Thursday, 16 July 2015

Osteoporosis & Physiotherapy

As you age your bones naturally lose density, but osteoporosis can cause bones to become porous and brittle, which can increase risk of fracture.

This is mainly seen in people over the age of 50 and is particularly common in post-menopausal women. Osteoporosis is mainly dependent on gender, genetics and age as well as further risk factors including smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and inactivity.

There are no early signs or symptoms to determine whether you have osteoporosis, and it is typically not diagnosed until there has been enough bone loss for a fracture to occur. The most common areas of fracture are the hip, vertebrae, pelvis, tibia, radius, and humerus.

If you have no history of injuries or falls, continuous mild to severe back pain may be a concern and could potentially mean you are developing osteoporosis.

Risk factors for Osteoporosis
  • Eating disorders
  • Cancer and cancer treatments
  • Chronic renal failure
  • Early onset menopause
  • Rheumatic diseases
  • Chronic pulmonary disease
  • Thyroid problems
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Gastrointestinal Disease
  • Hepatitis
If a fracture occurs physiotherapy can help with the healing process. A physiotherapist will assess the problem and develop a specific physiotherapy treatment to strengthen your muscles and restore mobility.

Exercises include:
  • Weight-bearing - walking or load-bearing activities to improve bone density
  • Flexibility
  • Strengthening – weights or resistance bands used at targeted muscle areas
  • Postural – improved posture reduces the risk for falls
  • Balance
The exercises must be continued even after the fracture has healed, with the main aim being to restore stamina of the muscles.

At the UCLan Physiotherapy Clinic your Chartered Physiotherapist will treat areas requiring strengthening, teach you the necessary techniques and give you appropriate advice.

Should you need more specialist help, your physiotherapist will liaise with your doctor to ensure that you are referred for appropriate treatment.

For more details please click here or telephone 01772 894902.

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