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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How can a physiotherapist help osteoporosis patients?

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    Adam Floyd

    Physiotherapist

    Adam is a Physiotherapist and Exercise Physiologist with over 15 years clinical experience. The Director of Regenerate Physiotherapy, Regenerate Fitness and Rehabilitation and GymED Continuing … View Profile

    There is some cross over between physiotherapy and exercise physiology. But from a physio perspective, the main way that we assist people with osteoporosis is through education and provisional programs, focusing primarily on progressive resistance training. Progressive resistance training entails gradually overloading the musculoskeletal system over time using resistance exercises to create both bone and muscular adaptation. This may at least slow down the osteoporotic progress. In some cases people will actually increase their bone density through the provisional exercises.

    Peeople with low bone density can be taken through higher exercise programs or increasing weights and increasing resistance, whereas people with existing diagnosed osteoporosis do need to be obviously a lot more careful on how they progress their exercises, and they will have limits on how far we can progress their exercises from a resistance perspective.

    So, physiotherapists are the ideal people to supervise these exercises and progress these exercises, because the profession is most familiar with pathology and working around other musculoskeletal conditions such as back issues, knee issues. Furthmore, many people with osteoporosis also have coexisting osteoarthritis, which physiotherapists are experts in prescribing exercise for.

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