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The Silent Epidemic

Osteoporosis is a disease in which the density and quality of bone is reduced, increasing the risk of fracture. Osteopenia is a precursor to osteoporosis and is the name given to the milder form of the disease.

Osteoporosis can affect both men and women, and is not restricted to the elderly. Even though everybody loses bone density as they age, many people that have osteoporosis and osteopenia are unaware they have the condition as there are often no symptoms until the first fracture occurs. In Australia, 42% of men and 51% of women aged 60 and over have osteopenia or osteoporosis.

  • Have either of your parents broken a hip?
  • Have you ever broken a bone after a minor bump or fall?
  • Have you avoided sport all your life?
  • Have you taken steroid tablets for over 3 months?
  • Have you lost more than 3cm (1 inch) in height?
  • Do you regularly drink heavily (more than 2 units a day)?
  • Have you ever smoked?
  • Do you suffer frequently from diarrhea?
  • Do you ever fall over or have poor balance?
  • Are you male and suffer from impotence, lack of libido or low testosterone?
  • Are you female and have a thyroid problem?

Weight bearing exercise and strengthening can reduce the rate or even halt the loss of bone density. While balance training can reduce the risk of falls and bone fractures.

A detailed physical assessment to determine your capabilities, restrictions and functional capacity at Advantage Healthcare and Physiotherapy is a great way to get started in treating or preventing Osteoporosis.

Getting regular exercise has so many benefits, it can assist in the management of specific health conditions, but it can also help lift mood, increase energy and improve sleep.

Knowing that exercise is good for your health and well being and putting it into practice though are two completely separate things. Whether it's finding the time, knowing the 'what, when, and how to' or aches and pains or injury that may be preventing you from enjoying the benefits of regular physical activity, an Exercise Physiologist can help.

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