Indoor cycling is similar to riding a road bike; the spine is flexed over if the handlebars are set properly and the cyclist is leaning onto them. This is correct form for riding, but not considered a safe position for a spine with low bone density.
The handlebars of a road or spinning cycle can be adjusted to decrease spine flexion by raising them up, above what is considered normal. Another option is to carry out the spinning class without leaning over to the handle bars. Cycling can be performed with good posture in the spine by keeping the trunk more upright, lifting the breastbone, and keeping the chin gently tucked down to lengthen the neck.
Cycling is an excellent aerobic/cardiovascular exercise. However, since riding an outdoor or indoor bike is very low impact, it would be helpful to perform other exercises that can stimulate bone by providing some impact.
Lunges would generally be safe if done with correct form. When doing a lunge, the trunk should be in a neutral position as described above; the hip, knee and ankle should be in a straight line when looking from the front to back; and the knee should stay over the ankle when looking from the side. To determine if the additional weight is safe, a suggestion would be that you should be able to do 12-25 repetitions to the point of fatigue. If you fatigue prior to 12 repetitions, it would be considered high-intensity exercise which may be risky for a person with low bone density.
It is great that you are without fractures. If a person has lost more than 1 1/2 inches of height from their maximal recalled height, they should suspect silent fractures and speak to their healthcare provider, even if bone density is normal or in the low bone density (osteopenia) range.
Good luck with your continued efforts for bone, and general, health!View Thread
Chiropractic adjustments can place forceful stresses through the bone. However, many chiropractors are aware of this and would not perform adjustments on a person with osteoporosis. It is important to let them know that you have low bone density, have a vertebral compression fracture, and to ask if they are aware of the precautions. Many chiropractors use a tool which applies lower levels of pressure than a manual adjustment. This would allow safe adjustments for many people with low bone density. Chiropractors also use modalities (such as heat and electrical stimulation) that would relax your muscles.View Thread
I would like to join into this conversation with a few points.
The evidence about pressure on the vertebrae (the bones that make up your spine), comparing various positions, actually stems from research that looked at the spinal discs, not the bones. And, the research compared individuals who were in a relaxed sitting position to a relaxed standing position (and other positions). The research did not look at individuals who were performing exercises, such as the example in this discussion. So, it is good to keep some of the information from that research in mind, but we are not really sure about the pressure placed on the bones during this and other seated exercises.
The exercise discussed above can be done sitting or lying down. Both are good options. Proper body position, as described by Susan, is very important in either position. The picture does demonstrate how this exercise can be done safely in a sitting position with great posture. If you choose to do the exercise lying down, be sure you are in your best posture, too.
It is very important to work on balance, especially for people with low bone density/osteoporosis or an increased risk of falling. Doing balance exercises while standing will help people improve standing balance more than sitting.
But, all exercises aren't made to work on everything. If you are trying to strengthen or stretch an important area, the best exercise(s) should be chosen based on accomplishing your specific goal(s). When you try to combine things (for example, strengthening with balance or stretching with balance), one or both aspects often get short-changed. So, exercises should be chosen carefully; some with a focus on strength, some on stretching, some for balance, and some that are combination/functional exercises. An overall program, with several exercises, will generally be the best approach.
When choosing combination/functional exercises, it is helpful to think of what you could do to help your function. Some examples are to slowly stand from a chair without using your arms or climbing stairs. If you are having trouble doing your normal daily activities, consider seeing a physical therapist to get exercises that will be individualized for you.
Also, don't forget about your heart and lungs. If they don't work well, nothing else will! Aerobic exercise (such as walking or hiking) should be included in a well-rounded program.View Thread
Unfortunately, I am unable to advise you as to whether jogging is safe for you. This guidance needs to come from your doctor, physical therapist or other healthcare provider who can evaluate your risk of breaking a bone. For many people with osteoporosis, jogging is not considered safe. But, others that have osteoporosis, diagnosed by DXA, can continue jogging or running. If people have a history of fractures with little to no trauma, they should be more conservative and more likely not run/jog. Power walking or walking briskly is much safer and almost as effective for achieving the many health benefits of exercise.
Since you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis, seeing a physical therapist who is knowledgeable in this area could help you develop a safe and appropriate exercise program based on your personal medical history and individual needs. They should specifically look at your medical history, history of fractures (stress fractures and all others), and most importantly, your running form/mechanics and shoes. A shoe which is supportive but also has cushion will often be the best choice to help your mechanics but also give you some shock absorption to avoid stress to the bones and joints. I think this may be your rationale for considering beach running. Please bring this up with your PT. The beach will give you cushion but the sand may cause too much movement in your legs which could cause several problems (bone, muscle, tendon, and joint). Also, many beaches have a slant toward the water so you spend much time with an uneven stress to your body. You may do better running on a more level, predictable surface.
When kayaking is done properly, the spine is in a very upright position and the muscles of the back are doing some great strengthening. Unfortunately, it is easy to move into a forward position and to over-rotate the trunk; both of which could be harmful to the spine. With a t-score of -4.6, it is probably better to be overly cautious and avoid this possibility. Also, getting in and out of the kayak can be a bit challenging, increasing the risk of a fall and getting the kayak into the water would require awkward positions of the body. Even if someone else did this for you, there is still the risk of paddling with undue stress (as noted above). I don't like to say to avoid activities, but it is probably safer to stay away from this one.View Thread
I know you didn't ask for suggestions but I hope you don't mind if I make some. You may benefit from some physical therapy (I expect you have already had some), but specifically from someone who specializes in core stabilization exercises for the spine and who has knowledge of osteoporosis. This might take some phone call interviews to local physical therapy practices. Also, aquatic exercise might be helpful since it would take pressure off of your spine (fracture sites and discs) while you get exercise. Even people who can't swim can do well in the water. Just let the physical therapist or aquatic instructor know your situation. Exercising in the water isn't typically helpful for bone density but it provides so many other benefits.
Also, some people who have compression fractures get great pain relief from a minimally invasive surgery, either kyphoplasty or vertebroplasty. If you haven't already, you might want to investigate these options. It's important to note, however, that these options are not right for everyone. You may also want to download NOF's brochure "Protecting the Fragile Spine" with more information on this topic. It is available at http://www.nof.org/osteoandyourspine .View Thread
If your physician has prescribed Forteo, I would assume you have osteoporosis. It is always best to avoid activities that can increase the risk of a fracture. Since many fractures occur from a fall, it is best to avoid activities that do increase the risk of a fall (ice skating). Also, a hard jarring (snow tubing and water slides) could potentially cause a vertebral (spine) fracture, so these activities should also be avoided. It is best to discuss specifics for any vigorous or high risk activities with your physician since the two of you would best know your general health status and bone-specific health. It is good to remain as active as possible with low bone mass and osteoporosis, so do try to maintain all safe activities.View Thread
There are several reasons for heel pain, most commonly plantar fasciitis/heel spur. Heel pain is not typically a symptom of osteoporosis unless there are stress fractures in the heel (which aren't that common). Unfortunately, if the pain prevents you from being on your feet, it will get in the way of your weight-bearing activities that could help your bone strength. You may have already tried many things, but here are some suggestions:
-You can see your primary care provider to examine your heels and possibly have x-rays or other tests done.
-Podiatrists are specialists in feet and may be able to help you.
-Physical therapists can examine you and suggest stretches or other things to help with the pain.
-And, many people do well using heel cushions which are available in your pharmacy or super store where medical supplies are sold. Orthotics (custom fit arch supports) are also helpful but are much more expensive than the heel cushions.View Thread
I can't say for sure without seeing you in person (as well as the movements) if you could injure yourself doing any of the exercises you mentioned, however, doing exercises with resistance of the water will not likely place stress on your bones that could cause harm. It is great that you are feeling better with all of the activities you are doing. Healthy people with low bone density (osteopenia), but not osteoporosis of the spine, should be able to do most exercises without risking a spine fracture. It's important for people with osteoporosis or those who have had spine fractures to avoid forward bending exercises or twisting to a point of strain. Anyone who has had significant height loss (e.g. 1.5 inches from original height, a loss of one inch or more in a year or curvature of the spine) should be evaluated for a possible spine fracture and should make the same exercise modifications as a person with osteoporosis. It is probably best to adhere to these precautions even with low bone density. Weight training can be very helpful to your bone health if these precautions are followed. People with spondylolisthesis can benefit from core strengthening exercises, but you would want to work with a physical therapist who specializes in low bone density/osteoporosis to learn exercises that are safe for you (especially since you have gotten hurt with Pilates in the past). This type of exercise can be extremely helpful when they are prescribed and performed properly. You should always talk with your healthcare provider about your exercise routine, taking into consideration your medical history and your other health concerns to make sure you aren't doing anything that is unsafe for you.View Thread