What we’ll cover
  1. What is osteoporosis?
  2. What can I do to prevent osteoporosis?
  3. What weight bearing exercises should I do?

What is the best way to deal with osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a common disease that is regularly referred to as a “silent” disease. When osteoporosis or osteopenia develops, there are no obvious symptoms with the bones gradually becoming more brittle and prone to fracture. Physiotherapists are well placed to assist in prescribing tailored and specific exercises to improve your bone density.

What is osteoporosis?

Our bones are constantly changing with our optimal bone mass occurring in our 20s. Day to day activities and exercise are constantly putting forces through our bones. Putting sufficient forces through our bones stimulates cells known as osteoblasts and osteocytes that create and lay down more bone. As we get older, some of our bony cells begin to dissolve. When bone loss outweighs new bony formation, osteopenia (mild) or osteoporosis occur.  The most common bones to experience bone loss are our weight bearing bones of the femur (thigh), spine and wrists.

What can I do to prevent osteoporosis?

It is never too late to start exercises aiming to improve bone density. Weight bearing exercises have been shown to maintain and improve bone density. This includes any exercise that has our full body weight going through our joints including walking, running, dancing and gardening.

However increasing research has actually shown that the type of weight bearing exercise is important. Depending on your exercise history, low level weight bearing exercises such as walking may not actually be enough to  stimulate bone cells and improve bone health. We now understand that weight bearing exercises to prevent osteoporosis need to be higher impact and create more force than what your body is accustomed and used to. For example, whilst regular walking is a great exercise, if your body had adapted to this regular force, weight bearing through walking is insufficient to create more bone mass.

Performing higher impact and dynamic weight bearing exercises at least two to three times a week has been shown to be the best way to improve bone density. Higher impact weight bearing exercises can include activities such as running, skipping, jumping.

What weight bearing exercises should I do?

Introducing power or quicker movements can be a great way to incorporate dynamic weight bearing exercises. These can be modifications of exercises that you may already be doing. Importantly, these changes or progressions need to be relative to what you may have previously done.

Incorporating quicker and powerful movements into your program is a great way to challenge yourself and improve bone density. However, be mindful that putting more stress through the bones naturally also increases more stress and strain through other structures including joints, ligaments and tendons. Your physiotherapist is well placed to provide a safe and specific exercise program for you to perform two to three times per week.

Try the exercises below. You may notice that just making a slight change, not only makes the exercise much more challenging on both our musculoskeletal system but even our respiratory and cardiovascular system.

Sit to stand with a stomp

  1. Sit on a comfortable secure chair
  2. As you rise to stand up, stomp firmly on the floor with both feet
  3. Stand up quickly as tall as possible
  4. Repeat this exercise 10 – 15 x. 2 – 3 sets.

Jumping squats or lunges

  1. Standing with your feet shoulder width apart
  2. Squat down to a comfortable position
  3. Stand up quickly allowing your feet to leave the ground
  4. Aim to land softly with your hips, knees and ankles in line
  5. Repeat this exercise 10 – 15 x. 2 – 3 sets

At Malvern East Physiotherapy, our team have a number of supervised on-line and face-to-face options to assist you getting stronger and preventing a loss of bone density. Our Clinical Strength and Strength and Balance classes have been proven to assist and improve bone density for a wide variety of different ages and exercise history.

To book an appointment with one of our physiotherapists, call us today or book online.

Follow us
on instagram

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.

Enter your email below to subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date with clinic news and the latest tips and advice from our team of physiotherapists.