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Yoga Tips for People with Osteoporosis
Karen Kemmis, PT, DPT, MS posted:
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.
patriciasquest responded:
If weight-bearing exercises are supposed to strengthen bones, and exercise, in general, is healthy for all maintenance, why is it that these yoga moves (stretching) are bad?

Thanks for any response,
phototaker responded:
I knew not to bend at the waist, as I think Beth mentioned that, but I didn't know about rounding or hunching the shoulders. I do zumba, and make sure I don't do twisting, hopping in the air, or bending, but there is a new move in one of the dances I really was wondering about. I squat in the air, straight up,(and others touch the floor), but I don't, and just pat the air half way between my knees and the floor, touch my knees, and pat my bottom, and shake it from side to side. There's a song with words that say, " How Low Can You Go?" I questioned that movement for me. My hips are close to osteroporosis. I'm still in the oseopenia stage. I was wondering if it wasn't good. I sense now that it's not.
Thanks for reminding us of good and bad yoga moves. I don't do yoga or pilates anymore, but have been doing zumba and UJam instead with I thought, no problems. I remember Beth mentioning that you don't know when you're causing little fractures in your back until they fracture all the way down.
I thank you all for helping us. Unfortunately, the doctors don't tell us things like this. I really love WebMD's help. I feel like I learn so much. I'm also helping others with the things I learn from here.
phototaker responded:
Karen, I want to start weight training with a trainer soon, to help my bones. I'm a little concerned about lifting weights. How do you find the right trainer? I've already talked to one at my gym.
Are there questions I should ask? I did ask if he studied on how to work with people who have osteoporosis. He told me a "general" thing that they train him to learn all types of different things. How can I make sure I have the right kind of trainer? I go to a 24 Hour Fitness Gym.

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