The term osteoporosis (OP) literally means “porous bone” in Latin, and it refers to a condition that causes your bones to lose its strength and density. As your bones become weak, there is an increased chance of breaks or fractures. Depending on how far an individual’s condition has progressed, this could be a result of anything as rough as a fall down the stairs or as small as a sneeze.
Either way, if you are someone with OP or are at risk of developing OP, it is important to understand what factors are within your control to live your life safely and to the fullest.
What can I control and how can I reduce the risk of a complication such as a fracture?
There is no cure for osteoporosis, but there are some lifestyle changes that you can integrate to greatly reduce your chances of a break and live life happily and actively. Our basic suggestions are to:
- Get the recommended daily amount of Calcium and Vitamin D through a good diet
- Stop smoking
- Ask your MD about the pros and cons of hormone therapy if you are a woman
- Most importantly…EXERCISE!
Out of the four, the last is the easiest to control, but the hardest to do so sustainably.
What are the best exercises for osteoporosis?
If you are just beginning to put together an exercise plan to strengthen your bones, there are two separate categories to consider: weight-bearing exercises and balance exercises.
Weight-bearing exercises are performed when your arms or feet are fixed to another surface. They are considered the best way to promote bone growth as they cause your muscles to push and pull against your bones. This action tells your body to form new bone tissue!
Some excellent examples of weight-bearing exercises are:
- Climbing stairs
- Resistance training with resistance bands, dumbbells or machines
Balance exercises are crucial because the more control you have over your body, the less likely you are to fall and hurt yourself. A great beginner’s exercise that never seems to get easier is standing with your feet close together with your eyes closed or even standing on one foot. More advanced exercises can be learned alongside a skilled physical therapist.
How do I get started?
While osteoporosis can lead to serious side effects, the good news is that there is a lot that YOU can do to prevent those complications and help improve your bone health!
If you’re looking for where or how to get started with an exercise program that’s right for you, look no further than your local Queens Physical Therapists.
Here at ProMet PT, we can help you…
- Structure a customized exercise program that is tailored to your specific needs
- Improve your posture to protect your spine from a fracture
- Provide useful tips to ensure safety in the home or at work
- Improve your balance to reduce risk of falls
- Boost your confidence when going about your daily routine.
Come into our Glendale, Kew Gardens, or Manhasset office to learn more about how Physical Therapists can be your primary care providers for Osteoporosis!