Assuming that you have a T-score of -4.8, as opposed to 4.8, jogging is not considered a safe activity for you. Power walking or walking briskly is much safer and almost as effective for achieving the many health benefits of exercise. In addition, you should avoid any movements that involve bending forward from the waist, such as toe touches or abdominal crunches, as well as movements that involve excessive twisting of the spine. These movements can lead to spine fractures in individuals with osteoporosis. You can learn more about protecting your spine by visiting www.nof.org/osteoandyourspine and downloading the NOF publication "Protecting Your Fragile Spine." I would also recommend working with a knowledgeable physical therapist to develop a safe exercise program.View Thread
You are correct that staying active is important for people with osteoporosis. However, immediately following a spine fracture, it's important to avoid activities that could place pressure on the fractured vertebrae as it heals. Typically, a week or two after the fracture, patients will be encouraged to increase activity and exercise with permission from their physician. Often, walking is suggested since it is fairly safe for the spine and can prevent many problems that can start from too much bed rest. It is a good time to focus on great posture while walking since this will take pressure off of the spine and can help prevent future problems. Patients should try to be as tall as they can as they walk. A physician can also provide a referral to work with a physical therapist who works with people with osteoporosis. A physical therapist can teach patients which exercises to do to help protect the spine. A PT can also teach a patient how to move safely to help prevent future fractures. As Janemarie55 mentioned, there are procedures available that may help reduce pain, however these procedures are not right for everyone. It's important to work with a knowledgeable healthcare provider who can provide appropriate guidance.View Thread
If you have osteoporosis or low bone density, you may need to avoid certain movements or poses in yoga and other forms of exercise. Here are some examples of what to AVOID:
*Exercises that require you to bend forward from the waist, such as standing forward bend, head to knee pose and seated forward bend. These movements can cause fractures in the spine bones (vertebrae).
*Activities that involve rounding or hunching of the back.
*Twisting your spine to a point of strain, especially when in a standing or seated position.
*Sudden jerking, rapid movements.
*Poses that bear weight directly on the neck, such as headstand and shoulderstand positions.
You can also make certain yoga poses or exercises safer by adding props. For example:
*When doing seated poses or exercises, you may need to sit on at least two firm folded blankets to avoid rounding or hunching the back.
*When lying down you may need to place support under your head to keep your forehead level or slightly higher than your chin. This is especially important if your posture is stooped or hunched.
*When doing bending exercises such as the downwardfacing dog pose, you may need to use yoga blocks to avoid bending from the waist.
*When doing balance exercises, if you feel unsteady to the point where you could fall, you may need to be near a wall or chair for hand support.
These guidelines may not be right for everyone.View Thread
There would likely be some benefit to bone density from doing Zumba but I am concerned that this type of activity could cause a flare up of the knees. This could limit general activity and eventually decrease your ability to do weight-bearing activities. My suggestion is to consider strength training which can benefit bone density, and when done properly, can decrease the symptoms of arthritis in the knees. Strengthening around the knee joints likely improves the shock absorbing ability of the knee and provides stability which can decrease pain from arthritis. It would be best to meet individually with a physical therapist to learn the best exercises for your knees. A physical therapist can help you find exercises that are comfortable for you and do not cause pain. The PT can also individually tailor the exercises to meet your needs and adjust them when necessary. The strength training program could eventually be done at a fitness club or in the home. And, while they are at it, work with the physical therapist on a general strength training program to address all areas of the body for general health, including bone health. Also, keep up the walking as you are able to benefit cardiovascular health and bone strength.View Thread
Fortunately, the same principles apply whether you do Pilates exercises on the machines or as floor exercises. If you have low bone density or osteoporosis, it is important to avoid flexion, or rounding, of the spine. People who use machines can adjust the springs to either apply more assistance or resistance. This gives the opportunity to do some exercises that may not be possible as mat exercises. Adding a spring-assist to a typical spine flexion exercise may allow the exercise to be done with the spine left in a neutral, or natural, position without spine flexion. The same precautions of avoiding forced side bending and twisting apply to machines as well.View Thread
If you have low bone density or osteoporosis, you can still make Pilates a part of your regular exercise program. However, you should avoid or modify certain movements to prevent too much stress on your spine, ribs and hips. It's important to work with an instructor who is knowledgeable about osteoporosis to develop a program that is safe and appropriate for your individual needs. Here are some tips:
Avoid Flexion of the Spine
Many movements in Pilates involve flexion or bending, which causes the back to round into a C-curve. Forward flexion brings the head and shoulders closer to the abdomen. People with osteoporosis or low bone density should avoid or modify movements with flexion. The most common Pilates exercise that involves forward flexion is called "the hundred." The position of the head, neck and back are not safe if you have low bone density or osteoporosis. Other exercises that involve flexion or bending include ab prep and scissors. You can modify these movements by keeping your head down. This will actually make these exercises more challenging. You should not feel pain in your lower back. Only do what you are comfortable with.
If you have low bone density or osteoporosis, you should avoid Pilates movements that involve flexion of the spine and cannot be modified. Some of the exercises to avoid include: roll up, rolling like a ball, seal, criss cross, teaser, roll over, shoulder stand, saw, spine stretch, jackknife, bicycle, boomerang, double leg stretch, single leg stretch, open leg rocker, crab, corkscrew and neck pull.
Choose Extension Exercises
People with osteoporosis or low bone density should focus on extension exercises. These include exercises that involve backward bending. Some examples are: breast stroke prep, one leg kick, breast stroke, double leg kick, swan and swimming. You can put a pillow under your lowest ribs to protect them when lying face down.
Be Careful With Exercises That Involve Side Bending and Twisting
A little side bending and twisting is fine, but you should not push yourself to a point of strain. Keep these movements small. When bending and twisting, it is important to keep your spine as straight as possible. To do this, imagine you are standing against a wall with your head, middle back and buttocks touching the wall. You should only have a slight curve inward in your lower back. When doing movements with bending and twisting, your instructor can help you make sure your form is correct.View Thread
I do not know of any specific guidelines for ankle weights. However, if you can do 10 to 12 repetitions of an exercise with a particular weight, the weight is likely safe for you. If you have osteoporosis and have had a fracture or are frail, you should use a lighter weight that allows you to do the exercise 15 to 20 times before you fatigue.View Thread
When doing yoga, it is okay to hinge at the hips. However, people with osteoporosis need to avoid bending at the waist. This can round out the back, placing the spine in a position that could cause a fracture (broken bone). People with osteoporosis should work individually with a yoga instructor for at least one or two sessions to be sure they can keep the spine in its neutral position (with its natural curves) without flexing. For additional information on this topic, please the NOF article on page 5 of "The Osteoporosis Report" at http://forums.webmd.com/3/osteoporosis-exchange/resource/11 (Winter 2008 issue).View Thread
The National Osteoporosis Foundation's patient handbook, "Boning Up on Osteoporosis" advises people who have osteoporosis or those who are at risk of spine fractures with the following statement:
"Don't lift or carry objects, packages or babies weighing more than 10 pounds. If you are unsure how much you can lift, check with your healthcare provider, especially a physical therapist."
This guideline was developed for a general audience and is therefore conservative in order to protect those at greatest risk. This includes people who have already broken bones in the spine as well as individuals who are at high risk of breaking a bone.
According to this guideline, the total weight limitation is 10 lbs. If I person was using hand weights, they could lift up to 5 lbs in each hand. For a person lifting 25 lbs in each hand, the total downward pressure into the spine would be from 50 pounds.
Even if we know a person's bone density, there is no way to determine how much weight that person can lift without risking a fracture. This is because there are many factors that affect each individual's risk of breaking a bone. For example, an 80-year-old with osteoporosis is at a much greater risk of a fracture than a 50 or 60-year-old with the same bone density. However, there are also younger people with very low bone density for whom these conservative guidelines apply.
NOF's guidelines should not discourage people with low bone density or osteoporosis from exercising. NOF encourages individuals to do weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening exercises for their bone health.
A person with osteoporosis may be able to safely do a biceps curl, in perfect position, with more than 10 pounds, where it might not be as safe for them to carry other items at the same weight. Packages shift and babies wiggle which can increase the risk of a spine fracture in a person with a fragile spine. However, it is important for individuals to work with a knowledgeable health professional to ensure that they are using correct form when lifting weights.
If you have osteoporosis and are not sure how much weight you can safely lift, check with your healthcare provider, especially a physical therapist, for appropriate guidance.View Thread
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