Bone Health and the Osteoporosis Plan in Toronto
Bloor Jane Physiotherapy & Active Rehabilitation offers “The Osteoporosis Exercise Plan,” a non-pharmacological approach to maintaining and improving bone health. Bone loading is the new way to prevent and combat the thinning bones of osteopenia and osteoporosis.
In the Osteoporosis Exercise Plan, the primary goal is to reduce the risk of falls and fractures. Improving balance, strengthening muscles, stabilizing and decompressing the spine, learning to control body movements, increasing general conditioning and improving the tensile strength of the bones all add up to reducing the risk of a fracture.
Performing the specific osteoporosis exercises in a logical progression is important to both safety and effectiveness. Just doing weight-bearing exercises and more walking is too simplistic. Certain movements should be avoided, such as bending the back. How to strengthen the paraspinal muscles within these safe parameters is the challenge.
Exercises in the Osteoporosis Exercise Plan have been researched and designed by Ruta Janson, an experienced physiotherapist, and supervised by knowledgeable health care providers. There are many, and they are unique, but they all incorporate Wolff’s Law, the muscle contraction principle to stimulate adjacent bones. The exercises promote bone growth in those areas where, statistically, most common fractures occur: the hip, spine, ribs and waist. Doing exercises individually or in a group is challenging but doable. Every participant is given a physiotherapy assessment to determine their ability and to customize their exercise plan.
Osteoporosis and Bone Health – Frequently Asked Questions
What Are the Risk Factors for Osteoporosis?
Slender or small boned
Low calcium diet
Low physical activity
Ovaries removed or menopause before age 45
Vitamin D deficiency
Too much caffeine or alcohol intake
Family history of osteoporosis
Prolonged use of some medications, such as cortisone, prednisone or anticonvulsants
What Is the Cause of Osteoporosis, and How Can I Prevent It?
There is no one known cause of osteoporosis, but there are many predisposing risk factors. It is a silent disease, only identified by a bone density test. Asking your doctor for the non-invasive test is only the beginning. Maintaining a calcium and vitamin D-rich diet and starting an osteoporosis exercise program is essential.
Is There an Organization That Helps People With Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis Canada is the only national organization serving people who have or are at risk for osteoporosis. The society is a non-profit organization that partners with health care professionals in the community to increase awareness about the disease and assist in creating and marketing programs to aid people with osteoporosis.
Where Can I Find an Exercise Program for Osteoporosis?
The Osteoporosis Exercise Plan is a unique program offering safe exercises and education for those recently diagnosed with osteopenia or osteoporosis. Physiotherapists specially design it for those who require a gentle strength, balance and coordination exercise program under supervision.
If I Have Never Exercised Before, Is the Osteoporosis Exercise Plan Right for Me?
There are various difficulty levels to each exercise in the Osteoporosis Exercise program, and a supervising physiotherapist will assess your ability to perform at your appropriate level. Complaints of pain, stiffness or previous injuries may require a program’s postponement until you are ready. The physiotherapist will help you determine when to start, at what level to start and when to progress to a higher level.
Does the Osteoporosis Exercise Plan Take the Place of Walking Daily?
No. Although walking is an excellent weight-bearing activity for people with osteoporosis, jogging, aerobic classes, dancing, stair climbing, and skating are also weight-bearing exercises. The Osteoporosis Exercise program adds resistance training, as well as specific exercises, such as spinal stabilization and balance. Yoga adds other important elements, such as stretches and core stabilization. All are required to get more fit and stay strong.
I Have Had Spinal Fractures and/or Have Broken My Hip. Is It Safe for Me to Participate in the Osteoporosis Exercise Plan?
Yes. You will be assessed by an experienced physiotherapist who will make that determination. You will be supervised while exercising. If you have any difficulties, just speak to the physiotherapist.
If you want to get started with your osteoporosis plan, contact us today.