What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a condition where the bones become weak and brittle leaving one vulnerable to fracture in the event of a fall or other physical stressor. Osteoporosis-related fractures most commonly occur in the hip, wrist or spine.
Bone is living tissue that is constantly being broken down and replaced. Osteoporosis occurs when the creation of new bone doesn't keep up with the loss of old bone. The process of healthy bone regeneration occurs through adequate loading of the skeletal bones with appropriate nutritional uptake of certain nutrients such as calcium and vitamin D.
A number of factors can increase the likelihood that you'll develop osteoporosis — including your age, lifestyle choices, medical conditions, hormonal factors and other treatments.
How is Osteoporosis treated?
A number of treatment options are available for osteoporosis. Both medication and lifestyle modification can lead to increases in bone mineral density and reversal of the condition. Bisphosphonates are a type of medication that can be taken either in pill form or by injection less frequently. Osteoporosis can also be treated by regular load bearing exercise. The right type of exercise as an essential component for keeping your bones healthy and strong throughout your life.
Assessing your diet for calcium and vitamin D intake and making appropriate adjustments are recommended whilst also undertaking an exercise program with gradual increases in loading. Exercise has other important additional benefits, such as increased muscle strength and coordination, decrease risk of falls and trauma leading to fractures.
Other lifestyle measures (stopping smoking, modest alcohol consumption, and maintaining an adequate body weight) are also important.
How can an Exercise Physiologist help?
People with osteoporosis can experience a number of benefits from a thoughtful and closely monitored exercise program. An exercise physiologist will assess your current physical ability and guide you through the process of finding the most beneficial and enjoyable exercise to get you strengthening your body and bones.