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    Osteoporosis and Physiotherapy

    Osteoporosis and Physiotherapy

    Osteoporosis or osteopenia is a common disease which affects over one million Australians.  It is often known as a “silent disease” with no obvious symptoms.  Osteoporosis or osteopenia occurs when bones lose minerals, such as calcium, faster than the body can replace it.  As a result, these bones become structurally weak and more brittle resulting in a higher risk of fracture and injury.  The most common sites around the body that are affected are the hip, pelvis, spine and the wrist.  Physiotherapists are able to assist with maintaining and improving your bone density.

    There are a number of risk factors which increase the likelihood of poor bone density.  These include early menopause or a family history of osteoporosis.  Fortunately there are other risk factors which can be influenced more readily including:

    • Inadequate physical activity.
    • Low calcium levels.
    • Low vitamin D levels.
    • Long term medication use (eg. corticosteroids have been shown to affect bone density).
    • Excessive caffeine (more than three cups of tea or coffee).
    • Excessive alcohol.

    Appropriate exercise is a crucial part of management and prevention of osteoporosis.  Exercise for maintaining and improving bone density should be regular and varied.  Strengthening and weight bearing exercises are great to include in an exercise program.  Weight-bearing exercises cause re-modelling of the bone, improving bone mineral density, and strengthening bone.  Some ideas to incorporate into your exercise program include brisk walking/jogging, balance exercises, Pilates, resistance training or dancing.  These exercises focus on weight-bearing, maintaining muscle mass and strength.  Exercises for bone density should be performed at least 3 times per week.  Over time, the degree of exercise should increase (weight used, intensity of exercise, duration of exercise are common changes to a program) to challenge bones and muscles.

    Additionally, if you have been diagnosed with decreased bone density, consider adding specific balance exercises to your program.  Research suggests that regular balance exercises can improve both standing and dynamic balance as well as improving reaction times.  With hip and pelvic fractures common from falls, improving your balance can dramatically decrease the likelihood of fractures.

    Your physiotherapist may liaise with your GP to discuss whether  investigations are required to examine your bone density.  Diagnosis of osteoporosis can be made via a dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry test (DEXA) scan.  DEXA scans are non-invasive involving a machine passing over your hip or spine.  Regular scans for those over 50 or at high risk of osteoporosis should be encouraged to monitor bone density levels.  Early detection can greatly assist in the management and preserving bone density levels.

    Importantly, if you are concerned about your bone density or the risk of osteoporosis, contact our team at Malvern East Physiotherapy.  Our expert team are well equipped to tailor an appropriate weight-bearing exercise program or recommend safe exercises to incorporate into your existing program.


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    Last week our team celebrated another great year. 

Whilst Melbourne’s weather had its own plans, we were still determined to keep with the theme of ‘Italian Summer’. We let our hair down to master the art of mixology 🍸🍹followed by an Italian feast. Friday morning Run Club with the team. Practicing what we preach!

Staying stronger, healthier and happier. This time last week, our team was nervously completing their final preparations for @melbmara . 

Congratulations to our physiotherapists and ME community who ran on the day.

Dilen and Michael completed their first marathons. Abbey and Lizzie smashed out their first half. Last Sunday, our team headed down to see our own Matt Warren win a premiership in the VAFA Premier Men’s Competition. Last week our team dedicated a full day to professional development and team building. At ME Physio we pride ourselves on collaboration to put you at the centre of everything we do. 

Our team covered the latest treatments for back pain, financial well-being and finished off the day with salsa dancing. 

Many thanks to our guests including James Schomburgk from @the2ndvisitphysio , Financial Planners Tony Vikram & Cameron Bishop and the @salsafoundation At ME Physio, our focus is on helping you get stronger so that you can keep doing the things you love.

For Tony and Joan, healthier and stronger is being able to navigate the iconic Coast to Coast Walk in the UK! We recently had the pleasure of hosting Elise Bujor from Women’s & Men’s Health Physiotherapy to discuss women’s health issues across the lifespan. 

Our team pride themselves on staying up to date to ensure you’re able to stay healthier, happier and stronger. Huge milestones over the past few weeks with both Tom and Jude from @delasallefc doing their first bit of running in their rehab. 

Tom is on the return from an ankle dislocation whilst Jude is putting in the hard work following a knee reconstruction. Last week our team enjoyed some friendly rivalry at the footy. 

With finals around the corner, some of our team can now safely make holidays plans for September. We recently had the pleasure of hosting the podiatry team from @sespodiatry. 

Our physiotherapists Michael and Abbey presented on rehabilitation following Achilles surgical repair and ankle surgery. Last weekend some of our team got together to complete the 10 km run @runmelbourne. There was no finish line picture as some were keen to run another 15 km!

Whilst running wasn’t for some - brunch was well received by everyone. Shoulder impingement can be incredibly frustrating and painful. 

Tony has been working closely with our physiotherapists Vernon and Dilen to get on top of his shoulder pain. His treatment plan has included hands-on physiotherapy and individualised exercises in our hydrotherapy and strength programs.

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