Osteoporosis is defined as a disease of the bone that leads to decrease mineral content and weakening of the bone. When you were diagnosed with Osteoporosis, you usually do not experience signs and symptoms until you have a fracture. That is because when you have Osteoporosis the Bone Mineral Density will decrease tremendously, which will weaken your bones leading to prone to fractures. The osteoporotic fracture usually occurs in four common areas: The Shoulder, the Spine, the Wrist and the Hip.
Approximately 10 million Americans have osteoporosis which at least 80% of them are women. The reason why women are more prone to have Osteoporosis than men is because there are two important hormones that are released during their menopause period. Firstly, Estrogen, a hormone that is responsible for protecting the bones decrease sharply when you reach your menopause, causing more prone to fractures. Second, another hormone called Parathyroid Hormone (PTH) increases gradually, which it’s significant is that this hormone causes the breakdown of calcium in our bone and it travels to the bloodstream, which they are eliminated in a form of urine. And we all know that calcium plays the important role in regulating our bones and without it, our bones are prone to fractures.
In addition to fractures, the posture of the patient will start to bend forward known as kyphotic posture, and this is due to deterioration of the bone minerals which will cause the spine to shift forward in this posture.
Unfortunately when you have Osteoporosis, it is a permanent condition which the person have no choice but to live with it. Usually, they have to take Biphosphonates medications for long term use.
Research have shown that exercises serve as a best natural medicine for osteoporosis, which will help improve abnormal posture, strengthen the bones and muscles by increasing the bone mineral density; leading to decrease the symptoms of osteoporosis such as pain and thereby improving the quality of life of the person.
There are 3 important kinds of exercises that you can learn while in the house which I believe they are extremely simple to learn.
1. Weight Bearing Exercises
Some of you may not be familiar with that name, but it is actually a very simple exercise. Weight bearing exercises are a kind of exercises that involve putting your body weight on the ground while you are moving. This is usually in a form of Jogging, walking and stair climbing. Research have shown that the Bone Mineral Density (BMD) increases significantly when performing weight-bearing exercises and this can all be performed while in the house.
2. Non-Weight Bearing Exercises
For those who are unable to participate in weight-bearing exercise, especially the elder adults. They can just exercise in ergometer bicycle since this exercise put less stress or soreness.
3. Resistance (Strength) Training
Strengthening exercise is very effective exercises for osteoporosis since it increases the bone mineral density in the body. However, one must be cautious about putting excessive weight since it will put a lot of strain on the muscle causing pain. Strengthening exercises can be performed such as squatting, forward lunges, walking with your tip toes, or you can even do weight lifting by using dumbells, but it is better you start with 2Ib initially, which then you can progress to 3Ib if your body manage to adapt it. Always remember when performing resistance exercise, it is important to increase the intensity gradually, depends on how much your body can tolerate it
NOTE: Please be aware DO NOT PERFORM EXERCISES THAT INVOLVE BENDING FORWARD OR ROTATING YOUR TRUNK SUCH AS CURL UP OR SIT UP, As this will put too much compression on the spine, leading to greater risk of fracture.
4. Postural Exercises
According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, exercises that involve correcting your posture is very important in order to reduce kyphotic posture, which will help reduce the compression of the spine. There is 3 kinds of postural exercise that you can learn while in the house which will help promote backward posture.
A. Head Presses
A. In this exercise, you will sit in the chair with back support
B. Your chin should be level with the floor and look straight ahead. Do not tilt your chin or forehead upward or downward.
C. Now with this position, you move your head back as far as possible.
D. Hold this for 5 seconds, and perform this 3-5 times.
B. Standing with Bending Backward
A. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and place your hand on the waist
B. With this position, lean your back slowly. This will help stretch your spine and muscles for greater flexibility
C. While leaning backward, maintain this position for 5 seconds. And repeat this for 3-5 times.
C. Stretch your Pectoral muscles
A. To stretch your chest muscles also known as the pectoral muscle.
B. While sitting, place your both hands behind your head. Use your shoulders to move your elbows backward until you feel the stretch.
C. Hold this for 10 seconds and repeats this for 3-5 times.
In addition to exercise, it is important to eat foods that are high in Vitamin D and Calcium such as cheese, milk, yogurt, cereals, and tofu . That is because Vitamin D and Calcium helps strengthen the bones, which will eventually increase the Bone mineral density.
Also If you want to get a lot of Vitamin D, It is better to be exposed to Sunlight, because the sun produces significant amount of Vitamin D in your body.