Table of Contents
A student of my Physical Therapy continuing education course for Physical Therapists on the treatment of osteoporosis, Building Better Bones, asked me to discuss if a client has postmenopausal osteoporosis symptoms.
There are a number physical postmenopausal osteoporosis symptoms that can help you, the health care professional, determine if your client is at risk of osteoporosis.
I cover these individual postmenopausal osteoporosis symptoms in my course — MelioGuide Building Better Bones. This course is a continuing education and professional development for Physical Therapists, Kinesiologists, and Occupational Therapists.
One leading sign of the presence of osteoporosis in your client is the distance between the rib and pelvis.
I was recently contacted by a MelioGuide Building Better Bones student to provide more clarity about rib to pelvis distance as a clinical indicator of osteoporosis.
Postmenopausal Osteoporosis Symptoms
Rib – pelvic distance of less than 2 fingers breaths has been identified as a clinical indicator of osteoporosis. Could you more clearly define how you measure rib-pelvic distance and let me know what is ideal?
No Space Between Rib and Hip Bones
If there is no space between the rib and hip bones, this is an indicator of postmenopausal osteoporosis symptoms. The rib — pelvic distance (space between the rib and hip bones) is usually 2 to 3 finger-breadths.
When someone starts to get vertebral compression fractures the height of the vertebra is reduced sometimes by 60% or more of the original height.
Thus a compression fracture in the lumbar spine would significantly reduce the overall distance between the pelvis and the ribs (space between the rib and hip bones). Some of my clients no longer have any space left between their ribs and their pelvis.
The floating ribs can actually settle into the pelvis. It can be a source of discomfort.
How to Measure Space Between Rib and Hip Bones
- The patient stands erect with arms outstretched at 90 degrees.
- The examiner stands behind the patient and inserts his or her fingers into the space between the inferior margin of the ribs and the superior surface of the pelvis in the mid-axillary line.
- The rib-pelvis distance is the closest whole number of finger-breadths between these structures.