April 2014

couple on bikes

Physical therapists are experts in improving and restoring mobility and they play an important role in ensuring optimal bone health. Healthy bones can help you stay strong and active throughout your life. If good bone health is achieved during childhood and maintained, it can help to avoid bone loss and fracture later in life. For healthy bones, it is important to maintain a physically active lifestyle and eat a balanced diet with plenty of calcium, vitamin D, and perhaps other supplements as needed. Physical therapists can design a unique program for you to help keep your bones healthy.


Osteoporosis is a common bone disease that affects both men and women (mostly women), usually as they age. It is associated with low bone mass and thinning of the bone structure, making bones fragile and more likely to break.


Some people are more at risk for osteoporosis than others. Not all risk factors can be changed, but healthy habits and a proper exercise routine designed by your physical therapist can keep bones healthy and reduce risk. Risk factors* include:

  • Age: More common in older individuals
  • Sex: More common in women
  • Family History: Heredity
  • Race and Ethnicity: Affects all races. In the US, increased risk for Caucasian, Asian, or Latino
  • Weight: Low body weight (small and thin)
  • Diet, especially one low in calcium and vitamin D
  • History of broken bones
  • Menopause
  • Inactive lifestyle
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Certain medications, diseases, and other medical conditions

Physical therapists can help prevent osteoporosis and treat its effects by designing individualized exercise programs to benefit bone health, improve posture, and enhance core stability and balance. Most of these exercises are simple and can be done at home with no special equipment.

Fight Fracture with FitnessWoman Running

Inactivity is a major risk factor for osteoporosis. The right exercises and good habits can keepbones strong and prevent or reverse the effects of osteoporosis. Weight-bearing exercise, such as walking, is an important way to build and maintain healthy bones. Muscle strengthening exercises have been found to stimulate bone growth and can help prevent and treat osteoporosis. These types of exercises are best if started early in life and done regularly. However, it is important to remember that you can begin exercising at any age and still reap great benefits.


If you have osteoporosis, are at high risk for a fall or fracture, or have a medical condition, affecting your ability to exercise, do not begin an exercise program without first consulting your physician and a physical therapist.


Avoid exercises and daily activities, which round the spine, such as sit-ups, crunches, bending down to tie your shoes, exercise machines that involve forward bending of the trunk, and movements and sports that round and twist the spine.


Benefits of Good Balance

Preserving balance and stability with exercises can help reduce falls and resulting fractures. Exercises that improve posture, core stability, balance, and coordination, can also protect the spine against compression fractures. An individualized program may include a walking regimen, Tai Chi, and other exercises geared toward conditioning, balance, and coordination.

Bone Health Begins With Good Posture

Physical therapists recommend good posture and safe movements to protect bones from fracture during daily activities. Using proper posture and safe body mechanics during all activities protects the spine against injury. Here are some tips:

  • Keep your back, stomach, and leg muscles strong and flexible.
  • Keep your body in alignment, so it can be more efficient when you move.
  • Do not slouch. When sitting, keep your spine and head straight. Put a small pillow behind your waist to keep your spine in a good position.
  • Use good body positioning at work, home, or during leisure activities.
  • When lifting or bending forward, bend your knees, keep your back straight, bend forward at the hip crease, and lift with your legs. Keep the load close to your body.
  • Ask for help or use an assistive device to lift heavy objects.
  • Maintain a regular physical fitness regimen. Staying active can help to prevent injuries.

*National Osteoporosis Foundation



Physical Therapy can help you achieve your optimal bone health.

Set an appointment today. 


by Phit Pickle


"Whoever said that pickles can't snowboard" was not gherkin-around. I thought I could prove all the nay-sayers wrong, but on my very first day of snowboarding, on my very first run, I broke my very first bone.  Ugh! The doctor said that it would be 4 weeks in a cast and that I needed to sell my snowboard (way ahead of you Doc, I sold it to the rescue patrol guy on our way down the mountain in a snowmobile!)


Those 4 weeks in a cast were NOT fun but I did get to sit around a lot, watch a lot of TV and eat a lot of popcorn.  So let me rephrase it..those 4 weeks in a cast were AWESOME!!


Once my cast was removed, I started physical therapy at PTIS (only the best for me!). My first visit involved an evaluation and assessment of my injury. My therapist also took measurements of body parts around the fracture site including:


My therapist then devised a treatment strategy to help me recover fully.  She said the first step would be to focus on overcoming the negative effects of being immobilized by the cast. She explained that the immobilization may have caused loss of motion and strength and decreased functional mobility.


She demonstrated exercises that would improve range of motion and strength. She also said she wanted to ensure that my bone could tolerate the loads and stresses that I may encounter during normal everyday function. 


After 6 weeks of PT, I was back to my old, sweet self. I learned 2 BIG lessons as a result of this injury. First, having a good physical therapist is key to quick recovery AND second, when someone says that pickles should not snowboard, believe them!  


A fracture can be painful and can lead to significant functional loss and disability. Depending on the severity of the injury, the loss may be temporary or permanent. Physical therapy can help you return to optimum functional mobility as quickly as possible.


Weekly Classes For Your Health

Every Monday at 11:00 am at Pearl clinic
Every Tuesday at 12:00 pm at Meridian clinic 
Staff Birthdays This Month
        Kristen Lundborg - April 3
Robert Letendre - April 5
Debra Baker - April 27

Bone Fitness

Bone-strengthening activities make bones grow and get stronger through an impact (often with theground) or tension force that promotes bone growth and strength. Many bone-strengthening activities may also help strengthen your muscles. 
That's a 2-for-1 benefit! 

The Best Bone Building Exercises

The best exercise for your bones is the weight-bearing kind, which forces you to work against gravity. Some examples of weight-bearing exercises include weight training, walking, hiking, jogging, climbing stairs, tennis, and dancing. 


Examples of exercises that are not weight-bearing include swimming and bicycling. Although these activities help build and maintain strong muscles and have excellent cardiovascular benefits, they are not the best way to exercise your bones.



"Playing sports, lifting weights, running, and almost any activity that moves muscle will trigger your bones to lay down more minerals and get stronger and more dense. Since bone density peaks around age 30 and then starts to slip away, the more you build in youth, the more you'll have to "spend" later. Think of it as your bone 401(k)."  
Garden Vegetable Crustless Quiche


Taking the crust off this quiche cuts calories, but still leaves you with the rich, calcium-packed filling. One serving contains more than 35% of your daily calcium. 


The season's best vegetables and a variety of cheeses make this vegetable quiche a healthy meal that can be assembled the night before, refrigerated and cooked just prior to serving.


Get recipe here. 

Thank you for your interest in health and wellness. We believe Staying Active is important for WORK.SPORT.LIFE.

From The Entire Staff

Physical Therapy & Injury Specialists


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