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Hartford HealthCare Rehabilitation Network has developed a comprehensive osteoporosis program to address osteoporosis prevention, treatment and rehabilitation.

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The National Osteoporosis Foundation estimates that osteoporosis is a major health risk for 55% of the over 50 population (44 million people); more than 10 million Americans have osteoporosis (8 million women, 2 million men) and 34 million have osteopenia. In 2005, osteoporotic fractures cost $19 billion, and it is estimated that by 2025 costs will be $25.3 billion.

The Osteoporosis Program

Any patient exhibiting low bone mass/loss of bone tissue leading to an increased susceptibility to fracture is a candidate for Hartford HealthCare Rehabilitation Network's osteoporosis program.

Physical Assessment includes:

  • History, including functional limitations, history of falls and fractures.
  • Pain – Intensity and Source
  • Multi-system involvement as it relates to rehabilitation potential.

Evaluation of:

  • Fracture Risk
  • Abdominal and Core Strength
  • Balance, as measured by functional reach test and timed get up and go (TUG).
  • Feet and Footwear
  • Posture
  • Sit-to-stand
  • Mobility Limitations

Treatment Approach:

  • Protect from fracture.
  • Explain bone mineral density studies.
  • Teach neutral spine – up and down from floor to and from quadraped.
  • Teach hip hinge - disassociation of hip from spine.
  • Avoid flexion, side bending and rotation.
  • Bone building exercises.
  • Weight bearing exercises.
  • Walking, hiking, weights, resistance bands, modified Pilates.
  • Teaching techniques for pain relief.
  • Encourage home safety and good health habits (nutrition, etc.).

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Exercise promotes bone health. Your physical therapist will evaluate you and design an individualized exercise program with these goals:

  • Decrease risk of fracture.
  • Avoidance of twisting, bending and rotation motions that can stress the spine and hip.
  • Teach bone building exercises.
  • Use weight bearing exercises such as walking, weights, resistance bands and modified Pilates.
  • Utilize techniques for pain relief.
  • Learn proper body mechanics.
  • Encourage home safety and good health habits.

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Hartford HealthCare Rehabilitation Network