Osteoporosis prevention and management

Osteoporosis prevention and management – important news for all adults!


What is osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a condition where the bones lose minerals such as calcium which causes them to become fragile and brittle, and they are thus more prone to fracture than normal bone. Osteoporosis can affect any bone in the body, but is most common in the spine, hips and wrists. Usually no symptoms will be felt until a fracture (break or crack in the bone) occurs. Often these fractures can occur with minimal trauma.


Osteoporosis prevention and management

1 in 2 women and 1 in 3 men in Australia over 60 years old will have an osteoporotic fracture.

What causes osteoporosis?

Our bodies are constantly building new bone, and removing old bone. In childhood, more bone is built than is removed so our bone mass grows, as we get into our 30’s and 40’s more bone is removed than is being added, so our bone mass can start to decline. Another cause of osteoporosis is a lack of certain hormones such as estrogen in women and androgen in men. Menopause, which causes a lowering of womens estrogen can be a contributing factor to osteoporosis.

Other factors which can contribute to osteoporosis include lack of calcium and vitamin D intake, lack of weight bearing exercise, overuse of corticosteriods, thyroid problems, lack of muscle use (inactivity), cigarette smoking, anorexia or bulimia, heavy alcohol consumption, rheumatoid arthritis and bone cancer.

There are not usually any symptoms of osteoporosis until you have a fracture, in this case the fracture (often from relatively mild trauma) will give pain or deformity. Deformity often happens when the weaked vertebra in the spine are crushed and a hump in the spine starts to form, i.e. the back starts to appear hunched over (often called a dowagers hump).

What can I do to prevent osteoporosis or slow its progression?

Osteoporosis prevention and management can take many forms

  • Reduce alcohol consumption
  • Quit smoking (or reduce intake of tobacco smoke)
  • Improve your diet – ensure you have a balanced diet of vitamins and minerals including calcium and vitamin D (vitamin D can also be obtained with exposure to sunlight)
  • Maintain a healthy weight – being underweight can lead to osteoporosis
  • Increase weight bearing activity – such as weights, walking, running, body resistance training. Peak bone mass is usually achieved by 25 years of age, so it is important to achieve strong bones by that age so that bones will stay strong later in life. Burleigh Physio is now offering the ONERO exercise program – based on research proving that specific loaded exercise improves bone density.
  • Reduce intake of soft drink – some studies have shown that soft drinks may increase risk of osteoporosis
  • Consult with your GP – your GP can order a bone mineral density test if warranted to check for signs of osteoporosis, if you already have osteoporosis your GP can prescribe medication to help maintain or improve your bone mass, however you still need to exercise and eat correctly.

How can Physiotherapy help?

Physiotherapists as movement and exercise experts can advise on the best exercise program to undertake and will take into consideration any existing injuries or concurrent conditions.

Gold Coast Physiotherapy and Allied Health at Burleigh Heads and Broadbeach  07 5535 5218


Our Response to Covid-19

This page is up to date to our best knowledge, however, this is a rapidly evolving situation so we apologise for any potential delay in updating this information.

We want to reassure all our patients that we are following stringent infection control procedures in our clinic, and screen all people coming into the clinic, to exclude any patients that have any signs or symptoms consistent with Covid-19, as well as screening any patients that should be in isolation ie recently returned from overseas, or have been advised to isolate due to recent exposure with a known Covid-19 patient.

All our staff have now completed the Department of Health Covid-19 Infection Control Training.

What are we doing to minimise risk?

  • Screening patients for risk factors over the phone or through text messages before they attend appointments. Those with risk factors or symptoms are advised not to attend & to seek medical advice.
  • Hand sanitiser station at the front of the building must be used before you enter.
  • Following stringent infection control measures within the clinic. This includes
    • Disinfecting all beds, door handles, EFTPOS machine before and after each patient use.
    • Linen changed between each patient and commonly touched surfaces through the practice are cleaned regularly throughout the day.
    • Minimising the distances between clients in the waiting room- some chairs are outside undercover.
  • We have advised our team members not to come to work if they have cold or flu-like symptoms.
  • We are following all Department of Health recommendations for our type of business.

On the 30th March 2020 – the Australian government issued a statement that “People aged over 70, aged over 60 with pre-existing conditions, or Indigenous people aged over 50 should stay home wherever possible for their own protection.”

The decision to come in for physiotherapy treatment really is an individual one – if you feel that your treatment is medically necessary, and are comfortable with the risks of leaving your home and coming to physiotherapy, then rest assured that when you attend our physiotherapy clinic, we are following our strict infection control processes and doing everything we can to minimise your risk whilst in our care. However, we completely understand if you are not comfortable with coming in for treatment.

TELEHealth Consultations

We are offering telehealth consults and home visits (where suitable) for patients who cannot attend our clinic.

Read more about TELEhealth Consultations here.

Staying Healthy

  • Wash your hands often (and for 20 seconds) with soap and water
  • Cough into your elbow or use a tissue to cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze
  • Social distancing practices – Avoiding close contact with others, such as touching, including shaking hands
  • Limit contact with people who are sick, and stay home if you are sick and encourage employees to stay home when sick
  • Get 7-8 hours’ sleep a night to help your immune system stay strong
Please stay safe and take care of each other!

We are monitoring the situation very closely and will make adjustments to our business as we are further informed. Our priority is the health & well being of our patients and our staff. Thanks for your understanding.

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