Osteoporosis is a loss in density to our bones which weakens
them, causing a higher potential risk of suffering a broken bone from movement
or a simple fall. With age and especially for women post menopause, there is a
higher risk of Osteoporosis. There are
also genetic factors and medical reasons we can get this condition too. The good news is that Pilates used as a
weight bearing exercise can significantly improve bone density as well as
prevent further bone lose. Pilates will also help with posture awareness, mobility
and is safe to do for people with Osteoporosis. It is really important that
people know the movements they should avoid if they do have Osteoporosis.
In our daily life we need to retrain our minds if we have
this condition, so that we make sure we are moving safely and do not get any
injuries from poor movement. Driving, gardening, picking up things from the
floor or carrying shopping can all be done no problem, but movement with
bending forwards and loading the upper back should be avoided. Also, movement
of rotation with flexion (forward bending in the upper back) needs to be
avoided as there is a risk of fracture to your vertebra if you do this.
Exercises where you bend using your hips and thighs will
facilitate safe movement. Rotation of the spine obviously can be done but not
with loaded flexion. So no bending over boxes. Keep your spine straight.
Pilates will help strengthen your core and whole body safely and we can adapt
exercises to make sure you have a routine that is tailored to your needs. You
must avoid curl up exercises (sit up type exercises) as these load the upper
spine. Anything that flexes your upper back should be avoided. As well as rotation with flexion movement.
There are many Pilates exercises that have these movements in them so it is
highly recommended that you make sure your Pilates instructor is fully aware of
exercises to avoid and how to adapt them for you.
So as a previous Radiographer for 12 years working at
numerous London hospitals covering many specialities and a Pilates teacher for
14 years, now mentoring Pilates students for Body Control Pilates. I have put
together some exercises for you which are safe and effective when you have
osteoporosis and are also useful at preventing bone loss due to their weight
Please download 5 safe exercises you can do every day here or take a look at our 30 minute video
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