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Physical Therapy for Osteoporosis Pain

Doctors and therapists may also suggest physical therapy techniques for controlling osteoporosis pain. These include:

  • Heat and ice. Both heat and cold can be effective at relieving pain. Warm showers or hot packs can ease stiff muscles. Cold can numb the painful area. Cold can also reduce swelling and inflammation.
  • Physical therapy. Osteoporosis pain may make it difficult for you to be physically active. However, inactivity may make pain worse by leaving you weakened. A physical therapist can work with you on a safe, effective exercise program.
  • Braces and supports. A back brace can relieve pain after a spinal fracture. A brace may also allow you to move around normally while the fracture is healing. But if you depend on the back brace too long, it can weaken your muscles. If you use a brace, begin exercising to strengthen back muscles as soon as your doctor says it is safe.
  • Acupuncture, acupressure, and massage therapy. These treatments all may help relieve pain and tension. If you have osteoporosis pain from spinal fractures, be sure that you talk with your doctor before seeing a massage therapist.

Mind-Body Therapy for Osteoporosis Pain

Your mind and your body are strongly connected. Research has found that some psychological approaches can help manage chronic pain. One or more of these mind-body therapies may work for you:

  • Guided imagery helps you focus on positive words or phrases, or pleasing images. This directs attention away from the pain.
  • Relaxation training uses concentration and deep breathing. This relaxes muscles and relieves pain and tension.
  • Biofeedback is using a special machine that helps you learn to control functions such as your heart rate and muscle tension. Biofeedback can help you master relaxation skills and ease pain.
  • Psychotherapycan be helpful when chronic pain has led to emotional stress and depression. These feelings can add to the pain you're going through. Coping with them can make it easier to manage pain.

Surgery for Osteoporosis Pain

Sometimes if less invasive procedures such as bed rest or medication fail to work, surgery -- either vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty -- may be recommended to treat painful compression fractures. With vertebroplasty, a needle is used to inject a cement mixture into the fracture. With kyphoplasty the cement is injected after a balloon is inflated in the fracture to create a hollow space. These procedures seem to work best if completed within 8 weeks following the spinal fracture.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by David Zelman, MD on October 18, 2014
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