Do you fear falling and breaking a bone as you get older?
Are you anxious about staying mobile or doing your favorite activities as you age?
Are you worried that you’re not moving around as easily as you used to?
Do you have concerns about your bone health now that you have entered menopause?
Losing mobility as you age is a scary thought for some people.
Not being able to do basic things such as walk the dog, chores around the house or spending time with the grandkids is a huge loss to someone who has been independent for many years.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom and this doesn’t have to be your future!
We’ve spoken to hundreds of patients who have experienced poor mobility due to osteoporosis and have been told by their doctor that it’s just part of getting old. They were given medication and told to rest and take it easy. More often than not, this does not solve the underlying issue and only adds to the misery of pain and suffering.
The Good news: There are things that you can do to prevent osteoporosis with exercise!
And: You can increase your mobility & decrease your risk of falls with the help of specialized physical therapy.
Read on to see how we can help you!
As your body begins to move through menopause, your levels of estrogen begin to drop. As these levels decrease, you begin to lose bone density as estrogen plays an important role in bone health. Decreases in bone density can increase your risk of breaking or fracturing a bone (but there are natural things you can do to counteract this!)
Here are some eye-opening statistics regarding aging and bone loss
- Women typically lose about 10% of their bone density within the first five years of menopause.
- 1 out of 2 women over the age of 50 will break a bone
- Odds of breaking a hip equal to the combined risk of breast, ovarian and urinary cancers
- 1 out of 5 older adults will die within a year of breaking a hip
What can you do to prevent bone loss
There are many things that you control which will help reduce the risk of osteoporosis and bone loss.
- Increase your vitamin D levels – check with your doctor to determine what level you should be at. Sunshine is one of the best sources of Vitamin D (but everyone in the northern hemisphere needs to supplement this through fall and winter).
- Increase your calcium – again check with your doctor to confirm how much and what sources for this important mineral you should be taking.
- Reduce alcohol consumption
- Quit smoking
- Exercise with the right types of Movement – You can increase your mobility with the help of physical therapy & the right prescription of strength training & weight bearing exercises which do not cause pain and feel great.
Watch the following video as Dr. Megan explains the importance of weight bearing movement and how physical therapy can help.
Exercise and Movement for Osteoporosis Prevention – may be the most important piece of the puzzle
As physical therapists, we are experts in body movement who work with you to help solve the puzzle of your concerns and worries. We have found that movement and exercise is such a key piece to increase bone strength and mobilitiy. Studies have found that consistent balance training, strength building and weight bearing exercises done 3 times a week can help reduce risk of issues due to loss of bone density.
Weight bearing exercises work your muscles and bones to keep you upright. These activities will have your feet on the ground and will require your body to keep you vertical while working your joints, bones and muscles. High impact exercises such as dancing, hiking, stair climbing, tennis, high-impact aerobics and jogging can all help with bone density.
If your doctor says to avoid high-impact activities or you have pain with doing so, low-impact activities such as fast walking, elliptical, stair machine or low impact aerobics can also be helpful, or even stomping your foot as if you’re crushing a can for 5 repetitions daily. If you’re having to modify things much or if pain is holding you back, that’s also when it’s important to meet with a Physical Therapist to find out what’s going on so you can get back to exercising pain-free!
A full body progressive strength training program is consistently shown to be helpful to improve bone density. If you do have significant osteoporosis, avoid exercises that have you really bending forward such as crunches or standing toe touches (spinal flexion). Exercise that strengthens your back extensors or keeping your spine neutral are best, as well as general full body strengthening. Many people do not need to worry about modifying things though so please know that we are here for you to pick our brains so you can get this clarity!
As women age and move through menopause, they can become more vulnerable to osteoporosis and the risk of falls and fractures due to bone loss. Many women do not know where to begin or what type of exercise schedule is best for them. The good news is…
It doesn’t have to be that way. We can help!
We are movement experts and our specialized team at Balance Within PT, can create a custom movement plan for you to assist with balance and strength training to reduce your risk of falls and developing osteoporosis (and to make sure that your exercises feel great and aren’t painful). Life is too short to suffer with bone loss which may lead to falls and time away from family and the activities you love. We can help and look forward to talking with you and create a customized plan for you.
For more information on the importance of regular physical activity, read our blog, Regular Physical Activity Can Prevent And Improve Many Chronic Conditions – Balance Within Integrative Physical Therapy In Delafield, Wisconsin (balancewithinpt.com)
For more information on how physical therapy can help you prevent Osteoporosis, falls & make sure you stay feeling young while along your aging journey, click here to talk with one of our physical therapy & women’s health specialists.
We offer many solutions to common women’s health concerns like prolapse and incontinence, visit our women’s health webpage to learn more details.
We are also hosting a FREE Women’s Health Workshop at Good Harvest Market on February 28th from 5:30-7:00 PM. This workshop, Building a Better Core from the Pelvic Floor Up, will address many menopausal issues and concerns such as bone loss and provide you with tips to try at home to help ease many of your symptoms. Click here to sign up today.
Follow us on social media for more information and clinic updates
YouTube Channel Balance Within – Integrative Physical Therapy – YouTube