Osteoporosis & Postural Education
Osteoporosis is a condition that is characterized by decreased bone mineral density and structural bone changes on the microscopic level. Osteoporosis is a silent disease because people are unaware of these bony changes until a fracture has already occurred. Because of these changes, those with osteoporosis or osteopenia (a condition of decreased bone mineral density in which the decreases are not significant enough to be classified as osteoporosis) are at increased risk of fracture. The lower one’s bone density, the more significant the risk of a fracture. Postural changes associated with osteoporosis can also impair function if not addressed.
How can physical therapy help?
Physical therapists not only treat individuals to help regain function and movement, but also play a role in education and prevention. A good time to see a physical therapist in regards to osteoporosis or with postural impairments is long before there is any evidence of the condition. People throughout their lifespan can receive benefit from physical therapy to address osteoporotic concerns.
The treatment plan of the physical therapist includes education, exercise recommendations suited to the individual’s needs, coordination and balance. These factors are also essential in preventing falls, which is important if you already have a risk of fractures. If a person has already sustained a fracture, physical therapy can play a key role in the rehabilitation of his or her mobility, strength and function, as well as education regarding proper body mechanics necessary for everyday activities to minimize the risk of future fracture. Physical therapists have the skills necessary to help people with osteoporosis avoid such events and empower them to enjoy their maximum level of function and independence throughout the lifespan and with all levels of bone density.