Osteoporosis is a weakening of the bones due to a loss of calcium and minerals which can lead to fracture. Osteoporosis is more common in women and can become severe and debilitating without treatment. Osteoporosis can cause a forward flexed or “hunched” posture common in older adults. Exercise is a safe and effective tool that can improve posture, increase bone density and reduce risk of fractures.
Benefits of exercise
Exercise can lead to improvement in posture, increase of muscle strength, reduction in pain, improved balance and improve confidence.
Safe forms of exercise
Gentle stretching, especially of the neck and shoulders is important to improve a “hunched” posture. Stretching the hip flexors and hip rotators can reduce stress on the low back and improved flexed forward posture
- Strength training
Strength training is important to build muscle strength which can contribute to slowed mineral loss and improved endurance to standing for long periods of time. Important muscles to strengthen are the muscle between the shoulder blades and the gluteal to improve upright posture.
- Weight-bearing cardiovascular exercise
It is important to load the bones with body weight to promote a decrease in mineral loss and increased calcium production. Walking, using the elliptical machine, dance, cleaning and gardening are safe aerobic activities to try.
- Balance activities
Balance exercises like yoga, tai chi or Pilates can improve overall joint stability and increase muscle strength, helping to support weak bones. These activities can also assist with fall prevention.
Activities to avoid
- High impact training
Running, jumping, skipping can be dangerous on weakened bones due to their rapid, jerky movements.
Twisting motions put increased stress on weakened bone, leading to higher risk of fracture
Physical therapists are specially trained to help you with the development of a program that will benefit you the most with aims to improve bone density. We treat patients with osteoporosis in the Clermont 34711 area!