Osteoporosis & the effects of impact exercise

Many of us have heard the word “osteoporosis”, but what does it actually mean? Some questions that may come to mind are “Is that the same as osteoarthritis?” “How could this affect me?” “How do I fix it?”

What is Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a bone disease that affects the quality and density of your skeletal bones1 and

can increase the risk of fractures (breaks) in your bones when you get injured or fall. You may have also heard “osteopenia”, which is a diagnosis for someone with low bone density, the milder form of osteoporosis. There are a few risk factors that can predispose you to developing osteoporosis, such as:

  • Low calcium diet

  • Autoimmune disorders (such as Coeliac’s disease)

  • Long term corticosteroid use

  • History of falls

  • Older age

Is it reversible, and can I fix it?

Osteoporosis is most commonly diagnosed by a Bone Mineral Density Scan. The results of your scan can be dramatically improved and can return to normal density with appropriate exercise & diet adjustments. This is where Nextmove comes in, not just ANY activity will improve bone density (although it may be helpful), it must be either progressive resistance training or high impact activity (rebound, jump/land activities)2.

As physiotherapists we also understand these exercises need to fit in and remain manageable with any other ongoing niggles or injuries. Whether that may be low back pain, knee arthritis or tennis elbow, our physio led reformer Pilates classes and one-on-one strength and conditioning sessions take this into consideration and adjust our exercises to best benefit YOU.

Jump-board Pilates is a great solution to this – providing impact exercise for your bones, in a supported position that helps you manage any other niggles.

To get the most benefit out of this type of training, it is also recommended that it is performed in a progressive way (gradually more challenging), at least twice a week (up to four times a week) to show the most significant improvements.

If you would like to learn more about how we can improve your strength and reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis, come in and have a chat to one of our experienced physiotherapists in the clinic or give us a call on 9307 1244.

1. Todd JA, Robinson RJ. Osteoporosis and exercise. Postgraduate medical journal. 2003 Jun 1;79(932):320-3.

2. Beck BR, et al. Exercise and Sports Science Australia (ESSA) position statement on exercise prescription for the prevention and management of osteoporosis. J Sci Med Sport (2016), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jsams.2016.10.001

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