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Physical exercise improves osteoporosis prognosis

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Physical exercise improves Osteoporosis Prognosis

A new study reveals that postmenopausal osteoporotic women can improve their symptoms with a basic exercise program. The program was invented by Montserrat Otero, PhD holder in Physical Activity and Sports Sciences of the UPV / EHU-University of the Basque Country, and significantly improves strength in the upper and lower limbs and as well as static and dynamic balance.

Osteoporosis is characterized by decreased bone mass and bone architecture alterations that lead to increased risk of fractures. Women begin to lose bone mass after the age of 35 years, and this process is accelerated after menopause. Osteoporosis is a common disease in older women, as the risk  increases with age, but it can occur secondary to endocrine diseases (such as Cushing syndrome, acromegaly, hyperthyroidism, hypogonadism) or digestive diseases (malabsobtion, gastric resection, etc.). What characterizes osteoporosis is that bone loss causes no pain and symptoms (ie fractures) occur after the disease is at a relatively advanced stage.

Physical exercise

Physical exercise

It is known as one of the means to improve osteoporosis prognosis is physical exercise, because physical exercise helps strengthen muscles and thus prevents fractures. But up to date there have been promoted programms that involved sophisticated machinery that are not available to all older women. This is why Montserrat Otero thought to invent an exercise program that uses basic materials such as chairs, bottles filled with sand, ropes etc.

Otero wanted to test the programme and followed 68 women aged between 50 and 72 years who had postmenopausal osteoporosis. The participants were randomly divided into two groups: Exercise Group and the Control Group. The 34 women who were part of Exercise Group followed a supervised exercise program for 6 months. In the six months there have been 72 sessions and each session consisted of 5 or 8 balance exercises and between 8 or 12 strength exercises. Women in the control group did not follow the exercise program (balance or strength). At the beginning of the program there were no significant differences between groups in any of the variables.

However, after the program, the women in the exercise group noted a significant improvement in strength in the upper and the lower limbs. “If there is no access to sophisticated equipment due to the economic cost involved, today we know that even without it, the risk factors of the main consequence of the disease can be reduced, which are the falls,” explained Otero. Otero believes that an exercise program that includes static and dynamic balance three days a week, significantly improves balance and muscle strength in women with postmenopausal osteoporosis.