Osteoporosis is a condition that occurs when the body does not have the necessary bone density needed to adequately withstand the stresses placed upon the skeletal system from varying forces in day to day life. It is also known as "brittle bone disease" and individuals who have been diagnosed with osteoporosis are more likely to suffer bony damage from a fall or trauma. Osteopenia is a weakening of the bone that is still defined by bone density levels but is not as severe as osteoporosis.
In generalized terms, weight bearing stimulates bone growth and muscle activity drives bone reabsorption. This balancing act begins to fall apart in individuals who are nutrient deficient or who may not have enough bone stress to stimulate good bone health. This eventually leads to osteopenia and if left untreated, osteoporosis
Physical therapy is important for these individuals in order to add weight bearing back into their lives safely and effectively but also to address any pre-existing injuries or bodily dysfunction that may have caused the lack of activity and weight bearing in the first place. When working on a weight bearing program it is important to know what type of weight bearing is safe for a patient and how to adequately apply stress to the bony system without causing additional injury. We won't just provide our patients with good exercises to help stimulate more bone growth/density, we also help correct the underlying problem so that it won't be an issue for the patient moving forward in their recovery and beyond.