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Physical Therapy And Osteoporosis

Both the diagnosis of osteoporosis and a bone fracture can have a paralyzing effect: You might find that you are scared to engage in activities that could potentially cause a new fracture or injury. Fortunately, following a rehabilitation treatment plan outlined and supervised by a physical therapist can not only getting you back on your feet, but also help you feel confident about doing so.

Osteoporosis Treatment: Advantages of Physical Therapy

If a person is afraid of falling or they fear another fracture, it may be time to get a physical therapist (PT). A PT can help the patient navigate the world into safe activities versus activities that may cause another fracture. A PT can also assist in helping the patient build some muscle tone in order to prevent future fractures.

For many people, their first experience with osteoporosis comes by way of a fracture to the spine, hip, wrist, or ankle from an impact that would not have caused injury in earlier years. Even rolling over in bed can cause vertebral (spinal) fractures for some people. This is when rehabilitation focuses on pain management immediately after the fracture and then on returning to an active lifestyle as the fracture heals.

For both wrist and hip fractures there is a lot of evidence that people don’t return to full function unless they go to PT after the sub-acute phase (about six weeks after injury). Studies show six months of progressive resistance exercises done three times a week and supervised by a physical therapist provides the best outcomes for patients with hip fractures.

Not all health insurance programs cover this amount of physical therapy, but it is beneficial to meet with a PT once a week and then do recommended exercises in a fitness facility as an alternative. However, supervision by a trained physical therapist helps to prevent additional fractures, so be especially cautious when exercising on your own.

A physical therapist can also help you to find the best fitting assistive device, such as a cane or walker, to use during your healing period. After a fracture, you might not need to use one for a long time, but a cane or walker can keep up your fitness during recovery and also reduce pain.

Osteoporosis Treatment: Physical Therapy Rehab Before a Fracture

Injury prevention is a part of rehabilitation, and ideally people with osteoporosis should work with a physical therapist before they experience an injury. If your doctor has diagnosed you with osteoporosis, you should start making the changes that will prevent an injury now. Such changes include:

– Learning how to lift items without using your back

– Learning how to move without twisting your spine

– Implementing fall prevention strategies at home, work, and on the go

– Identifying exercises that can keep you safely active

– Asking for help with tasks that require lifting heavy items or climbing

Preventing fractures before they happen is obviously best. But if you do suffer a fracture, healing properly and getting advice on how to prevent another one are going to be even more important, and that’s where a physical therapist can be your best ally.

Being a premier clinic for physical therapy in Chicago, we have been publishing useful welness tips on our website:MidwestChiropractic.com, so go to the blog to read more.

About Author
Dr. Ali Rafie is a board certified Chicago chiropractic physician and the owner of several multidisciplinary medical offices throughout the Windy City. Dr. Rafie considers it a priority to serve his community, which is why he regularly publishes articles covering a broad range of wellness topics.

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