Yoga

Namaste Readers!Yoga and Osteo Cover Photo copy

Yoga has become so popular in our culture that it seems to pop up on the Internet, in alternative medicine and even amongst scientists and doctors. It is typically recognized as an exercise that makes our body more flexible and stronger!

There are many types of yoga that target different parts of our body. Some are meant just for relaxation, while others teach us to strengthen our muscles. So the burning question some of us are asking is, “can yoga help osteoporotic bones?”

Yoga is a great exercise and can strengthen and build balance in almost anyone. Yoga is also now being studied for helping to correct unwanted spine curvature like scoliosis and initial results show promise. Some also say that yoga can help increase our bone mass, although research in this area is not yet conclusive and needs more studies.

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The caveat with yoga is that many of the poses done in a yoga program can harm osteoporotic bones. Yes… harm… so it seems like yoga and osteoporosis may not really go together like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Here are some reasons why:

  • Healthy, strong bones can withstand extra stress acting on the skeleton during certain yoga poses. For example, when we bend forward to touch our toes, the spine curves forward and stretches the back leg muscles, such as during the Downward Dog pose. This puts pressure between the bones that make up our spine (called vertebrae). Osteoporosis can seriously weaken our spine bones, which can then fracture even with a little extra pressure, such as during a forward spine bend.
  • Other common yoga poses, such as the Triangle, Half-Twist or Warrior poses require our torso to rotate around the hips. Although they are great ways to relieve muscle tension, the twisting motion, in osteoporotic skeleton, places tension on the spine causing unwanted stress.

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Sometimes osteoporosis can lead to several spine bones being compressed and collapsed due to numerous fractures resulting in a permanent forward hunch (called ‘kyphosis’). This osteoporotic hunch can cause chronic pain, disability and negatively influence health and self-esteem. At this point, even simple things like pulling the knees towards the chest while on the back can add stress to weakened spine.

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Therefore, if you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis and want to exercise safely and effectively, please avoid drastic movements and poses that place stress on your bones, especially your spine, like forward spine bending, spine twisting, lifting arms above shoulder height or high-intensity jumping.

If you have osteoporosis and are still tempted to do yoga, talk to your doctor to see what they recommend, or at least talk to the yoga instructor and ask them to modify spine bends and twists during the class for you. Just remember that you need to be careful to not place too much stress on your bones, like your spine, to cause them to fracture.

Do you have other questions about yoga and osteoporosis?  Comment in the box below.

By Isabel Rodrigues, Kevin Chia, and Dr Luba Slatkovska. Infographics by Kevin Chia.

 

Canadian Musculoskeletal Conference (CMC) 2016

Registration for #CMCTO2016 for health professionals is now open.  Visit our link on the menu for further details or register at: www.canadianmskconferences.com

We hope to see you there!

 

What is Trabecular Bone Score (TBS)?

Trabecular Bone Score or TBS provides information about the quality of bone structure in the spine bone. This information complements bone mineral density measurement, and can be helpful to clinicians in determining fracture risk and discussing lifestyle management or treatment options with patients. It is conveniently measured during a standard bone density test. We are pleased to announce that our program, the Osteoporosis Program at University Health Network, has recently installed innovative software to measure TBS in our clinic patients. Click on the image below to learn more about TBS.

 

TBSBy Luba Slatkovska, PhD

Osteoporosis in men

It’s that time of the year when wearing a mustache is more than just a fashion statement – the Movember movement seeks to make a contribution to “men living happier, healthier, longer lives”.

Even though osteoporosis affects men less commonly than women, men are also burdened by it. To learn more about osteoporosis and maintaining healthy bones in men, click on the image below and upload a two-page handout.

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We hope you found this information helpful. If you have any other questions, feel free to comment in the box below or email us at osteoporosis@uhn.ca.

 

Osteoporosis vs. Osteoarthritis

An awareness about bone and joint health is being raised this week – the Bone and Joint Action Week (October 12-20).  As part of it, we’d like to share with you some information about two common conditions – osteoporosis and osteoarthritis – that some people mix up for one another. To learn more about osteoporosis and osteoarthritis and the differences between them, click on the image below and upload a two-page handout.

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If you have any other questions, feel free to comment in the box below or email us at osteoporosis@uhn.ca.

Detection of Spinal Fracture Survey

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We invite you to participate in a research study called the Detection of Spinal Fracture Survey, conducted by Osteoporosis Canada and University Health Network.

It involves a 25-question on-line survey that asks about individuals’ preferences about detecting spinal fractures.

To learn more or to participate, visit: www.osteoporosis.ca/spinalfracture

Please do not reply to this  post if you are interested to participate, as your response would be public.

Newsbites: September 2015

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We hope that you had a nice summer! Here are some news and resources brought to you by the OsteoConnections, the official blog of the University Health Network and Mount Sinai Hospital Osteoporosis Program.

OsteoConnections

Check out the recently added patient education materials on our blog.

Osteoporosis Canada

Check out the most recent osteoporosis-related news and resources for Canadians.

University Health Network and Mt Sinai Hospital

Check out some of the patient education and healthy living resources found at our institutions.

Click here for a PDF version of this blog post.

Any questions about these news and resources? Comment in the box below!