Osteoporosis is a condition that results in loss of bone strength, making bones more fragile and more prone to fracture.
Osteopenia is essentially lower bone density, where bones have lost some mass and strength. In osteopenia the bone density is between normal bone density and osteoporosis.
These conditions occur when bones lose minerals,such as calcium, more quickly than the body can replace them. This leads to loss of bone thickness (also called bone mass or density).
This is a normal part of ageing for everyone however some women develop osteoporosis early because of illness or hormonal deficiencies. Because the bones become thinner, even a minor bump can cause a fracture.
High intensity weight bearing exercise
Weight bearing exercise is the key to good bone health. This includes fast paced walking, running, tennis, dancing, skipping, jumping, high impact aerobics and team sports such as netball. Walking at a fast pace and jogging have been found to help strengthen bone mass but sedate and slow walking may not be enough. Fifteen minutes of weight bearing exercise, four times per week is helpful for bones.
Strength training uses resistance of some kind to create load, which helps to build muscle mass. This also places load on bones which leads to increased bone formation at the site where the load is greatest. Ideally strength training programs should be performed regularly, 2-3 times per week.
How physiotherapy can help
High impact loading and strength training activities provide the most benefit for improving bone mineral density. Our physiotherapists can provide assistance with bone strengthening exercises and falls prevention. Or if you have already had a fall/fracture, our physiotherapists can tailor an exercise program to suit your needs as part of your rehabilitation.
If you have sustained an injury from playing tennis or are just keen on a targeted, individualised injury prevention program book in with one of our Physiotherapists today!
Melbourne Sports Physiotherapy
Melbourne Sports Physio has a range of qualified and experienced professionals who can help provide ongoing support and treatment. Our friendly team are located in across Melbourne in Essendon, North Melbourne and Blackburn South, and appointments can be made by calling or booking online.