Most people are familiar with the use of physical therapy to help regain movement and mobility after specific types of injuries. Whether from a car accident or a sports injury, physical therapy can be a wonderful and effective form of rehab that helps people get back on their feet much quicker. However, did you know that physical therapy can also be used to treat osteoporosis? For many people, their first introduction to physical therapy takes place after they have experienced a fracture to the spine, hip, wrist, or ankle from an impact that typically would not result in an injury. This commonly happens in older adults and those who are showing early signs of osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is a metabolic disease that reduces that amount of bony tissue in the body. In some instances, people experience an actual thinning of the bones throughout the body. When this happens, the body’s skeletal system is compromised and people become more prone to accidents and injuries. Because the thinning of the bones can cause the body to become weaker and unstable, it puts people at a much higher risk of getting hurt. So, what does this have to do with physical therapy? For starters, physical therapy aims to strengthen people’s muscles and limbs overall, helping them recover from a wide range of injuries or ailments, including osteoporosis.
Benefits of Physical Therapy Before a Fracture
Perhaps shockingly, thin bones are the cause of 1.5 million fractures every single year in the United States. Furthermore, hip fractures alone result in more than 300,000 hospitalizations. This is why it is important to diagnose osteoporosis early, as doing so will enable people to take proper steps to lessen the risk of fracture. Injury prevention is a huge part of rehabilitation and people who have osteoporosis should be proactive by working with a physical therapist well before they experience an injury. If you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis, you should plan for your future and start making the following changes in order to prevent injury:
- Learn how to lift items without using your back
- Learn how to move without twisting your spine
- Learn about the various fall prevention strategies to keep you safe at home, work, and on the go
- Start doing exercises that will keep you safely active
- Ask for help with certain tasks
These are just a few tips that will help you prevent sustaining a serious, debilitating injury because of your bones thinning due to osteoporosis.
How Can Physical Therapy Help?
Your physical therapist will likely develop a specific program based on your individual needs that will be designed to help improve your overall bone health as well as help you avoid fracture. Some of the ways in which physical therapy can help those with osteoporosis include the following:
- Teach you specific exercises to build bone strength or decrease the amount of bone loss
- Teach you proper posture
- Teach you how to improve your balance in order to reduce your risk of falling
- Teach you how to adjust your environment in order to better protect your bone health
To learn more about how physical therapy may help those in the early stages of osteoporosis, please contact Classic Rehab today. We are committed to helping you achieve your optimal health and wellness and are here to answer any questions you may have about physical therapy, aquatic therapy, or any other treatments we offer.