Exercise for Osteoporosis
Diagnosed with Osteoporosis or Osteopaenia?
For the most part 90% of us reach our peak bone density in our early 20’s. From our late 20’s it is a slow and steady decline where we don’t build much more bone strength on top of this.
Osteoporosis is the term we use when our bones become more brittle and porous and often isn’t diagnosed until we unfortunately have a fall or knock that results in a fracture.
Key facts about osteoporosis
· 8.9 million fractures occur annually from osteoporosis
· Most Osteoporotic fractures occur at the forearm, hip and spine
· There is a reported mortality rate of 20-24% within the first year of a hip fracture
· 40% of people post hip fracture are unable to walk independently
So what exercise should I do?
The body is a wonderful structure that has the ability to adapt itself to the stresses we place on it. To build stronger bone, we need to put it under stress and to some degree it is as simple as “use it or lose it”. There are 3 types of exercise mainly used to address osteoporosis.
1. Weight bearing/impact training
Weight bearing exercise and impact exercise places enough stress on the bone to help build new bone. Examples include Jogging, running, hopping and skipping. Walking and brisk walking alone, although weight bearing, are not vigorous enough to stimulate substantial bone growth. Cycling and swimming have minimal to no substantial effect.
2. Strength training
Stronger, larger muscles mean greater pull on the bones they attach to and help to stimulate more bone growth. Any exercise using heavy machine weights or free weights that bring you close to fatigue are adequate to significantly build your strength and are safe for all ages!
3. Balance training
Falls prevention is key in osteoporosis. In most cases, a fracture will occur from sudden impact usually occurring from a fall. Training balance is important to become more agile to avoid obstacles, be able to catch ourselves when we stumble and to be prepared when something external throws us off balance.
It is important to train balance whilst standing, moving and performing multiple tasks at once.
At Lilyfield Physiotherapy our Fitbones classes are extremely popular and very social for our elderly clients keeping them strong and improving their balance reactions. Book an appointment for an assessment to help keep you moving safely.
Benedetti, M. G., Furlini, G., Zati, A., & Letizia Mauro, G. (2018). The Effectiveness of Physical Exercise on Bone Density in Osteoporotic Patients. BioMed research international, 2018
Nguyen, V. (2017). Osteoporosis prevention and osteoporosis exercise in community-based public health programs. Osteoporosis and Sacopenia, Vol 3:1, P 18-31