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Best Exercises for Women with Osteoporosis

Updated on June 18, 2013
(Sxc.hu)
(Sxc.hu)

Differences in Bones

Before and after Osteoporosis
Before and after Osteoporosis

Exercise can Prevent and Ease Osteoporosis

In my work and study in alternative medicine, preventive medicine, and some practical (not mystic) healing techniques learned in advanced Korean and other martial arts; I have gathered information and experience in treating and handling a number of muscular and skeletal complaints. I will give a couple of the successful examples if have witnessed and end with one on osteoporosis. Then I will list some other possibilities.

One young man in late elementary school years came to me from a physical therapist that had exhausted his repertoire of exercises and other treatments in this case. The patient was a "toe walker", a person whose leg muscles were foreshortened in a way to cause perennially bent knees and a gait that consistently showed bent knees and the toes and ball of the foot only coming in to contact with the floor on the floor. My classes each include 30 minutes of stretching and in addition to this, I worked an extra 10 minutes with the young man every other class he attended. By his second year of middle school, he was walking with a normalized gait and had been accepted onto the school football team. He was spared $60,000.00+ worth of leg surgery.

Another student came to me with a family history of rheumatoid arthritis. While still a young adult, this person was told they would be dead in two years, the last of them in a wheelchair. Through my classes and a change in diet and an herbal tonic to clean the liver, she showed no traces left of rheumatoid arthritis after 3 years. The last evidence was a spot on one hip in an x-ray and this disappeared after that patient reduced beef intake from the diet.

In both these cases, I had students begin exercise in the low-impact portions of my classes and build up to greater and greater amounts of impact-related exercise gradually, according to the amount they could individually handle. I have seen in my own classes what has been demonstrated in the Chicago sector of martial arts that has gone into retirement center and nursing homes - Beginning with sitting exercise, individuals as old as 90+ years can be freed of wheelchairs into which arthritis had formerly confined them. Beginning with the fingers and thumbs, a bit each day, we have bee able to loosen up some whole bodies.

Space Age Treatment

Increasing Bone Density and Body Flexibility

One way to increase bone density is to increase weight-bearing exercise, resistance training where the muscles do the work isometrically, or to increase the amount of atmospheric pressure per square inch exerted on the bone itself. To this end, sleeping quarters on some space vehicles include a constant low-frequency vibrating mat that helps human bone retain much of its density in space. Without gravity in space, the calcium would all be absorbed into the body and the space traveler would eventually die. One would be like a jellyfish.

Among Asian medical techniques, one way to accomplish bone density increase is to take a wooden wand and repeatedly tap the body along the bone that needs to be strengthened. In the case of a broken forearm or leg, one can tap up and down the cast for several minutes a day for as long as the cast is worn and this helps. In fact, it did help one of my students reduce his cast time from 6 weeks to five. It also helped me after a compound ankle fracture that also affected my knee. To this day, I do not have any sign of arthritis.

ADDITIONAL EXERCISE

Relevant Slide Show re: Back Pain, from the Mayo Clinic

MAYO CLINIC SLIDE SHOW

Passive exercise received regularly in the form of massage (especially percussion) can increase bone density. Other passive exercise can help those that cannot move well on their own (leg and arm flexing, for example). This also helps stimulate older individuals and can stave off depression that is prevalent in the oldest old age.

In many Chinese daycare centers in the large factories and elsewhere, nurses operate the center, administer passive exercises from the first day a newborn arrives, and continue the regime until the child is walking and dancing.

Exercise bands (flat rubber lengths) are very good for resistance training that can build bone density.

Water exercise is good, because the exercise pool cushions the individual and protects them form high impact. It is much like exercising with weights attached all over your body, without lifting weights.

An exercise that I use with all ages is one in which I instruct students to hold their arms out straight form the shoulders with the hands relaxed. Next, the fingers are curled and squeezed into tight fists for 10 seconds, followed by spreading the fingers out as if to stretch them off the hands. We start with three sets of tight fists and stretched fingers and as people become stronger, we increase the number of sets. This strengthens the arm muscles and can help reduce the likelihood of carpal tunnel syndrome in the finger exercise especially. Anyone not accustomed to exercise can start with one set of tight fists and stretched fingers. Such a person may not be able to lift their arms very high on the first day either, but that will improve day by day. If they cannot lift their arms at all the first day, that is also fine; eventually they may be able to do so while their hands are strengthening and loosening. Toe wiggling is beneficial for the feet.

Any flexibility exercises can be used in a gradual manner in cases of osteoporosis, since a flexible individual is less likely to experience as many injuries as a joint-stiff individual.

Another simple exercise to start on hand loosening and strengthening is simply to touch the thumb of one hand to each of the fingertips on that hand and then switch hands and touch the thumb of that hand to all the fingertips of that hand and repeat. Then wrist rotations can be added, followed by elbow flexing and extending down the road. Shoulder rotations can add extra flexibility as well.

Walking is a good exercise to use, or walking in place indoors. The wheelchair bound can lift each foot and place it back on the floor, alternating feet and this is beneficial.

I recommend against any twisting of the spine and neck in cases of osteoporosis, deep knees bands for anyone, and care in bending from the waist when osteoporosis is present in an individual.

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    • profile image

      Fosamax Recall 

      7 years ago

      Walking is the best form of exercise. Though I'm still young at age, I know that time will come that I will age and can be at risk with osteoporosis. Walking is not only a form of exercise for me but already a part of my routine and lifestyle.

    • profile image

      Fosamax Fracture Lawsuit 

      7 years ago

      Resistance training is indeed the best type of exercise for strengthening bones and the muscles around it. The arms and legs are good targets for this type of exercise. It helps in toning the muscles around the humerus and femur.

    • gramarye profile image

      gramarye 

      8 years ago from Adelaide - Australia

      Goodness - no comments for 2 years! This is a really good hub with lots of information that I didn't know before. I'm surprised there are not more comments that are recent!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      11 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Yes, this chronic deiting phenomenon must be addressed. YOu will help a lot of young women in your work - young men too!

    • Maddie Ruud profile image

      Maddie Ruud 

      11 years ago from Oakland, CA

      Thanks for this, Patty. Another great hub. The incidence of osteoporosis in adolescent and young women in the States is skyrocketing as chronic dieting and malnutrition becomes the norm...

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