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Did You Know You Can Improve Your Bone Density With Physical Therapy?

By Kaylee Weber, PT, DPT, Clinic Manager
ApexNetwork Physical Therapy – Gillespie, IL Clinic

Did You Know You Can Improve Your  Bone Density With Physical Therapy?October 12th through the 20th is national Bone Health Week. Bone loss or weakening is a common problem associated with aging. The bone minerals can begin to degenerate over time. DXA scans can measure precisely how much bone mineral density you have via a T score. T-scores of -1.0 or above are normal; anything ranging between -1.0 and -2.5 is considered low bone density or osteopenia. T-scores ranging from -2.5 or below are considered osteoporosis.

Bone mineral density begins to weaken gradually, but females tend to show demineralization during the first decade after menopause. Osteoporosis causes an increased risk of height loss, fractures of the hips, wrists, and vertebrae and chronic pain. The symptoms of your osteoporosis are generally not visible unless you have a fracture. You may not even know that you have the disease until you break a bone, or a test shows that you have low bone mineral density. Studies show that after an initial fracture, secondary fractures are common in osteoporosis.

Bone Strengthening Exercise
Weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening (resistance training) exercises have proven to be beneficial for rebuilding bone density and also for maintaining bone mass. Physical therapists are well-trained in helping patients to improve bone regeneration and also to keep patients safe by custom-tailoring specific plans that are most advantageous for each individual patient’s needs.

Improving balance, strength, and flexibility are critical to staying safe. If a person has advanced osteoporosis, they will obviously be given a much less intensive plan than a person that might have the beginning stages of osteopenia. Examples of low impact exercise programs are aquatic therapy, elliptical machines, walking, and low impact aerobics, to name a few. Some examples of muscle-strengthening exercises are using resistance bands, resistance training with your own body weight (squats or lunges), handheld weights, or weight machines.  A doctor of physical therapy (DPT) knows what will help and what could potentially harm a patient and therefore, are the optimal choice for helping patients improve bone mass, alleviate falls, improve range-of-motion and prevent osteoporotic fractures.

Personalized Plans
A physical therapist can also help patients map out an at-home plan to keep their bones and joints healthy. These can include things like discussing diet options, recommending certain supplements, encouraging you to spend time a few minutes in the sun (vitamin D3), giving you at-home exercises, and reviewing certain medications that may be contributing to your bone loss (steroids).

Additional Benefits of Physical Therapy
As it turns out, a lot of people, whether it’s a backache, sore shoulder, knee pain, or a sprained ankle, physical therapy can help. Perhaps you’re having trouble regaining strength after a surgery or hospitalization. Or you’re working to regain abilities lost due to a stroke or a workplace injury. ApexNetwork Physical Therapy can be the solution to getting you back to doing the things you love.

Apex Physical Therapy
With more than 20 years of experience in the healthcare industry, ApexNetwork Physical Therapy® has become a leading resource for outpatient physical therapy. We are a privately-owned, full-service physical therapy provider. Always delivering on our promise of an experience that is unmatched, our programs are all designed to help you heal as quickly and as safely as possible. At ApexNetwork Physical Therapy®, we place a strong emphasis on patient education as well as hiring the most talented and committed medical professionals in the field.

We believe that our commitment in doing so has been the reason for our lasting success and our becoming a provider of choice for long-term healing. Our philosophy is quite simple – to be the best in rehabilitation!

ApexNetwork Physical Therapy locations in Kentucky:

814 Highway 36
(606) 393-0953

272 Kroger Center Drive
(606) 393-0304

Mt. Sterling
513 Maysville Road
(859) 878-2890

156 W. College Ave.
(606) 393-6505

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