It can come as a shock, it can feel completely out of left field, and maybe even leave you bewildered.
Most people aren’t expecting to be diagnosed with osteoporosis, and some people don’t know what it is before they’re diagnosed.
For many, the diagnosis comes after a fracture or after a bone density scan.
So where do you go from here? What comes next? What changes do you need to make?
We’re here to take the guesswork out of it for you! Let us help you navigate and manage osteoporosis, so you can live well, move well and be well!
What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a condition that is characterised by bone loss greater than what is considered normal for someone’s age. This bone loss leads to low bone density and puts the individual at an increased risk for fracture.
Bone is a dynamic tissue that is constantly turning over, meaning that bone is always being broken down and new bone is being deposited - a process called remodelling. Through this process, our entire skeleton is replaced about every 10 years! In general, the rate of bone deposit is slightly higher than the rate of breakdown, but when the breakdown outpaces the new deposits, we see a loss in bone density, which can lead to osteoporosis.
|Bone density changes throughout our lifespan. During childhood and early adulthood our bones are growing and the greatest amount of bone density is amassed. Bone density then plateaus in late teens/early adult years. In later adulthood, it starts to slowly decrease.
Osteoporosis can be primary, meaning we don’t know the exact cause, or secondary where the bone loss is a result of another health condition or medication.
Most people don’t know they have osteoporosis or osteopenia until it’s picked up on a bone density scan, or they experience a fracture. Because of this, osteoporosis is often called the silent thief.
How is Osteoporosis Treated?
Osteoporosis treatment involves a combination of pharmaceuticals and lifestyle modifications. Treatment options vary based on each individual's degree of bone loss and their falls risk.
Currently, there is no cure for osteoporosis. Treatment focuses on maintaining and improving bone density and reducing the risk of falls and fractures. Regular bone density tests are used to monitor changes in bone density.
You may be asking yourself - What can a physiotherapy clinic do to help someone who has been diagnosed with osteoporosis?
Our team’s role in osteoporosis treatment & management is to provide education on osteoporosis, guidance on daily postures and positions that are harmful and helpful, provide exercise programming to help maintain and improve bone density, improve balance, and reduce the risk of falls. If there has been a fall or fracture, our goal is to get you back on your feet with your independence.
Exercise is a critical part of managing osteoporosis, and though we’re big supporters of movement & exercise, not all kinds of exercise and movement is safe for someone with osteoporosis. We help clients understand what types of exercise need to be in their regular routine to benefit bone density, increase muscle strength and reduce falls risk. With your involvement, we develop an individualised program that includes all of these aspects.
We’re not here to take away the sports, activities and recreation you love, we’re here to work with you to modify as needed to keep you moving! We’re here to help you move better!
Will Osteoporosis Management Help Me?
If you have been diagnosed with low bone density (osteopenia), osteoporosis, or are concerned about your bone health - we can help.
Meet Our Therapists Who Treat Osteoporosis
What Does Osteoporosis Treatment Look Like?
Treatment will start with an assessment with one of our BoneFit™ trained Physiotherapists. They’ll learn about your health history, including details of your diagnosis of osteoporosis or osteopenia, bone density scores, fall history and fracture history. In the assessment, we will discuss any symptoms you’re dealing with, your goals, current exercise and activities.
The assessment will include tests and measures that help track changes over time.
Your physiotherapist will use all of this information to develop a treatment plan that is specific to your needs. This plan may also include sessions with our Kinesiologist for further guidance on exercise and movement.
Treatment will include education, guidance on activity/exercise modification, exercise programming to help build & maintain bone density (strength training) and falls prevention (balance, strength, mobility).
What are the Benefits of Osteoporosis Exercise Management?
|Having a knowledgeable team on your side will help you navigate your diagnosis and live well with osteoporosis!|
Frequently Asked Questions About Osteoporosis Management
What are the main causes of osteoporosis?
No single cause for osteoporosis has been identified, but we do know some of the factors that have an impact on its development. Osteoporosis is sometimes referred to as a childhood disease that shows itself in adulthood - nutrition, activity levels through childhood and early adulthood will impact our peak bone density, and the greater our bone density peak, the better off we are as age related loss starts to occur. Nutrition and exercise in adulthood also have an impact on the rate of bone loss. Genetics, medications, and other health conditions can also impact bone density and the development of osteoporosis.
Can osteoporosis be cured or treated?
Osteoporosis can not be cured, but it can be treated. That’s what we’re here for - to help you manage your diagnosis and live well with osteoporosis.
What is the best treatment for Osteoporosis?
The best treatment for osteoporosis will depend on a number of individual factors including YOUR degree of bone loss, YOUR fracture risk and YOUR goals. Current research supports use of pharmaceuticals, exercise, and nutrition to manage osteoporosis. Working with a physician who specialises in osteoporosis management, as well as BoneFit™ trained physiotherapists and kinesiologists will help you to develop a plan that best meets your needs.
International Osteoporosis Foundation -All about calcium & calcium calculator
International Osteoporosis Foundation - Patient Resources
Osteoporosis Canada - Know your Risk Factors
CSEP - Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology - 24 hour exercises guidelines