Osteoporosis is a disease that the bones become so fragile that it will increase the risk of bone fractures in the body. Sometimes, some patients will not experience any symptom while others are having symptoms such as having pain in their weight-bearing bones like in their Knee or Hip. Having osteoporosis can sometimes be inevitable no matter how healthy you are.
There are lists of risk factors for osteoporosis and It could occasionally be caused by imbalance nutrition, limited activities, gender, or even based on your race.
Moreover, women starting from their age 50’s will be prone to have postmenopausal osteoporosis, since there will be increased the release of calcium from their bones to the blood which will further weaken the bones or cause bone loss, leading to pathological fracture, and this cycle aggravates during menopausal period.
Osteoporosis in men is less predominant than women because they tend to have high testosterone, which will help increase bone mass in their body. Nonetheless, it is extremely important to let the physicians, medical check on you, especially if you have a positive family history.
The doctor will usually instruct the patient to have them checked through known as “dual energy X-ray absorptiometry or DEXA, which is a radiological procedure that is measuring the bone mineral density. The Bone Mineral Density is an effective indicator to find if there is osteoporosis.
Unfortunately, some people who are unfortunate to have osteoporosis, are usually given medication such as Bisphosphonate, which is important to prevent having risks of fractures, taking adequate Vitamin D and Calcium, and even exercising.
Most of us knew that weight-bearing exercises such as walking, jumping or riding in stationery bicycle are very useful in improving bone mineral density. But it is surprising to say that only a few people are aware that yoga is, in fact, one of the few activities that will help control or even decrease the severe symptoms of osteoporosis.
What is Yoga?
Yoga is “a group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines which originated in ancient India”. As the word said, this practice originally comes from India, which is commonly used now in the western world.
It has shown that yoga is effective in improving back pain, depression, anxiety and other mental conditions which will negatively affect your health. When we think of “Yoga and Osteoporosis” as one, it actually makes sense since Yoga is one of the best alternative therapy to reduce or even prevent the symptoms of Osteoporosis by strengthening the bones, which will eventually improve the Bone Mineral Density.
In addition to that, Yoga has also other benefits, which will reduce tension in the body, improve the posture, flexibility and strength of the body, which these are a necessity to improve the quality life of patients have osteoporosis.
Why is Yoga good for Osteoporosis?
That is because Research shows that Yoga is good for Osteoporosis by improving the Bone Mineral Density of the Spine and Femur. There was a research called “Twelve-Minute Daily Yoga Regimen Reverses Osteoporotic Bone Loss“, which they conducted on last April 2016 about the effectiveness of practicing yoga in osteoporosis patients.
This is a 10-year study, which they recruit about 741 volunteers by communicating them through emails. Before they will be performing yoga, the volunteer groups were first required to have them examined through Dual-energy x-ray absorptiometric (DEXA) to see if they were eligible to join the study group and do yoga exercises. However, if the findings from DEXA is abnormal, the volunteers will have to do further testing such as urine and blood test.
If the values are normal, then they can join the study group, but if there are still abnormal values in the Laboratory result, then they must have themselves referred or check-up to the specialist. That is because if there are abnormal values, there is a high chance the conditions is not probably osteoporosis, but rather other conditions that manifest similar symptoms.
By the title itself, you can already tell that this is a 12-minute yoga exercise, which the volunteer groups will be given DVD and practice these yoga techniques. Most of these volunteer groups already have yoga experience, but those who don’t have any experience at all, they will have to attend at least one private lesson from the yoga teacher or yoga therapist before they can do the exercises.
On the DVD, there are 12 yoga poses for osteoporosis that the study group must do, which this pose they do and hold that body place for at least 30 seconds.
- Vriksasana – Tree pose
- Trikonasana – Triangle pose
- Virabhadrasana II – Warrior 2 Pose
- Parsvakonasana – side-angle pose
- Parivrtta Trikonasana—twisted triangle
- Salabhasana —Locust,
- Setu Bandhasana —bridge
- Supta Padangusthasana I—supine hand-to-foot I
- Supta Padangusth¬ asana II —supine hand-to-foot II
- Marichyasana II —straight-legged twist
- Matsyendrasana —bent-knee twist
- Savasana —corpse pose.
Out of 741 participants, 227 Following years of practicing yoga daily, they were being checked again through DEXA, to see any significant difference in Bone Mineral Density of the Hip, Femur, and the Spine.
According to the result, it show’s that they were a significant improvement of the Bone Mineral Density in Femur and Spine with little improvement of the Hip. This concluded that yoga is not just effective but also very safe to use these activities, which will improve the life of the patient.
I believed that in the future, people will see yoga as one of the best alternative therapy for not just osteoporosis, but also other medical conditions, which could benefit to both patients and clients. This is one of the best management or even treatment of Osteoporosis and Osteopenia (having decreased bone mineral density not as severe as osteoporosis).
One of the few advantages of Yoga over other exercises is that people can save a lot of money by performing these activities in the house, instead of going to the gym.
Moreover, some medications have an even horrible side-effect, which could promote more harm in the body. Those clients who don’t have any experience in performing yoga, it is highly recommended to attend yoga center where you can learn to practice these poses and use them when you’re in the house.
In some Physical Therapy clinic, they even offer yoga programs to their patients, which could serve as the best alternative to other exercises.