Marketplace Physical Therapy treats the most common type of bone disease in Women, Osteoporosis. New research indicates that 20% of women over the age of 50 have Osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is the thinning of bone tissue and loss of bone and can develop in patients in two different ways.
- 1. A patient’s body can start failing to produce new bone.
- 2. Lack of vital nutrients in a patient’s system can cause current bone to be reabsorbed by the body.
In extreme cases, both scenarios can exist at the same time.
The dangers of Osteoporosis are often masked as other injuries. Osteoporosis can take a simple sprain injury and turn it into a broken bone. About half of women over the age of 50 will have a fracture of the hip, wrist or vertebra (bones in the spinal column). There is a 100% chance that you have fallen down in your life. Chances are these falls resulted in little or no long-term injuries. However, women facing the effects of Osteoporosis have an astronomically higher likelihood of serious injuries.
Here’s a recent patient example:
A little over a year ago Marketplace Physical Therapy Corona started treating a 58 year old woman who was walking into the supermarket and tripped over a parking space curb. She broke her fall with her right hand and broke her forearm in three places. She explained that her fall really wasn’t that bad. Her doctor did a DEXA scan and the results of her bone density scan were extremely poor.
After a year of this patient following our Physical Therapy advice, this patients new DEXA scan showed a significant increase in bone growth!
Four Strategies to prevent an injury
Warning: We do not recommend you trying these exercises without the presence of a trained health professional, preferable a Physical Therapist.
1. Resistance Exercise
Weight bearing exercises in the form of free weight, resistance machines or elastic bands are extremely effective in packing on dense bone material. When bones are stressed by increased pressure they respond by adding a layer of bone to protect themselves. Deciding which exercises to do can often depend where you have lost the most bone. However, it is a good idea to start exercsing major muscle groups like legs, back, chest, and shoulders. The exercises in these groups tend to put pressure on every single bone in the body.
2. Balance Exercises
At Marketplace Physical Therapy we implement a very serious set of Balance exercises. If patients can increase the likelihood of preventing a major fall then the effects of a fall can be eliminated. Typical exercises include balancing on a BOSU ball, bird dips with elastic bands, static lunges while your Physical Therapist tried to tip you over. In addition the therapist will teach you techniques on how to fall on areas with dense muscle that will cause the least amount of damage.
3. Weight Bearing Exercise
Numerous studies show that walking, jogging, riding a stationary bike, or playing tennis can help slow down the rate of bone loss. This is why every person that goes through our Osteoporosis Program starting with at least 15 minutes of cardiovascular exercise at the beginning of every visit.
4. Nutritional Advice
Calcium and phosphate are two minerals that are essential for normal bone formation. Throughout youth, your body uses these minerals to produce bones. If you do not get enough calcium, bone production and bone tissues may suffer because the bone does not absorb enough calcium from the diet. Make sure to get at least 1,200 milligrams per day of calcium and 800 – 1,000 international units of vitamin D3. Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium.Your doctor may recommend a supplement to give you the calcium and vitamin D you need.
Follow a diet that provides the proper amount of calcium, vitamin D, and protein. While this will not completely stop bone loss, it will guarantee that a supply of the materials the body uses to form and maintain bones is available.
Conclusion: We hope these four strategies give you enough confidence to fight back against Osteoporosis.
FYI: Remember that patient who broke her forearm in three places. After a year of following our advice, she just completed another DEXA scan and the results showed a significant increase in bone growth.