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Has your doctor prescribed exercise to treat your osteoporosis?
Elizabeth_WebMD_Staff posted:
In addition to bone meds, calcium, and vitamin D, has your doctor prescribed exercise to treat your osteoporosis?

Does your community have a gym, physical therapist, or personal trainer that specializes in osteoporosis?

Do you think insurance companies should pay for exercise as treatment?

Check out these articles and resources for more information and share your experience.

CDC: Doctors Increasingly Prescribe Exercise
Exercise and Osteoporosis - Video
Osteoporosis Exercise

Tomato05 responded:
My doctor "strongly recommended" exercise, rather than prescribing it. In fact, I think the doctors should be more emphatic and treat it more like a prescription, and make it a condition of the treatment, equal to the medication.

No expert in osteoporosis in my area (no trainer, therapist etc. that specializes in the topic), and definitely not gym that takes into account osteoporosis sufferers.

I'm not sure if insurance companies should pay for exercise - in my view it is more a personal responsibility and lifestyle choice, like your diet.

What has "saved" me so far from nasty fractures and other consequences from my osteoporosis, is exercise. Doctors should really drill the importance of exercise in their patients, keep repeating the message, show patients the "success stories", hammer it home.

It would be nice of course if there were more courses for health specialists to specialize in the treatment of patients with osteoporosis (trainers, physical therapists, exercise specialists, and more).
Gerda24 replied to Tomato05's response:
I have a T-score of -4.2 and was told that I can break my bones just by lifting a 10 lb object or even by getting up from a chair. I shouldn't bent from my hip, twist my spine, ... It seems the only exercise I can do is walking but at the same time I would need 'weight bearing' exercise - quite a contradiction and confusing.

What about these vibrators that astronauts used to keep their bone mass. Should every gym or clinic have one for the patients?
Tomato05 replied to Gerda24's response:
Hi Gerda, my T score was similar when I was diagnosed (it has improved somewhat since then). I was told the same type of thing.

I decided to follow my own body and common sense and started exercising vigorously: cardio 3 times a week, weight lifting and walking uphill 3 times a week (alternate days).

Initially I was so weak that I staggered under the lightest weights. My legs were so weak that I had to hold onto the bars on the treadmill. A few years later, I now run 13km (about 8 or 9 miles) three times a week.I walk briskly at a very steep incline.

Best of all, I lift heavier than most ladies in the gym. I kept practising, pushing myself all the time with heavier weights. I can do deadlifts with two 17.5 kg (38.5 lbs) dumbbells, for example. I am fitter and stronger than ever.
bonebabe replied to Gerda24's response:
Weight bearing exercise is simply anything you do on your feet - that bears your weight. Walking is best.

With a -4.2 your doctor is right to caution you about lifting. It's not so much the exact number of pounds, but that the heavier objects are more difficult to lift correctly.

And it's OK to bend from the hip, in fact we encourage it. It's the spine - don't bend from it. It's the repetitive movements of the spine that put pressure on those little bones inside the vertebrae that will break with no pain. When the last one within the vertebra breaks, bam, you have a compression fracture.

I wouldn't use the vibrator with your numbers. Too much pounding or pressure on the spine could cause damage. Go to the NOF website and order their booklet ($1) called "Boning up on Osteoporosis." It has good info and illustrations. We use it as a teaching addition to our rehab classes.
lambda5555m replied to bonebabe's response:
She is right. I had a compression fracture of my L-3 vertebra from just bending over slightly and picking up medical records for the VA and my Disability Retirement Application and it just went "pop" inside and out. I felt it and heard it. I have been on Forteo since right after the fracture and I went from a -.4 in 2004, to -2.3 while on Fossamax, Vitamin D and Calcium supplements. Two years after being on Forteo, I am now at a -1.3 so I have actually regrown bone. Thank goodness for Forteo. Give it a try. Good Luck!!!

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For more information, visit the National Osteoporosis Foundation website