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How Does Physical Therapy Help Osteoporosis?

Treating Osteoporosis and Preventing Further Fractures

You may want to visit a physical therapist to help you recover from an osteoporosis-related fracture. Physical therapy won’t heal the broken bone—but it will give you better odds of a successful recovery.

You don’t need to have fractured a bone to start a physical therapy program. If you have been told you're high risk for osteoporosis, going to physical therapy is a proactive way to help prevent this bone disease.

Your physical therapist will create a program based on your specific case of osteoporosis. He or she will take into account your overall health, age, fitness level, and your personal risk for fractures, to help cater the rehabilitation program specifically for you.
In most cases, your physical therapy will include certain bone-strengthening exercises, such as weight-bearing activities (including walking or jogging) or resistance training (such as weight lifting or yoga).

To also help prevent further fractures, your physical therapist will help you improve your balance and posture. Better control over your balance will help prevent falls. And proper posture will take unnecessary stress off your spine, which will reduce your risk of spinal fractures.

Your physical therapist may even help you make changes in your home and/or office to promote a healthy recovery. He or she will also teach you safe ways to do everyday activities—from how to correctly lie down to how to sneeze properly—that will help you avoid fractures.

Physical therapy is an effective non-surgical treatment for osteoporosis that may help restore healthy movement, function, and bone strength. A physical therapist will teach you exercises for bone health and ways to manage your daily activities so you’ll lessen your chances of having an osteoporosis-related fracture.

Written by Pauline M. Camacho MD, FACE | Reviewed by Daniel J. Toft MD, PhD

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