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Low Bone Mass (Osteopenia) & Osteoporosis | Causes, Symptoms, & Treatment with Laura Bilek, PT, PhD

Feb 23, 2022

If you have low bone mass (osteopenia) you ARE at an increased risk of osteoporosis and frailty fractures. This episode with Laura Bilek, PT, PhD - one of my physical therapy professors - will review the causes, symptoms, and treatment for low bone mass so that you can help prevent fractures and osteoporosis. 

After menopause when estrogen drops, bone mineral density also decreases. Being proactive with resistance exercise and bisphosphonates such as risedronate can greatly help improve your bone health as you age.  


Here are the Timestamps for this Episode

0:00 - Why we care about body composition changes during the menopause transition for our bones?

5:00 - What’s the difference between osteoporosis, low bone mass, and fragility fractures?

6:15 - How to interpret your T-Score to know if you have low bone mass.

9:15 - Which is more important for bones - lean mass versus total body weight?

10:00 - Risk factors for osteoporosis. 

13:10 - Best exercises to keep our bones healthy and prevent fractures. 

14:30 - Why resistance training is KEY for fracture prevention + recommended parameters for how frequently and intensely to strength train for fracture prevention. 

15:57 - How do the resistance changing recommendations change for someone who already has osteoporosis or a high T score?

23:10 - Comparing the effects of exercise and risedronate on bone mineral density. 

24:20 - The role physical activity and exercise plays in fracture prevention. 

28:58 - Why hip extension strengthening may be particularly valuable in preventing femoral neck (hip) fractures. 

32:43 - Take home messages to improve and preserve bone mineral density to prevent osteoporosis and frailty fractures. 

39:56 - My BIGGEST pet-peeve in geriatric rehab. 

40:30 - How to stop using the “I don’t have time to exercise” excuse. 

To connect with Dr. Bilek, you can email her at [email protected] 

Osteoporosis Foundation: 

Bone-loading exercises versus risedronate for the prevention of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women with low bone mass: a randomized controlled trial: 

Listen to this Podcast Episode


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