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Physiotherapy and Osteoporosis

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Physiotherapy and Osteoporosis

5 min read


Physiotherapy is an effective way for the management of osteoporosis. This article explains how it assists in pain management and improving posture.

Medically reviewed by

Mohammed Wajid

Published At July 29, 2022
Reviewed AtFebruary 20, 2023

What Is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a bone disease caused by a decrease in bone mineral density and mass, as well as a change in bone quality or structure. This can cause loss of bone strength, increasing the risk of fractures.

What Are the Risk Factors for Osteoporosis?

Risks that cannot be avoided include:

  • Female gender.

  • Small frame.

  • Advanced age.

  • Genetics.

  • Predisposing medical conditions.

  • Hormone levels.

Risks that can be addressed or avoided include:

  • Cigarette smoking.

  • High alcohol intake.

  • Calcium-poor diet.

  • Inactive lifestyle.

  • Low weight.

  • Low vitamin D levels.

  • Excessive caffeine intake.

  • Lack of weight-bearing exercise.

  • Drugs like steroids and Heparin.

  • Poor health.

Why Is Exercise Important for Osteoporosis?

Exercise is a crucial component of an osteoporosis treatment plan. According to research, strength and resistance training are the best physical activities for bone health. Exercise can strengthen bones at all ages since bone is live a tissue. Exercise, on the other hand, does not increase bone mass in older persons.

Regular exercise, on the other hand, can benefit older persons in the following ways:

  • Improve coordination and balance while increasing muscle mass and strength. This may reduce your risk of falling.

  • Improve daily function and delay loss of independence.

While exercise is useful for persons with osteoporosis, it should not put your bones under undue stress. High-intensity exercise should be avoided if you have osteoporosis.

A physical therapist or rehabilitation medicine professional can assist avoid injury and fractures by:

  • Recommending particular back-strengthening and supporting workouts.

  • Teaching you how to move and carry out regular activities in a safe manner.

  • Recommending a workout regimen that is specifically tailored to your needs.

Exercise physiologists and other exercise specialists may be able to assist you in developing a safe and successful exercise program. A physical therapist can help you manage and recover from an osteoporosis-related fracture. Physical therapy will not repair your fractured bone, but it will improve your chances of making a full recovery. To begin a physical therapy program, you do not need to have broken a bone. If you have been informed you are at high risk for osteoporosis, going to physical therapy is a proactive strategy to help avoid this bone condition.

Your physical therapist will design a regimen for you based on the severity of your osteoporosis. To help tailor the rehabilitation program precisely for you, he or she will consider your overall health, age, exercise level, and personal risk for fractures. In the majority of cases, your physical therapy will include bone-strengthening exercises like weight-bearing activities or resistance training. Your physical therapist will also work with you to improve your balance and posture to help prevent additional fractures. It will be easier to avoid falls if you have a better balance.

Furthermore, good posture relieves needless stress on your spine, lowering your chance of spinal fractures. Your physical therapist may also guide you on how to make modifications in your home and/or office to aid in your recovery. They will also educate you on how to do common actions safely, such as how to properly lie down and sneeze, to help you avoid fractures. Physical therapy is a non-surgical osteoporosis treatment that can help you regain healthy movement, function, and bone strength. A physical therapist will teach you bone-building exercises and how to manage your everyday activities to reduce your risk of an osteoporosis-related fracture.

What Is the Physiotherapy Management for Osteoporosis?

Your physical therapist can form a program customized to your specific needs to help you improve your general bone health, maintain bone health, and prevent fractures.

Your physical therapist may instruct you on the following:

  • Specific workouts to increase bone mass or reduce bone loss.

  • How can you improve your balance so that you are less likely to fall.

  • Protect your spine from fractures by maintaining proper posture.

  • How to align daily activities properly.

  • How can you change your surroundings to protect your bone health.

A healthy lifestyle helps to build and maintain healthy bones. Your physical therapist will teach you specific exercises that will help you reach your goals. Exercise is highly particular and comparable for all ages when it comes to bone development or decreasing bone loss. When a bone is appropriately and correctly pressured, it grows, much like a muscle does when it is tested by more weight than usual. Resistance and weight-bearing exercises are the best for bone health.

A physical therapist should provide your unique bone-building prescription to ensure you are not over-exercising or under-exercising. Exercises are usually done 2 to 3 times a week as part of a total fitness program.

The following exercises are advised for osteoporosis therapy and management:

Range of Motion and Strengthening Exercises:

Physiotherapists use a mild range of motion and strengthening exercises to improve general posture. Increased flexion through the thoracic spine causes gradual fractures and vertebral wedging. Poor posture aggravates these diseases. Maintaining good posture through a modest range of motion and strengthening exercises will assist the upper back and core retain healthy mobility.

Loading Exercises:

Lifting weights and doing low-impact workouts can help to improve overall stability and bone strength, lowering the chance of fracture. Strengthening exercises and other intensive workouts are avoided by people with osteoporosis. Any physiological system that wants to improve its function must be exposed to a load that is greater than normal. To build strength on a daily basis, bones must encounter forces stronger than those they sustain. It is possible to lift weights while maintaining good spine and lower-extremity alignment. Under the supervision, weight-bearing exercises such as stomping, heel drops, dancing, and jogging are also performed.

Weight-bearing exercises such as:

  • Dancing.

  • Stomping.

  • Racquet sports.

  • Heel drops.

  • Jogging.

Resistance Exercises:

Because exercise strengthens bones, a physiotherapist creates an appropriate exercise program that can lower the risk of falls and fractures caused by falls. Training bands, gravity resistance movements such as squats, single-leg heel raises, prone trunk extension with a cushion to protect the lowest ribs, push-ups, lunges, and sustained standing positions in neutral spine position are all included in exercise regimens.

Resistance exercises such as:

  • Lifting weights with good spine and lower-extremity alignment with kyphosis-reducing or kyphosis-stabilizing exercises.

  • Use of an exercise band.

  • Gravity resistance exercises like push-ups, prone trunk extension with a cushion to protect the lowest ribs, single-leg heel raise, squats, lunges, and continuous standing yoga posture in a neutral spine position.

  • Balance exercises.

Balance and Coordination Exercises:

Exercises that improve coordination and balance can also assist to reduce the chance of falling. These exercises help improve balance when walking on uneven surfaces or through tight places. Balance may be improved and maintained by exercising on both balls and adding obstacles to the entire walking process.

Exercises are done 2 to 3 times a week as part of an overall fitness regimen.

Your physical therapist will work with you if you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis or poor bone density by:

  • Training exercises that build bone or reduce bone loss in the hip, spine, shoulder, and arms, which are the most vulnerable areas to fractures.

  • Teaching how to avoid falling improves your dynamic balance.

  • Making improvements to your posture.

  • Assisting you in avoiding workouts and motions that could lead to a spinal fracture, such as any form of sit-up or crunch, a severe spine or hip twisting.

  • Reducing risk, making changes to your work and residential settings.

The conservative treatment for a fracture includes bed rest and proper pain therapy.

Your physical therapist will enable you to achieve the following objectives:

  • Reduce your pain by adjusting your position and using other pain-relieving techniques. Physical therapy routines tailored to the individual can help relieve pain without the use of drugs like opioids. Exercising that requires too much forward or side bending or twisting should be avoided.

  • Demonstrate water and endurance activities to have a deleterious impact on bone density.

  • Provide external equipment, such as bracing, to aid in healing and postural improvement.

  • Decrease your chance of falling by strengthening your muscles and improving your posture.

If your pain persists for more than six weeks after a spinal fracture, talk to your physical therapist, primary care physician, and surgeon about surgical options such as vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty.

When exercising, stay away from the following things:

  • Exercises that place you at a higher risk of injury should be avoided.

  • Excessive spinal or hip twisting, front or side bending, and any form of sit-up or crunch should be avoided.

  • Exercises that exert abnormal strain on the bone or muscle should be avoided.


Physical therapy is a non-surgical osteoporosis treatment that can help you regain healthy movement, function, and bone strength. A physical therapist will teach you bone-building exercises and ways to manage your everyday activities to reduce your risk of an osteoporosis-related fracture.

Frequently Asked Questions


Does Physiotherapy Help With Osteoporosis?

Yes, physiotherapy can be beneficial for individuals with osteoporosis. It can help manage symptoms, improve bone strength, reduce the risk of fractures, alleviate pain, and provide education on bone health and fall prevention.


What Is the Purpose of Physiotherapy in Osteoporosis?

The main aims of physiotherapy for osteoporosis are to strengthen bones and lower the chance of fractures. This is done through exercises and techniques that enhance strength, balance, and body posture. Physiotherapy helps reduce pain, increase movement, and improve osteoporosis patients' overall quality of life.


What Role Does Physiotherapy Play in the Management of Osteoporosis and Bone Health?

- Physiotherapy plays a crucial role in managing osteoporosis and overall bone health. Some roles of physiotherapy for osteoporosis include

- Personalized exercise programs to improve muscle strength, reduce falls, and improve bone density.

- Guidance on proper body mechanics and movement techniques to reduce joint stress.

- Pain and discomfort relief using techniques like heat therapy, manual therapy, or electrical stimulation.

- Lifestyle modifications, fall prevention strategies, and proper ergonomics.


Name the Therapies That Help With Osteoporosis.

Several types of therapies are beneficial for osteoporosis. Commonly used therapies are

- Pharmacological therapy.

- Physiotherapy.

- Occupational therapy.

- Nutritional therapy.


What Are the Benefits of Exercise in Osteoporosis?

Exercise has many advantages for people with osteoporosis. Doing regular exercise can make the bones stronger and less likely to break. It also helps strengthen muscles and improves balance, preventing an individual from falling and getting hurt. Exercise helps a person have better posture, be more flexible, and move the body more easily. It makes movements smoother and reduces tightness in the body.


What Role Does Yoga Play in Osteoporosis Rehabilitation?

Yoga can help people with osteoporosis feel better by making them stronger, improving their balance, making them more flexible, and overall, improving their overall health and happiness. It provides a gentle, low-stress way of exercising that can be adjusted to fit each person's needs and limitations. Certain yoga poses and movements can strengthen muscles, improve bone strength, help with body posture, and increase body awareness.


Is Physiotherapy Helpful in Bone Healing?

Physiotherapy can play a role in supporting bone healing, particularly in cases of fractures or orthopedic surgeries. Physiotherapists can implement specific techniques and interventions to aid in the recovery process. This might involve exercising to make the body move better, become stronger, and more stable. It might also involve using devices like electrical stimulation or ultrasound to help the body heal and feel less pain.


Which Is the Best Modality to Deal With Osteoporosis?

The best way to deal with osteoporosis is a combination of different approaches like medical interventions, self-care strategies, and lifestyle modifications. Commonly used approaches include

- Medical treatment using medications like bisphosphonates or hormone therapy.

- Exercise and physical activity.

- A nutritious diet is rich in calcium, vitamin D, and other essential nutrients for bone health.

- Fall prevention and safety measures to reduce the risk of falls and fractures.


Which Is the Best Modality to Deal With Osteoporosis?

The best way to deal with osteoporosis is a combination of different approaches like medical interventions, self-care strategies, and lifestyle modifications. Commonly used approaches include

- Medical treatment using medications like bisphosphonates or hormone therapy.

- Exercise and physical activity.

- A nutritious diet is rich in calcium, vitamin D, and other essential nutrients for bone health.

- Fall prevention and safety measures to reduce the risk of falls and fractures.


How Is Osteoporosis Treated Naturally?

Natural therapies for osteoporosis can be done along with other main treatments. Some of the natural therapies for osteoporosis include

- Nutrition and dietary changes

- Weight-bearing exercises like walking, hiking, or dancing.

- Herbal supplements.

- Lifestyle modifications like cutting down or quitting alcohol and smoking.


Does Vitamin D Reverse Osteoporosis?

Vitamin D is really important for keeping the bones strong and healthy. It helps the body absorb calcium, which is necessary for strong bones. Vitamin D can help to improve osteoporosis, but it cannot fully fix it on its own. Osteoporosis is a complicated health issue that involves many factors like hormones, lifestyle changes, and bone health.


Is Walking Good for Osteoporosis and Why?

Walking helps improve bone density and strength, which benefits people with osteoporosis. First, it is an exercise that strengthens the bones by putting pressure on them. Additionally, walking can improve a person's balance, move their body in a coordinated way, and strengthen their muscles. Lastly, walking is an easy and gentle way to get exercise that people with osteoporosis can do every day. It is an excellent way to stay active and keep the bones healthy.


Should Certain Yoga Poses Not Practiced if Suffering From Osteoporosis?

If you have osteoporosis, avoiding or modifying certain yoga poses is generally recommended. Poses to be cautious of include deep forward bends, deep twists, poses with spinal flexion, high-impact poses, inversions, and deep backbends.


Does Stretching Help With Osteoporosis?

Yes, stretching can help people with osteoporosis. This activity helps make the body more flexible, improves joint movements, and strengthens muscles. This makes it easier to move around and lowers the chance of falling or breaking bones. Stretching exercises can also help improve posture, making the muscles more balanced and reducing strain on the bones and joints.


What Foods Helps Bone Density?

Several foods are known to support bone health and increase bone density. Some of them include

- Dairy products are good sources of calcium, proteins, and vitamin D.

- Leafy green vegetables.

- Fish.

- Nuts and seeds.

- Fortified foods like fortified cereals, bread, plant-based milk, etc.


Does Stair Walk Helpful Inosteoporosis?

Stairwalking is a weight-bearing exercise that can benefit individuals with osteoporosis as it promotes more robust bones. However, the individual should be careful to avoid excessive bone and joint strain. When starting to stair walk, the person should start with low intensity and increase it gradually. Proper technique should be used, and the handrails can be used for support if necessary.


What Should the Duration of Walk Be if I Have Osteoporosis?

Aiming for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity walking on most days of the week is generally recommended. But, if you are just starting or have limitations, you can start with shorter durations and gradually increase as tolerated.


What Speed Should I Walk in With Osteoporosis?

The speed of walking with osteoporosis can differ from person to person based on things like how fit and healthy you are and if anything may make walking harder for you. Try to go at a comfortable speed where you can talk without getting too out of breath. Pay attention to how your body feels. Begin walking at a comfortable speed, and then slowly go faster if you can handle it. Make sure to keep a good posture and stay balanced while you walk.

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Mohammed Wajid
Mohammed Wajid



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