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Waging a battle against brittle bones

Core Fitness program aims to prevent, treat osteoporosis

Strength trainer Denise Pontbriand helps Sharon Valcourt with scapular strengthening exercises using a Thera-Band. Christopher Tanguay. (click for larger version)
August 08, 2010
STURBRIDGE — Some estimates suggest nearly half of all women will experience bone loss due to osteoporosis after age 50.

Core Fitness, a strength training center in the Sturbridge Marketplace, offers not only personalized private exercise sessions, but features a variety of bone building and strengthening classes geared specifically toward people with osteoporosis and those trying to prevent it.

Denise Pontbriand, a certified senior strength trainer and assistant physical therapist for more than 30 years, opened Core Fitness in June at the encouragement of some longtime patients looking for tailored exercise routines to help address bone loss and bone frailty issues.

"I'm kind of going by what people are asking for," Pontbriand said of her offerings at the fitness center. "I'm focusing on injury prevention and quality."

Pontbriand said nearly 75 percent of osteoporosis-induced spinal fractures actually occur without pain. A patient may endure numerous fractures, resulting in porous, brittle bones, and not even know it.

Not knowing about bone loss or potential fractures puts individuals at an increased risk for further damage to their bodies.

For more on this story, please see Monday's Southbridge Evening News.

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