropriate stress on your arms, writs, and shoulders
  • Dancing – requiring 360 degrees of movement, dance and other rhythm-based exercise works muscles, tendons, and bones in brand new ways. Try kickboxing, aerobics, or step exercising at the gym, or check out your community center for classes in dances like the foxtrot or samba.

Resistance

While weight bearing works against gravity, resistance training works against the weight of another object. Strengthening muscles and building bones, these types of exercises both increase bone density and reduce the threat of fractures:

  • Water exercise – providing resistance from all angles, water exercises like aqua jogging or aerobics minimizes pain on achy joints will putting healthy stress on muscles that can take it
  • Resistance bands – portable and lightweight, these bands can travel with you so you can work your muscles in a full range of motion and build muscle and bone strength anywhere

Flexibility

Stretches that lengthen and strengthen muscles create proper strain that builds bone density, engaging major and minor muscles and preparing your body to handle more strenuous activity in weight bearing or resistance exercise categories.

  • Yoga – deep stretches engage large muscles and place healthy stress on major bones in your hips, wrists, and shoulders.
  • Pilates – blending both strength-training and weight-bearing exercises, Pilates use their body’s weight to through a series of moves designed to lengthen and tone muscles

At Core PT, we can help you develop an exercise program to help you age well. In the state of Iowa, most insurance providers don’t require that you have a doctor’s referral to see a physical therapist. If you’re ready to end your back pain, make an appointment with us today!

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