The Most Comprehensive Program to Keep Bones Strong
Are you a young woman wanting to keep your bones healthy and strong, a post-menopausal woman needing to know your bone density, or an older man or woman wanting to improve your posture, balance and gait and avoid a fracture? People of all ages who want to prevent or treat osteoporosis will find everything they need at RIC’s Osteoporosis Program. RIC brings it all together in one place – medical expertise, state-of-the-art diagnostics, expert physical and occupational therapy, and clinically based exercise programs. If you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis, need to be screened for the disease or believe that you are at risk of developing it, our team can help.
A Multidisciplinary Approach to Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a potentially debilitating disease in which bones that were once strong become thin, fragile and prone to breaking. Compression fractures of the spine are a frequent result of the disease, causing lasting pain, immobility and reduced quality of life. The good news is that while some bone loss is inevitable, osteoporosis and further bone loss can be prevented, controlled, slowed and managed. At RIC, we offer a threefold approach to treatment – diagnosis, medication and physical rehabilitation – which may be integrated with your primary physician’s care or may act as an independent, comprehensive treatment.
Diagnosis: An Important First Step
At RIC, you can be screened for osteoporosis with a DEXA bone scan, a specialized radiographic technology for measuring bone density and evaluating bone health. Unlike ordinary X-ray, bone densitometry can detect even mild bone loss that may lead to osteoporosis. Experts certified in bone density analysis interpret and report results. With an understanding of your bone health, your physician can recommend a plan of care that might include medications to slow bone loss, an exercise regimen, an assessment of your strength and balance, and education on staying healthy through diet, exercise and safety.
Physical Rehabilitation: Supporting Your Body as a Whole to Suit Your Lifestyle
Prevention and treatment of osteoporosis involve more than simply taking medication. Weight-bearing exercises and adequate intake of calcium and vitamin D are essential to bone health; posture, flexibility and balance support proper body mechanics; and a safe home environment is vital to avoiding falls and fractures.
Based on your lifestyle, home environment and activities of daily living, our occupational therapists work with you to make sure you can safely do the things you want and need to do, and teach you about body mechanics, proper posture, lifting and bending. They also may recommend helpful tools such as reachers and braces to maximize safety, and will educate you on fall prevention, home safety and bone-healthy nutrition.
Based on a thorough assessment of your posture, balance, strength and flexibility, the program’s physical therapists will recommend an individualized exercise program just for you. Your program may vary from learning exercises to do at home or your health club, to one-on-one physical therapy designed to target your specific areas of weakness. Regardless of your starting point, our therapists are dedicated to optimizing your bone health, mobility and safety.
Medical Management: Strengthening Your Bones from Within
People diagnosed with osteoporosis and some at high risk for developing the condition often benefit from therapy combined with pharmaceutical treatments that slow the advancement of bone loss and reduce the risk of fracture. In some instances, new drugs actually can rebuild bone that has been lost. Physicians at RIC have been involved in the development of many of these drugs and are currently working on new treatments to prevent osteoporosis and rebuild bone. While many people receive appropriate osteoporosis treatment from their primary care physicians, RIC offers specialized care for people who will best benefit from a highly detailed, integrated treatment program, particularly for those with more complicated situations, repeated fractures or disabilities.
Making an Appointment
Have your physician write a referral for an evaluation by our therapy team, a bone density scan (DEXA scan) or a physician consultation. Then call us at 800.883.3931 to schedule an initial evaluation at the 345 E. Superior St. location.
Meet the RIC Osteoporosis Rehabilitation Team Leaders
- Sharon Feldmann , PT, Clinical Manager
- Lisa Maskala Streff, RT(R)
- Thomas J. Schnitzer, MD, PhD
- Nicole Wysocki, MD