What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a health condition that weakens bones. In the UK it affects 1:2 women and 1:5 men over the age of 50. As oestrogen levels drop there is an increased rate of bone breaking down, and lower bone building rates. This can weaken bones therefore increasing the risk of bone fracture.
To combat this and ensure optimal bone health, dynamic exercise with weight bearing impact is recommended. This can be done by performing small bouts of jumping, skipping, jogging, leaning into outstretched arms, and strengthening programmes such as Pilates.
How Can Pilates Help?
Pilates can help combat the symptoms of osteoporosis by strengthening bones and joints, muscles and tendons. This can be done through resistance and body weight exercises. Patients report improvements in their core strength, posture, and general strength.
Here is one of my patients, Jenny, in the studio doing Clams and Shoulder Bridge in a safe manner for her osteoporosis. Keeping the spine neutral during both exercises by placing a block between the knees for the clam, and keeping the spine straight for the bridge ensure her lumbar spine isn’t placed under flexion. And we finish that off with some dynamic push ups against the wall with outstretched arms for her upper body.
A guideline session:
- Shoulder Bridge (keep spine straight) and lift using the glutes x10
- Clams (with a block between the knees) x10
- Outstretched Arm Pushes x10
- Jumps x bout of 30 secs
Jenny has seen big improvements in her core strength since taking up Pilates. And incorporating weight bearing, dynamic and strength elements means we are keeping her bones and joints strong too!
So, some simple tweaks to traditional Pilates exercises mean patients with osteoporosis can exercise in a safe and effective manner, and still see and feel improvements in strength and function. To book an appointment today Contact Real Motion
Written by Rhea Malkin