Osteoporosis: Don't Let it Break Your Back

As children we grew up with the mantra, "step on a crack, break your mother's back.”  In the back of our heads and, depending on the day, we avoided cracks like the plague. Now, as adults, we're avoiding a different kind of crack!...the kind that comes after a misplaced step causes a fracture due to weakened bones. You may even have the infomercials for Life Alert memorized.  The phrase, "I've fallen and I can't get up," rings terribly true and you begin to wonder...what can I do to prevent (or recover!) from these cracks and tumbles??

Osteoporosis is an ailment that weakens bones and bone tissue, leaving bones weak and susceptible to breaks. While there are osteoporosis sufferers of all genders and ages, the disease usually affects post-menopausal women and seniors due to the gradual loss of bone density that occurs due to lowered estrogen levels and the aging process. The best way to combat osteoporosis is to live a healthy lifestyle from a young age (peak bone density levels are reached around age 25) but physical therapy can help cases of fully developed osteoporosis or healing from fractures due to this condition. 

How Physical Therapy Can Help

Generally osteoporosis is diagnosed when a fracture due to low bone density occurs, but if there's a history of the disease in your family or if you're a senior or post-menopausal woman, there's a high chance you might have a significant level of bone loss. Preventative care is always a favored plan over recovery and a weight lifting regimen can actually help strengthen your bones, making fractures caused by osteoporosis less likely to occur. 

When you're already at risk of fractures due to low bone density you want to begin a weight training program under the careful supervision and planning of a physical therapist. Beginning this preventative training program on your own or with a personal trainer won't be as beneficial as working with a physical therapist. With your bones already weakened and at a high risk for fractures it's better to be safe than sorry; work with a physical therapist you trust to strengthen your bones and gain control over your body in order to minimize risks of a fall. 

Most osteoporosis related fractures are to the hips, back, and wrists. These breaks, especially the hips, can be terribly debilitating. Physical therapy is necessary in not only recovering from fractures but in gaining strength to avoid further damage in the future. Without physical therapy, full recovery will be near impossible since your body is already producing lowered levels of bone density. If you want to stay as mobile as possible it's important to take your physical therapy recovery plan seriously as you heal from osteoporosis related fractures.  

Many patients suffering from osteoporosis are seniors on Medicare coverage, and you know how we feel about Medicare, which makes Sloane Stecker PT an obvious choice for your recovery! Physical therapists at both of our locations have a wide range of experience in working on both the preventative measures necessary for strong bones and pt routines to recover from osteoporosis related fractures. Whether you're in the Upper West Side or Irvington, we've got the physical therapist you'll need to prevent or recover from your osteoporosis related break. Keep the mantra alive, don't let osteoporosis break your (or your mother's...) back. 

(More insight on osteoporosis and physical therapy here