We provide a physiotherapy led service for the management of osteoporosis and osteoporotic fractures, in Central London. We can accurately assess the risk of osteoporotic fracture and identify whether there is a potential need for bone scanning and drug management.
Consisting of a carefully graduated exercise programme of strengthening and balance exercises, physiotherapy can effectively improve pain, function and quality of life. This can be beneficial for individuals to slow down the progression of osteoporotic bone loss, reduce the risk of fractures and falling, and to help rehabilitate after a osteoporotic fracture.
Providing guidance and education will enable the individual to understand their long term condition more fully and lead to increased confidence in everyday life.
We work closely with medical experts in osteoporosis and will refer on to them for further management if necessary. We also have links with dieticians if dietary advice is needed.
Osteoporosis is a disease characterised by low bone mass and structural deterioration of bone tissue, which results in the bones becoming fragile and more susceptible to fractures (NICE, 2012).
In the UK, 1 in 2 women and 1 in 5 men over 50 years of age will suffer from an osteoporosis related fracture. Although osteoporosis is largely genetically determined, there are a number of associated risk factors and modifiable lifestyle factors which can be addressed to manage or prevent the disease.
Our bones are living tissue and constantly change throughout our lives. From birth until young adulthood, our bones are developing and strengthening. Our bones are at their most dense in our early 20’s.
As we age, some of our bone cells begin to dissolve, while new bone cells are deposited. This process is known as bone remodelling.
From our 40’s onwards the cells responsible for dissolving the bone become more active and our bones gradually lose their density.
Women lose bone density faster in the years following the menopause when oestrogen levels drop.
For people with osteoporosis the amount of bone growth is not enough to keep up with the amount of bone loss. This results in the bones becoming porous and brittle and therefore more prone to fracture (International Osteoporosis Foundation).
There are several known factors that increase the risk of developing osteoporosis and suffering osteoporotic fractures, including:
Treatment of osteoporosis involves managing the risk factors of osteoporosis, including drug management, nutritional supplements, physical activity and lifestyle modification.
The best way to manage osteoporotic fractures is to prevent them from happening, and the best way to prevent them from happening is to identify those at risk, to manage the risk factors and to increase specific exercise.
Physical activity, particularly weight bearing and specific strengthening exercise, have been shown to be beneficial for improving bone density and therefore mechanical bone strength.
Exercise has also been shown to improve posture, co-ordination and to reduce the risk of falls, in addition to improving general physical health and wellbeing.
Physiotherapy intervention, primarily consisting of a carefully graduated exercise programme, has been shown to be effective for improving pain, function and quality of life for individuals with minimal trauma osteoporosis related vertebral (spinal) fractures.
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