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bjhodg56 posted:
I would like to start jogging...but have sever osteoporosis...T score of 4.8 in my spine...should I stay away from running or will it help...
bonebabe responded:
T-score of -4.8 or 4.8? What bones have you already broken?

If your score is -4.8, do not jog. It will cause tiny fractures in your spine that could lead to a compression fracture. Walking would be best bet.

With a diagnosis of severe osteoporosis, you have already had a fracture. Having had one fracture makes you twice as likely to have another. Again, jogging would not be a good choice of exercise for you.
Karen Kemmis, PT, DPT, MS responded:
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 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.
Tomato05 responded:
I have severe osteoporosis too, and I've been jogging for 4 years. I love it and my bone density has improved; I also feel much healthier.

However, it is not the safest exercise, I admit. One can injure yourself really easily. Brisk walking/walking at an incline is much safer, and you can get pretty fit from that too.

Swimming is another good cardio exercise.
phototaker replied to Karen Kemmis, PT, DPT, MS's response:
Karen, I'm curious. I have osteopenia with my hip area close to osteoporosis. While doing swim exercises, we do one exercise where we're on our backs(I have a floating device around my waist), and we move our legs from straight down to straight up in the water. Is that harmful, being that I'm in the water. I'm using force against the water to get my feet to the top of the water. Would this cause injury? I also twist in the water a lot with my knees curled and pull water with my arms. I'm been feeling so great lately doing these water exercises as well as zumba and UJam five times a week. I also do west coast swing dancing. We do balance exercises in the water for cool down and also during cooldown in zumba. I gave up pilates and yoga, two years ago, as I always hurt while doing these exercises.

I'm considering doing weight training soon, and am a little scared about injuring myself. I have spondliosysesis(not correct spelling) in my lower back. I did do weight training about 8 years ago, and really liked it. That was before I was diagnosed with oseopenia. I also have arthritis in my neck which I was told caused my two frozen shoulders. They've both healed after 3 years,(and a lot of work on my part), and I can easily put my arms in back of me, now. The swimming and zumba help me to keep my shoulders and arms working fine at the present time.
Karen Kemmis, PT, DPT, MS replied to phototaker's response:
Dear Phototaker,

I can't say for sure without seeing you in person (as well as the movements) if you could injure yourself doing any of the exercises you mentioned, however, doing exercises with resistance of the water will not likely place stress on your bones that could cause harm. It is great that you are feeling better with all of the activities you are doing. Healthy people with low bone density (osteopenia), but not osteoporosis of the spine, should be able to do most exercises without risking a spine fracture. It's important for people with osteoporosis or those who have had spine fractures to avoid forward bending exercises or twisting to a point of strain. Anyone who has had significant height loss (e.g. 1.5 inches from original height, a loss of one inch or more in a year or curvature of the spine) should be evaluated for a possible spine fracture and should make the same exercise modifications as a person with osteoporosis. It is probably best to adhere to these precautions even with low bone density. Weight training can be very helpful to your bone health if these precautions are followed. People with spondylolisthesis can benefit from core strengthening exercises, but you would want to work with a physical therapist who specializes in low bone density/osteoporosis to learn exercises that are safe for you (especially since you have gotten hurt with Pilates in the past). This type of exercise can be extremely helpful when they are prescribed and performed properly. You should always talk with your healthcare provider about your exercise routine, taking into consideration your medical history and your other health concerns to make sure you aren't doing anything that is unsafe for you.
phototaker replied to Karen Kemmis, PT, DPT, MS's response:
Thank you, Karen. I think I'll ask my doctor to refer me to Kaiser's physical therapist, so I can get some good, safe exercises for my spondylolisthesis and oseopenia. When I went last time, I was in so much pain, I could hardly think to remember the exercises I did with them. Now, I'm out of pain, and will be able to concentrate much better.
lionne replied to Karen Kemmis, PT, DPT, MS's response:
Hi Karen and everyone here,
I used to jog 5x per week, and felt very healthy!
I am only 42, but 4 yrs ago was diagnosed with osteoporosis. I would love to get back into jogging, and was hoping that if i do it very carefully, gently, along the beach shore, it would be okay, and could stengthen my bones. Since I am still only 42.
What do you think?
Tomato05 replied to lionne's response:
Like I said, I have severe osteoporosis and I have had no complications for my bones from jogging (4 1/2 years).

However, I have had a few injuries lately from running, but not osteoporosis-related: torn calf muscle, tendonitis(inflammation) in a tendon in my heel, probably from overuse. I jog only 3 times a week, but I used to do quite long runs every time. I also only run on a treadmill, not outside, which is not ideal.

I would give it a try, if I were you...
Karen Kemmis, PT, DPT, MS replied to lionne's response:

Unfortunately, I am unable to advise you as to whether jogging is safe for you. This guidance needs to come from your doctor, physical therapist or other healthcare provider who can evaluate your risk of breaking a bone. For many people with osteoporosis, jogging is not considered safe. But, others that have osteoporosis, diagnosed by DXA, can continue jogging or running. If people have a history of fractures with little to no trauma, they should be more conservative and more likely not run/jog. Power walking or walking briskly is much safer and almost as effective for achieving the many health benefits of exercise.

Since you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis, seeing a physical therapist who is knowledgeable in this area could help you develop a safe and appropriate exercise program based on your personal medical history and individual needs. They should specifically look at your medical history, history of fractures (stress fractures and all others), and most importantly, your running form/mechanics and shoes. A shoe which is supportive but also has cushion will often be the best choice to help your mechanics but also give you some shock absorption to avoid stress to the bones and joints. I think this may be your rationale for considering beach running. Please bring this up with your PT. The beach will give you cushion but the sand may cause too much movement in your legs which could cause several problems (bone, muscle, tendon, and joint). Also, many beaches have a slant toward the water so you spend much time with an uneven stress to your body. You may do better running on a more level, predictable surface.

Good luck!

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