Diagnosed with a broken bone after sneezing or falling off the low-level sofa onto the ground? Osteoporosis is here to greet you with open hands! A great number of elderly people suffer from osteoporosis which is a bone disease that occurs when our body loses too much bones, makes too little bones or both. If you are osteoporosis patient you are given a certain set of do’s and don’ts to be followed rigidly for safeguarding your health. These are applicable in all aspects of life-the way you live, the exercise you do and how you carry yourself.
Filling the Pores of Osteoporosis
Healthy bones are like a honeycomb which have small holes in between but osteoporotic bones have larger holes and spaces that are multiple times larger than those present in healthy bones. Breaking of bones mainly occur at the hip, spine and wrist. There are few cases where the patient’s height is affected. This is due to impact on the vertebrae or spinal bones, both of which have greater contribution towards a stooped or hunched posture. Losing your standard height is a vital sign of osteoporosis and its recommended to identify the disease as early as possible as this too is a silent disease like your blood pressure. You can feel what is happening inside your body with the clue from your bones and breaking of bones after a simple sneeze or a petite fall is the first sign of osteoporosis.
Yoga has been a great exercise form enabling people across age groups to practice and reap benefits. There is no age limit, exercises are available for suiting every person’s needs and flexibility is the greatest asset of this activity form. Conceived in India, yoga has taken the world to its feet by giving a solution to each of us who suffer from health problems. Read more about yoga and its list of benefits by visiting the website www.firsteatright.com. But a new study has taken us all by surprise. According to research from Mayo Clinic yoga postures that try flexing the spine beyond a certain limit puts you at an increased risk of compression fracture in people with thinning bones.
Breaking the Asana
There have been researches quoting injuries from yoga. This made some researchers interested in knowing about the injuries in people with osteoporosis and osteopenia, both of which are conditions related to low bone density.
As described below, osteoporosis is the advanced stage of bone loss while the earlier stage of it is called as osteopenia. The researchers examined the case history of 89 patients who came for treatment due to pain arising from yoga practice. They experienced pain in the back, neck, shoulder, hip, knee or a combination of it all. Medical history showed that while some were new to yoga others had been practicing it for years together. Of the different postures available in yoga, the patients pointed out 12 postures that they felt caused or aggravated their symptoms. Most of these postures included high degree of flexing the spine. The injuries experienced by the participants was categorized as soft tissue, joint or bone injury after studying the patient’s medical files thoroughly. The researchers also identified 29 different bone-related injuries that included compression fracture, disc degeneration or vertebrae slip with compression fracture being related to posture problems with greater pressure over the vertebra and disks.
As we all know, practicing yoga is immensely useful for our body as it improves balance, flexibility and overall body strength. There are different forms of yoga and we even have different forms of the same asana modified to accommodate the needs of different people. For instance, pregnancy yoga has become popular in recent years and what’s exclusive for pregnant women here? These women are taught asanas for enabling easier delivery and the poses are modified to suit their body. Even hospitals have separate sessions arranging yoga classes for pregnant women. Likewise, for someone suffering from osteoporosis or osteopenia it is mandatory that you modify certain postures to accommodate your needs. The research team incorporated these customizations and observed that the patients experienced lesser pain and greater improvements in their symptoms. Maybe its time we started conducting customized classes for patients suffering from osteoporosis as well!
Exercising is appreciated and recommended. But doing something that worsens your existing condition is not going to be of help anytime. Learn to exercise correctly, use the right asanas and take care of yourself for avoiding greater health risks later.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.