Osteoporosis is the slow but gradual degradation of bone density within an individual’s body. Although a very common condition all its own, certain factors of an individual may make them more prone to acquire osteoporosis later in life. Such factors are, but are not limited to:
Age- Bone density peaks at age 30 and declines thereafter. Those over the age of 50 are more likely to develop osteoporosis.
Gender- Women are at higher risk.
Previous Injuries- If you’ve broken or fractured bones throughout your life, osteoporosis may be more likely.
Ethnicity- Studies have shown those of European or Asian descent are at a higher risk.
Lifestyle- Smoking and heavy drinking can lead to Binge drinking, or an overabundance of alcohol.
Diet- A diet low in calcium and vitamin D can increase your risk.
One of the alarming things about osteoporosis is that the initial symptoms may not make it obvious to the individual that they, in fact, have the condition. Most individuals who have osteoporosis find out after an injury, such as a light fall that resulted in a conspicuous break or fracture. This is because, in most cases, osteoporosis does not cause any inherent symptoms until the initial break or fracture.
1. The major symptom to look out for osteoporosis is varying levels of pain around the site of the break or fracture. However, other physical symptoms typically occur after the initial break or fracture.
2. One may notice that their height may be affected. This can be attributed to the bones slowly losing their density and strength. The bones themselves will begin to take on a porous nature, similar to that of a sponge, and as a result, outside factors will impact the individual more than before. With the weakening of the bone structure as a whole, an individual will also start to experience chronic back pain, as it becomes more difficult for the body to support its own weight.
3. One last symptom to look for is a decline in one’s posture. As osteoporosis starts to take hold, one will start to develop a “stooping” posture, where one starts to involuntarily lean over, causing an unnatural curvature of the spine.
Although frightening, osteoporosis is treatable and manageable. Physical therapy can help provide a wide variety of benefits for those living with osteoporosis, no matter what stage. A physical therapist at Madison Physical Therapy will design a tailored program in order to achieve multiple goals including:
Balance training in order to prevent dangerous falls.
Exercises designed to improve bone density and/or prevent further bone loss like resistance training and weight-bearing exercises.
Protecting bone health during everyday activities
At Madison Physical Therapy, we provide physical therapy for a wide variety of sports injuries, conditions, and diseases like osteoporosis. Our experienced team works with patients living all over Brooklyn including Sheepshead Bay and Bay Ridge by helping to manage and improve their bone health. Contact us today to see how we can help you!