Exercise and Osteoporosis

Exercise and Osteoporosis

Do you suffer from Osteoporosis? Did you know that exercise can be an effective tool in managing and preventing Osteoporosis?

An estimated 924,000 Australians have Osteoporosis (OP), representing 3.8% of the population. OP is a condition that affects both men and women; it occurs when the bones lose minerals, such as calcium, more quickly than the body can replace them3; leading to a loss in bone density.

Without proper management, OP can increase the likelihood of a serious fracture with a fall. Fractures due to OP can result in chronic pain, disability, loss of independence and premature death1.

 So how can exercise help to prevent and manage OP?

Exercise is a powerful tool in preventing and managing OP. If you have been diagnosed with Osteopenia (the stage before osteoporosis) exercise may help to reverse this. However, even if you have been diagnosed with OP, exercise can be an effective tool in maintaining bone density and preventing fractures.

Exercise, the facts:

  • reduction of bone loss
  • conservation of remaining bone tissue
  • improved muscle strength
  • Improved balance through improved reaction time, improved co-ordination, improved leg strength – therefore reduced risk of falls and fracture
  • increased mobility
  • reduced pain
  • better mood and vitality2

What type of exercise is best for OP3?

  • Weight-bearing activities i.e. tennis, stair climbing increase bone-mineral density more than just walking
  • Resistance training i.e. weights – as tolerated, that does not aggravate pain. Weights should be lightly and gradually increased.
  • Balance training – to improve balance and reduce the risk of falling and fracture

Things to remember3:

  • Avoid high impact and explosive movements
  • Avoid exercises that include loaded flexion and rotation
  • Avoid non-weight-bearing exercises – these have no impact on bone density

It’s important to come and speak with our Exercise Physiologist, Vanessa, for an appropriately prescribed exercise program to address your bone health, whilst keeping you safe and avoiding injury. Please call us on 9529 8600 for more information today.

References:

  1. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. 2021. Osteoporosis, What is osteoporosis? – Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. [online] Available at: <https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/chronic-musculoskeletal-conditions/osteoporosis/contents/what-is-osteoporosis> [Accessed 26 October 2021].
  2. Betterhealth.vic.gov.au. 2021. Osteoporosis and exercise – Better Health Channel. [online] Available at: <https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/osteoporosis-and-exercise#benefits-of-exercise-for-people-with-osteoporosis> [Accessed 26 October 2021].
  3. Exercise Right. 2021. How can exercise help osteoporosis. [online] Available at: <https://exerciseright.com.au/osteoporosis/> [Accessed 26 October 2021].