Dealing with the Stress of Osteoporosis

Pam Flores @phflores Health Guide
  • We all have to deal with stress; it may be a result of a recent diagnosis or the challenge of deciding which treatment to use for osteoporosis, but you can manage this with the proper tools. Unfortunately there is a lot we have to worry about, but we don't have to let it eat us alive or rule our daily existence.

    I use exercise, along with guided imagery to help deal with my daily stress.  However some of us now have to consider what exercise we can do safely, without causing further risk and injury to our diminished bone density.  One of the easiest ways to formulate a safe weight bearing routine, for stress relief and bone health, is to consult with a Physical Therapist that can evaluate your current physical condition and work up a routine that will be suited to you that incorporates weight bearing exercises with an emphasis on good body mechanics and stress relief.  

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    Deep breathing, visualization, guided imagery, aromatherapy, and relaxation techniques are all things to consider when looking for something that will help you the most to relieve your stress.  I find that guided imagery, just before bed, washes away the negatives that have accumulated in my brain and releases a sense of overall calm that is beneficial for sleep preparation.  These things can be done at any time of the day, and in particular when you are in the midst of something very upsetting that you can't shake.  If you apply any of these techniques to deal with a stressor, you'll find it much easier to handle the next time it comes up, and will be amazed at how fast the stress can be stripped from your mind and body while it's occurring. 

    Since stress elevates our cortisol levels, cortisol will in turn cause muscle spasms, that can manifest into heart problems, headaches, stomach upset, and lack of sleep, just to name a few.  Relieving stress reduces many physical ailments, and has a positive reaction on the way we heal and can prevent and reduce common problems like elevated blood pressure, and arrhythmia problems with the benefit of a general feeling of well being.  Stress relieving techniques, and their benefits, are well documented for those contemplating open heart surgery, cancer treatment and osteoporosis management.

    Look for CD's of your favorite author or holistic speaker and use these to combat the stress as it occurs.  If you continue to utilize these techniques you'll notice that each additional stressor lessens in intensity each time it arrives in your life. 

    I could tell you my favorite speaker, who has many CD's on stress relief, but I think it's more important to find one that best suits you and your personality.  Things that I may like may be something that you find hokey, so look for the best fit for you.


    When you are presented with a new stressor, acknowledge it, and then deal with it in a constructive manner.  Try to eliminate looking at a diagnosis in a solely negative way.  We can learn many things from the difficulties that life throws our way.  By acknowledging and constructively managing stressors, you give stress validity so it can be handled in a way that improves your outlook, health, healing abilities, and knowledge on how to deal with problems when they arise. 


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    Some hospitals use laughter therapy to calm patients before surgery.  The hospital provides the classic comedies that are available on DVD, so you can watch them in your hospital room before and after your procedure.  Watching these comedies helps to relieve stress, and laughter produces endorphins, the bodies natural pain killer; so try this technique at home since we know how well it works for stress, pain and sleep induction.

    When you are presented with a stressful situation trust in yourself to make the right decisions, and you'll find out that the solutions to all things have always been within you, just waiting for you to access them. 


    Don't worry about things that haven't happened, because you will always know more tomorrow than you do today and the future will resolve itself when it arrives, if you stay routed in the present.


    To find a Physical Therapist near you at the American Physical Therapy Association.


    Tell us about "your" favorite stress relieving techniques so we can add it to our repertoire.


Published On: October 28, 2008