When I was training as a student in Cork University Hospital our lead Clinical Educator, Fiona, had a stock phrase for helping patients with Osteoperosis….
‘Surprise your Bones’
….said Fiona regularly, in a gentle Scottish lilt. Whether it was her accent or it’s ‘catchiness’, the phrase seemed to stick!
Fiona was a Clinical Specialist in the area and really believed in the positive benefits of exercise for Osteoperosis.
The tricky part is knowing what are the correct exercises, what are the safe ones and what needs to be avoided.
The even trickier part is making a class relevant/enjoyable to a 60 year old lady who might rather be on the golf course or anywhere else!
In Personal Health, our Chartered Physiotherapists manage a nice happy medium in this class.
We aim for the whole thing to be enjoyable, sociable and challenging enough to ‘surprise the bones’ into shape.
Typically Osteoperosis affects females far more than males, usually over the age of 55.
It is diagnosed by DEXA scan which is able to measure bone density – usually through imaging of the hip bone.
For those managing Osteoporosis it tends to be a quiet process. There’s typically no pain, and one might only be alerted to it’s complexities when in the A&E room after something innocuous has caused a fracture.
Areas such as the base of the thumb/ wrist and hip are more vulnerable for fracture based on the age and activity profile of those diagnosed with the disease. Similarly a focussed approach to improving balance and/or falls prevention can be a smart way to approach the condition.
Frequently an osteoporotic patient will be undergoing ‘medical’ management of the condition by taking prescribed tablets – ’Calcichew’- or something similar. It has various classifications in terms of severity, and often patients opt for a sustained (but finite) period of injection therapy as treatment. These injections aim to increase the strength of cortical bone structure in addition to the focussed dietary and exercise interventions.
In Personal Health our Medically Led Fitness programmes are geared towards optimising chronic health issues. By definition, ‘chronic’ relates to time and duration – not severity (as regularly understood).
So with a chronic diagnosis like Osteoporosis, there’s still a multitude of ways to successfully thrive. In Personal Health we provide a helping hand, some time and a refreshing enjoyable approach to managing your chronic health issue.