Understanding Bone Health and Osteoporosis
Bone is a living tissue which continuously regenerates itself in process known as remodeling. Bone formation is greater than bone resolution (breakdown) during youth and adolescence allowing us to build maximum bone density. Estrogen is one of the major preservers of bone tissue, keeping our bone breakdown in check through the middle years. Menopausal and post menopausal women experience the loss of bone tissue due to the loss of estrogen. This puts them at a greater risk for osteoporosis. Specific actives like Pilates for osteoporosis can improve bone density. Building strong bones is possible.
4 ways to build bone strength are with impact, changes in direction, speed, and force.
Skeletal alignment is important for bone strength because it:
- Improves force transmission through the bones.
- Reduces chance of falling.
- Reduces chance of spinal fractures.
Bones are regenerated and strengthen through forces acting on them when you are weight-bearing, doing resistance exercise, and impact activities. In our Pilates for Osteoporosis class we incorporate these activities. We also focus on core strength and balance which are foundations of Pilates. We encourage women (and men) to think about prevention and bone building before fractures occur.
The most common sites for fractures to occur are:
- The Thoracic spine. T5-T10, mostly anterior aspect of the discs.
- The wrist
- The femur in the hip.
Pilates for Osteoporosis is done with little or no forward flexion, especially in the laying down (supine) exercises. Loaded forward flextion is avoided. Lateral and rotational exercises are reduced.
Components of Pilates Based Exercise
In nose /out mouth. Deep diaphragm work. Posterior and lateral breathing.
Promotes optimal loading of joints along the kinetic chain when standing.
Contraction of pelvic floor, deep Ab.’s and low back muscles as well as diaphragm involvement. (Like zipping up tight jeans)
The Hip Hinge
Neutral Spine movement from the hips. Strengthens back and glut’s. A functional movement pattern for daily activities
Opposition- energy in both or all directions. Creates stability and strength.