It is important that osteoporosis patients exercise, but even more critical that they exercise in the right way. Exercising in the wrong way can be more harmful than not exercising at all! Below are a few important points to keep in mind:
1. Avoid forward bending and twisting the spine.
People with osteoporosis often have an abnormal curvature of the spine known as kyphosis. This occurs when vertebrae (bones that make up the spine) weaken and press upon each other. Exercises or activities that require forward bending can worsen this hump-backed posture and increase the risk of severe injuries. For this reason, exercises such as sit-ups, curl-ups, and toe touches, all of which involve forward bending, should be completely eliminated from any osteoporosis exercise program.
Twisting (rotating) the spine also puts great pressure on the vertebrae (see image). When forward bending and twisting is done at the same time, the stress on the spine is greatly increased. Also, be careful to avoid forward bending and twisting not only during exercise but also during day to day activities such as lifting, vacuuming, sitting, and sneezing.
2. Do not lift a load forward and away from the body.
Avoid lifting a weight forward and away from the body when you are exercising (see image). This can put a lot of stress on the back and cause forward bending of the spine.
3. Do not lift a weight above shoulder height.
Do not perform exercises that require lifting a weight above the shoulders as this causes a tendency towards forward bending. This increases stress on the spine and may lead to injuries.
4. Avoid jogging, jumping, and skipping.
Jarring of the spine during jogging, jumping, and skipping can cause spinal injuries. Try speed walking instead.
The above information was taken from the Osteoporosis Exercise Guide