Physiotherapists can help you do more than overcome pain and accomplish fitness goals; they can also help you create a custom exercise plan designed to help prevent osteoporosis and bone fractures. They can tailor your fitness regimen in a way to help improve your bone health, bone density, core stability, balance, and posture.
For one thing, physiotherapists can examine you to determine your risk for getting osteoporosis. First, they can review your medical history, diet, hormonal history, exercise plan, family history, and medication. Next, they can give you a thorough physical exam to detect any early signs of osteoporosis.
Based on the results of your exam, physiotherapists will create an exercise plan that includes certain exercises to build bone density, improve balance, and help you maintain good posture. They can also teach you how to modify your environment to reduce the risk of falling or other mishaps that might result in bone fractures and long-term pain.
What Types of Exercise are Best for Maintaining Healthy Bones
The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends both weight-bearing exercises and muscle-strengthening exercise. The ideal bone-strengthening exercise plan will include a mix of both kinds of activities.
What is the difference between weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening? Weight-bearing exercises are activities that make you work against gravity while standing up. Muscle-strengthening exercises cause you to work against gravity while sitting, lying down, or standing up.
Weight-bearing exercises can be classified as either high-impact or low-impact. In general, high-impact exercises will have a higher stress on your bones while low-impact exercises will have a milder stress on your bones. If you are experiencing bone density problems, physiotherapists recommend opting for low-impact weight-bearing activities which will be easier on your bones.
High-impact Weight-bearing Activities for Healthy Bones:
Low-impact Weight-bearing Exercises for Healthy Bones:
Speed walking outdoors or on a treadmill
Using elliptical machines
Using stair-step machines
Besides weight-bearing activities, you can do muscle-strengthening activities to boost your bone density. In general, muscle-strengthening exercises involve physically moving a weight or your body against gravity.
Muscle-strengthening Activities for Healthy Bones:
Using weight machines
Simple movements like standing and rising up on your toes
Lifting hand weights or dumbbells
Lifting your own body weight
Using elastic exercise bands
Yet another way you can increase your bone density is by including non-impact exercises into your workout regimen. Physiotherapists can teach you non-impact activities that will boost your posture, balance, and basic body movement functions. Some balance exercises include Tai Chi as well as many types of dancing. These activities can strengthen your core, increase your sense of balance, and strengthen your legs.
Posture exercises are another great exercise to include, since they strengthen your spine and protect it from injury. An additional type of non-impact exercises are categorized as functional exercises. These are simply the daily activities that you might have trouble with like climbing the stairs or standing up after sitting in a chair for a while.
By incorporating these tasks into your exercise routine, with the help of a trusted physiotherapist, you may be able to minimize the risk of osteoporosis and future bone fractures. When you do these activities on a regular basis and as you go about your days, this will contribute to a long, healthy, pain-free life.