Falling for You #PunnyValentinejokes
You hear about it every winter in Wisconsin: someone you know – a family member, a friend, a neighbor - has fallen and gotten severely injured. Often times a broken bone is the result of these tragedies. Based on an earlier blog post, we already know that physical therapy (PT) can help prevent falls; let’s say you weren’t convinced PT could help prevent your fall. What if I told you that physical therapy (PT) could be the difference between your fall resulting in a broken bone or simply a superficial flesh wound? Physical therapists are movement experts, and research has shown that exercise, the foundation of PT, increases bone mineral content & density across the lifespan – from childhood to older adults (Behringer, et al., 2014 & McMillian, et al., 2017). More bone mineral density means stronger bones, and stronger bones could be the difference between a bruise and a fractured hip. According to McMillian and company, “a seemingly small 1–3% improvement in bone mineral density may be sufficient to avoid a fracture” (2017). Although many various types of exercise are beneficial for bone health, it is hypothesized that higher impact activities (running, jumping, lifting heavier weights, etc.) result in higher bone densities (Behringer, et al., 2014). A famous Wolff once created a law stating “bones will remodel based on the stresses placed upon them”. In summary, sitting on the couch = weak bones; physical activity = strong bones.
Another large variable playing a role in bone health is nutrition. Making sure you have enough calcium and Vitamin D in your diet also ensures stronger bones; calcium makes our bones strong, and vitamin D assists in our bodies’ absorption of calcium (Behringer, et al., 2014). Combine physical activity with these nutrition tips and your long bones will be grinning from epiphysis to epiphysis.
Last, but not least, it is very important that when you are planning to increase your physical activity level you consult a medical profession who can create and individualize program that fits all your needs. As mentioned before, physical therapists are movement experts, and this is where we at Advanced Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine come in.
Happy Bone Building,
Behringer M, Gruetzner S, McCourt M, Mester J (2014) Effects of weight-bearing activities on bone mineral content and density in children and adolescents: A meta-analysis. J Bone Miner Res 29: 467–478.
McMillian L., Zengin A., Ebeling P., Scott D. (2017) Prescribing Physical Activity for the Prevention and Treatment of Osteoporosis in Older Adults. Healthcare 5(4): 85.