What we’ll cover
  1. What is the difference between osteoporosis and osteopenia? 
  2. How do I know if I have osteoporosis? 
  3. How do I know if I’m at risk of developing osteoporosis? 
  4. What are some of the treatments for osteoporosis in older adults? 

Osteoporosis and osteopenia are medical conditions that are characterised by a reduction in bone density over time, which results in an increased risk of fractures. Decreases to bone density and bone health most commonly occur silently over time, often with no associated symptoms until fractures occur.  

This makes it especially important to not only identify your potential risk factors of these conditions but also to ensure that you take the necessary precautions to reduce the likelihood of developing osteoporosis.  

Our bones are constantly changing with cells that are designed to make new bone (osteoblasts) and cells that are resorbing bone (osteoclasts). Osteoporosis occurs when osteoclasts resorb bone at a higher rate than our osteoblasts create new bone, resulting in decreased bone density.  

To ensure the stimulation of osteoblasts and to maintain adequate bone density, resistance exercise and weight bearing activities have been found to be the most effective prevention methods.  

Physiotherapists are experts at developing a program specifically targeted at improving and maintaining your bone density. Our team at ME Physio work in conjunction with you and the members of your medical team, such as your GP, to safely address lifestyle factors, exercise and in some cases, medication.  

What is the difference between osteoporosis and osteopenia? 

Osteoporosis and osteopenia are both conditions that describe a decrease in bone density and bone health. The two terms are used to describe the severity and amount of bone density loss. Osteopenia is a precursor to osteoporosis and refers to a decrease in bone density, but not to a significant enough degree to be classified as osteoporosis. 

Both conditions are asymptomatic, often developing silently until symptoms such as fracture occurs.  

How do I know if I have osteoporosis? 

The only way to identify osteoporosis or osteopenia is through a bone density scan known as a ‘DEXA’. This is a non-invasive scan that looks at the bone density around your lower back, pelvis and hip. 

It is highly advised to investigate your bone density if you start to develop symptoms such as fractures, decrease in height, or an increase in stooped posture. However, it is recommended to investigate your bone density earlier if you are at a high risk of developing osteoporosis. 

How do I know if I’m at risk of developing osteoporosis? 

Common risk factors associated with the development of osteoporosis include: 

  • Menopause – especially early onset of menopause symptoms. 
  • Genetics – if you have a known family history of reduced bone density. 
  • Long term steroid use – common medications that have steroids include asthmatic medication. 
  • Age – a decrease in bone density and bone mass is commonly observed over the lifespan.  
  • Medical conditions affecting your ability to absorb certain food groups – this includes conditions such as Celiac Disease.  
  • Excessive alcohol consumption. 
  • Excessive smoking. 

What are some of the treatments for osteoporosis in older adults? 

The best treatment for osteoporosis in older adults is a combination of exercise, lifestyle changes, and in some cases, medication. 

An individualised exercise program including strength and weight bearing exercises is the most effective way to manage osteoporosis. There are a number of exercise programs specifically designed for osteoporosis, such as the Onero program.  However, recent research has revealed that it is most effective to develop a customised program specific for you since weight bearing exercise is relative to your previous exercise history. 

If necessary, your GP will speak to you about medication designed at slowing down the rate of bony resorption. This can include the use of medication such as Prolia, which is an annual injection designed to slow down Osteoclastic activity.  

If you are worried about your bone health or have recently been diagnosed with osteoporosis or osteopenia, our team at ME Physio are experts at delivering exercise programs specifically targeted at your bone health. To learn more about the best exercises for bone density click here. 

To book an appointment with our physiotherapy team to get started, call our friendly team or book online today. 

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Back to school 🔙📚

Last week we were fortunate enough to head back to uni and refresh our anatomy knowledge at @latrobeuni in the anatomy labs. 

Thank you to the Latrobe School of Physiotherapy for inviting us! 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.

You Deserve to Feel Good.

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