Physioworks Health Group: Can Exercise Really Reverse Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis (OP) occurs when there is a loss of minerals from the bones, usually in the form of calcium, causing bones to become weakened and fragile increasing the likelihood of breaks.

Osteoporosis is most common in the over 60’s age bracket, where 1 in 2 women and 1 in 3 men will have at least one osteoportic related fracture at this stage of life.

Osteopenia is the step before osteoporosis, and is defined as a reduction of Bone Mineral Density (BMD), which will then lead to osteoporosis.

However some people, particularly slender females, may have naturally less bone mass compared to normative values which can again lead to osteoporosis usually when BMD naturally begins to reduce with age.

A Dual X-ray imaging scan (DEXA scan) is used to assist with diagnosis of both osteopenia and osteoporosis, as well as determine the severity of bone mineral density loss.

At Physioworks Health Group our Exercise Physiology team believe “That Exercise really is a medicine for chronic disease affecting so many of our older adults”.

Exercise is proving to be a huge contributor in assisting the reduction of osteoporotic related fractures (see case study and references below).

In our clinics we have seen increases in BMD, stopping and/or reversing OP in some clients, results that research, and doctors, are now starting to support.

At our Cranbourne clinic over the last 12 months, three (3) of our clients, all women and over the age of 60, have been attending weekly Exercise Physiology sessions.

Since attending and completing specific exercise programs aimed at increasing BMD they have all shown vast improvement in their DEXA scan results. The results show that not only is there a stopping in the progression of their OP and osteopenia, but actually increasing their BMD, which is even surprising to their doctors. All of these clients have worked very hard to achieve these health improvements, in such a short time, and all of them intend to continue with their exercise programs.

Elaine Physioworks and Osteoporosis

OP Exercise Case Study: 

One year ago Elaine came in to see our Exercise Physiology team with no previous exercise experience aside from staying active around the house and in the garden.

Her goals were to prevent the progression of her osteopenia (reduction in bone mineral density); and to become fitter, healthier and stronger.

One thing Elaine was sure of was that she was NOT a runner.

One year on and Elaine has recently completed her first ever fun-run, running her fastest ever 5km in 30 minutes and 2 seconds; and she has never been fitter and healthier.

Further OP References:

Read more with these two articles from the Exercise Sports Science Australia (ESSA) Facebook page which further look at how exercise can assist with Osteoporosis (OP):

Would you like to improve your health with a tailored Exercise program?

Contact Physioworks Exercise Physiologist Megan Jepson on 5995 1111 for discussion on how our Exercise Physiology team can assist your health, fitness and general well-being.

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