Cancer and Osteoporosis
Nearly all cancers can have significant negative effects on the skeleton. Cancer is a major risk for both generalized and local bone loss, with bone loss as assessed by bone mineral density (BMD) testing substantially higher in cancer patients than in the general population.
Both cancer and its treatments have pretty high odds of shutting down bone growth, either directly or else by shutting down or blocking the hormones that are required for bone growth. In women the affected hormones are mostly estrogens; in men, androgens.
Cancer treatments can also cause muscle weakness and balance issues. This, combined with weakened bones, makes cancer patients more prone to accidents resulting in broken bones.
How Can Physical Therapy Help?
The BEST (Bone Exercise and Strength Training) Program is an evidence based targeted exercise program developed by Oncology Rehab and Wellness that not only restores bones, but also strengthens muscles, enhances balance, builds heart and lung capacity—a host of benefits that all work together to produce greater whole-body health and reduce numerous risks at once.
Our program includes a full assessment of strength, posture, flexibility, balance and overall function followed by the development of a progressive exercise program based on your individual needs.
A physical therapist will assist you with selecting the therapies that are best suited to help in your specific situation. These will be tailored for the details of your current conditioning and any considerations stemming from cancer treatment, and could include things like:
- Weight-bearing activities (functional strength training and may including walking or jogging)
- Resistance training (such as weight lifting or exercise band exercises)
- Balance and posture exercises
- “Bone-safe” education for everyday activities
- Nutritional and lifestyle advice
A BEST Program Graduate's Review:
"What a difference a month makes!
I remember sitting waiting for my therapist day 1 with such hip pain I was almost in tears. A month later I am now primarily pain free in the hips and I feel much stronger overall from the program you all put together for me. I now have the foundation needed to continue to get even stronger on my own, which is a huge goal. I am now back up to two miles of walking a day pain free, and will gradually build back to my longer walks.
Anyway, THANK YOU again to ORW."
At Oncology Rehab and Wellness, we have an expert physical therapy and nutrition team who work together to help cancer patients prevent bone loss - or to increase bone density if already diagnosed with osteoporosis or osteopenia.
If you are recovering from cancer treatment, and are concerned about your bone health now or in the future, physical therapy is a great first place to start rebuilding.
Schedule your free 15-minute consultation to learn more about the how our physical therapy program can help you.