Osteoporosis, also known as low-density bone, is a medical condition that causes disability and various complications in patients. It happens when normal bone thins and becomes porous as a result of poor nutrition or aging, reducing the bone’s ability to withstand pressures applied during daily activities. If left untreated or unidentified, this disease can be silently progressive, with no obvious symptoms until complications such as fractures occur. The wrist, arm, spine, and hip bones are the most commonly fractured in osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is more common in older women because bone loss increases after menopause due to lower estrogen levels. This increases the risk of fractures associated with falls, which are also caused by poor posture and rotational and flexion-type movements.
Physiotherapy at home effectively treats and manages osteoporosis by strengthening bones and muscles, assisting in pain management strategies, and improving balance and posture.
Physiotherapy’s Role in Osteoporosis Management
In spite of the fact that physical therapy won’t heal a broken bone, it can improve your chances of a successful recovery. Physiotherapists are trained professionals who treat osteoporosis by using different methods to relieve pain and assist in recovery. There is no single exercise program for people with osteoporosis. Each regimen is specially tailored for the individual patient based on a medical evaluation of range of motion, fitness level, muscle strength, fracture risk, balance, and gait. The main aim of physiotherapy at home is:
- To aid in the management and prevention of osteoporosis while minimizing the risk of complications.
- To build or strengthen bones and muscles in order to prevent bone loss and injury while remaining independent.
- Balance training is provided, and a program to help reduce the risk of falls is developed.
- To teach proper postural alignment and body movement to prevent spine fractures while doing daily activities such as lifting, forward stooping, and bending.
Physiotherapists use external devices such as bracing to improve posture and promote healing. They also employ various pain-relieving modalities.
Strengthening and range of motion exercises
Physiotherapists use a gentle range of motion and strengthening exercises to improve overall posture. Increased flexion through the thoracic spine causes gradual fractures and vertebral wedging. Poor posture aggravates these conditions. Maintaining a good posture through a gentle range of motion and strengthening exercises can help to keep healthy mobility of the upper back and core.
Because exercise strengthens bones, a physiotherapist creates an appropriate exercise program that can reduce the risk of falls and fall-related fractures. Exercise bands and gravity resistance exercises, such as single-leg heel raises, squats, and prone trunk extension with a cushion to protect the lowest ribs, lunges, push-ups, and sustained standing positions in neutral spine position, are all part of exercise programs.
Exercising with Weights
Lifting weights and low-impact exercises can reduce the risk of fracture by increasing overall stability and bone strength. People suffering from osteoporosis are afraid to engage in strengthening and other strenuous exercises. To improve strength on a daily basis, bones must be subjected to loads greater than those they can withstand. Weightlifting can be done with proper spine and lower-extremity alignment. Weight-bearing exercises like stomping, heel drops, dancing, and jogging are also performed under supervision.
Balance and Coordination Training Exercises
Coordination and balance exercises can also help reduce the risk of falling. These exercises help to improve balance when walking on uneven surfaces or in tight spaces. Exercising on both balls and placing challenges throughout the walk can help to improve and maintain balance.
What to Avoid:
- Avoid exercises that put you at a higher risk of injury.
- Excessive hip or spinal twisting, forward or side bending, and any type of sit-up or crunch should be avoided.
- Exercises that overstrain or under strain the bone or muscle should be avoided.
If the symptoms are not treated, they may worsen. Normally, bone strength is determined by measuring bone density with a DEXA scan. This data can be used to forecast the risk of fracture in the future. Osteoporosis is defined as a score less than -2.5. If you have osteoporosis or are at risk of developing osteoporosis, consult your physiotherapist. Physiotherapy at home in Kolkata provides top-tier, professional physiotherapists who are experts in providing the best advice and treatment for osteoporosis and various other health conditions.