Osteoporosis Intervention Program

This program is available at the following locations:

Carlsbad, CA
Escondido-Valley, CA
Ramona, CA
San Marcos, CA
Santee, CA
Scripps Ranch, CA

Osteoporosis is characterized by a significant progressive loss of the fibrous matrix and mineral density of bone. The results may be brittle bones that fracture easily and lead to increased chances of morbidity or mortality. For instance, Gallagher et al. (Clin Orthop, 1980) found that the rate of hip fractures doubles each decade after 50, and up to 50% of those who sustain hip fractures never resume walking after the incident.

Research has shown that there are several important factors in rehabilitating people suffering from osteoporosis. Nutritional counseling and appropriate medication, while prescribed by the physician, can be reinforced by the physical therapist. Resistive exercises to strengthen musculature and increase bone mineral density are essential, and cardiovascular exercise to prevent fatigue is needed. Instructions for safety during daily activities, neuromuscular reeducation, balance training, and guidelines for continuing independent programs are also important factors in osteoporosis rehabilitation.

Physical therapists are trained in the anatomy and kinematics of the human body. Postural training, gentle mobilization, stretching, core trunk strengthening and proper strengthening techniques are all used to address the effects of osteoporosis and postural tightness. Physical therapy will complement medical and nutritional treatment regimens instituted by medical doctors.

Therapeutic Treatment of Osteoporosis Includes:

  • Postural exercises
    • Strengthening
    • Stretching
  • Spinal decompression exercises
  • Balance retraining (fall prevention)
  • Body mechanic training
    • Safety with activities of daily living (ADL)
    • Joint conservation techniques
  • Guidelines for independent exercise programs
  • Objective pre- and post-assessment

Physical Therapy Goals Include:

  • Contribute to improved bone mineral density
  • Improved posture
  • Decreased vertebral compression
  • Decreased pain
  • Improved balance
  • Prevention of falls
  • Teach self-management skills
  • Complete skilled physical therapy services in 6 to 8 visits