A cat’s purr ranges between the frequencies of 25-150Hz. Frequencies within this range have been shown to improve bone density and promote healing. Not only this, but it has been proven that cat owners have better mental health!
So does this mean we should all be running off to a rescue shelter and adopting ourselves a cat to improve our bone density, general health and healing?! Feel free to if your heart so desires, but let us give you some other pointers to help improve your bone density.
With over 1 million Australians having osteoporosis let’s look a little further into this:
- Osteoporosis makes bones become brittle leading to a higher risk of fractures
- Osteoporosis occurs when bones minerals are lost faster than the body replaces them, causing a decrease in bone density
- People over 50 are at a greater risk
- Women are also at a greater risk due to hormonal changes post-menopausal
Exercise is one of the most effective management strategies to help make bones as strong as possible, reducing the risk of fractures later in life. Although prevention through regular exercise and a healthy lifestyle earlier on in life is the best option, here are some recommendations for exercising if you already suffer from osteoporosis:
- Combine weight-bearing exercise with supervised progressive resistance training
- Weight-bearing activities may either be moderate impact such as jogging and hill walking. Moderate to high impact exercise such as skipping, step-ups, or sports like netball and tennis may be done with care or under supervision
- Resistance training requires muscles to work against a weight, placing stress on the muscles and where they attach to the bones. The bones strengthen as they adapt to this extra strain.
- Use exercise that put some higher impact through your bones – swimming, leisure walking and cycling are considered low impact
- Challenge your balance (in a safe environment), to minimise your falls risk
- Exercises should be completed at least 3 times a week
- Exercises should be progressed gradually – i.e. increasing the load or impact, weight and changing the exercises to vary the load put through the bones and muscles
- Don’t forget to work both your upper and lower body
- Avoid bending over especially with weight, sit ups and twisting of the spine, as this may increase risk of a spinal fracture
If you have previously suffered a fracture due to osteoporosis, or you are not comfortable beginning an exercise programme, we recommend you book an appointment with one of our physiotherapists to get a specific personalised exercise programme.
There are other interventions that may help you if you have low bone density (osteopenia) or osteoporosis such as calcium and vitamin D supplements. We suggest talking to your doctor about these options to cover all aspects to ensure optimal management.