As we age, both men and women experience changes in bone composition. One such change, thinning (loss of mineral content) of the bones—typically in your lumbar spine and hip—tends to be experienced more frequently and to a greater degree by women, particularly following menopause when estrogen levels drop.
Types of Bone Thinning
Your treatment will depend, in part, on the severity of your bone thinning. Those with osteoporosis more likely will require prescription medication, a calcium-rich diet, supplements and a supportive exercise regimen. Those whose bone densitometry shows osteopenia—a milder form of bone thinning—will less likely be treated with prescription medication.
Building Strong Bones
Common medications you may be prescribed include Fosamax, Miacalcin, Evista or Boniva. Calcium-rich foods, such as dairy products, broccoli and fortified juices and foods, should be consumed regularly, along with a calcium supplement. Vitamin D, important for calcium absorption, can be obtained through sun exposure, vitamin D- rich foods or supplements.
We can work with you to find an exercise program to safeguard bone health and complement nutritional advice and medications prescribed by your doctor. Some possible recommendations include
• Exercises to increase bone mass (often weight bearing sequences such as walking or squats) and increase muscle strength;
• Guidance and education on body balance and posture; and
• Identification of risks at home or activities that may increase susceptibility to falls.
As part of a doctor-guided program, physical therapy to strengthen your muscles and bone density, improve flexibility and handle any related pain can help treat bone thinning, whether the loss is mild or severe.
If you want to strengthen your muscles and bone density, call us today at (650) 947-8500 to sign up for our Buff Bones class.
Buff Bones® is a medically-endorsed system of movement for bone and joint health.
It leverages bone-strengthening and balance techniques along with Pilates, functional movement, strength training and therapeutic exercise. Toning your arms, hips, back and abs, the Buff Bones® system also improves posture, is adaptable to varying levels, and is even safe for those with osteoporosis.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kim Gladfelter, MPT, OCS, FAAOMPT
Women's Health Physical Therapy Specialist at PhysioFit Physical Therapy & Wellness
Kim Gladfelter is a physical therapist, Pilates instructor, educator, author, and co-founder of PhysioFit Physical Therapy & Wellness. She is known as a keen, well-rounded expert of healing through movement and women’s health specialist in the Silicon Valley area.
Kim has helped men and women of all ages to stay active and feel their best. She also writes about managing pain in her health columns, blogs and the local Los Altos Town Crier newspaper as well as reaches out to the local community, support groups, schools, libraries, and sports centers to advise and educate on body awareness and therapeutic exercise.