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How Physiotherapy Can Help Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a condition that causes bones to become brittle and fragile. It currently affects over 1 million Australians. People with osteoporosis are at a higher risk of breaking bones, even during minor stresses such as coughing. 

This article details how physiotherapy can help osteoporosis patients.

About Osteoporosis


Your bones are constantly in a state of renewal- old bone is broken down, and new bone is generated. Young people develop new bone faster than the old bone breaks down, causing their bone mass to increase. As you get older, this process slows down, and your bone mass is lost. The age for peak bone mass is approximately 30, and then a gradual decrease is experienced in the following years. How much bone mass you have when you’re younger is a factor in whether you’ll develop osteoporosis at a later age.


In the early stages of bone loss, there are no significant symptoms. Once weakened, though, patients may experience pain, a loss of height, a stooped posture and brittle bones that fracture when under even minor stress. For elderly patients, this can be distressing and frustrating. Broken bones can take weeks or months to heal and can cause lasting complications.

Risk Factors

Age: The risk of developing osteoporosis increases with age.
Gender: Women are more likely to experience osteoporosis than men.
Body Type: People with a small body frame are at a higher risk.
Genetics: If your parent or sibling has osteoporosis, you are likely to be more at risk.
Race: People of White or Asian descent at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis.
Low calcium: Calcium deficiency is linked to diminished bone density.
Hormonal imbalances
Thyroid Problems.

Who is Affected?

Osteoporosis is usually under-diagnosed; however, Australian data shows that the highest prevalence is in women over 75. In Australia in 2017–18, 10% of men over 75 had osteoporosis, while 29% of women over 75 were diagnosed.

Preventative Treatments

Ensure sufficient calcium and Vitamin D intake.
Have a healthy and varied diet.
Avoid smoking and limit caffeine.
Regular exercise, weight-bearing activities and strength workouts.

Treatments for Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis can have a psychological impact on sufferers, making them fearful or avoidant of movement and exercise. However, lifting weights and completing low impact exercise can improve overall strength and reduce the risk of a fall.

Your physiotherapist will work with you to create a tailored exercise program that improves your strength, balance, posture and coordination. The gentle yet effective exercises can be designed to suit people of all ages and activity levels, including older people with limited mobility.

As you complete the exercises and build your strength, you will also notice that your confidence grows. Your physio will support your journey, ensuring you’re comfortable every step of the way.

Physiotherapy can benefit people at all stages of osteoporosis, including people with low bone density to patients recovering from a broken bone.

Visit a Physio in West Ryde  

The experienced physiotherapists at Northern Districts Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic can help people with osteoporosis to increase strength and reduce the risk of falls. Book your appointment with one of our friendly practitioners today!

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Northern Districts Physiotherapy

Northern Districts Physiotherapy & Sports Clinic was established in 1995 and consists of an energetic team of highly qualified and experienced professionals who take the time to understand ...


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West Ryde NSW 2114

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