Worldwide, osteoporosis causes more than 8.9 million fractures annually. This disease causes bones to lose calcium and density, and therefore become more fragile. When dealing with the symptoms and causes of osteoporosis, it is important to consider physical therapy to strengthen your bones and increase your overall body strength and mobility. Yoga does just that, and has actually been shown to be beneficial in increasing the health of people with osteoporosis.
How Yoga Heals Osteoporosis
While being active in general is great for fighting osteoporosis, yoga in particular offers numerous health benefits that support bone health and flexibility. It is important to start slow and build up to more advanced poses. Specifically, poses that provide you with a full-body stretch, promote flexibility, and promote bone cell stimulation. One study that focused on the bone-building benefits of yoga found that, due to the fact that yoga poses pull and stretch the bones from different angles, it may also stimulate the formation of a bone structure that is able to resist greater amounts of pressure.
Yoga Poses That Support Bone Health
The Extended Triangle Pose helps provide you with a full-body stretch while also strengthening the lower body. The Bridge Pose is also great for stretching your back, neck and chest. Twisting poses, which help to put gentle pressure on your spine, are also great for osteoporosis. If you suffer more from lower back pain, try the Locust Pose. This position builds your back strength and therefore increases your overall mobility. Each pose should be held for 30 seconds and then followed by a 30 second pause to prevent injuries or overstretching.
Poses & Activities to Avoid
It is generally recommended to avoid using any sort of force when stretching your body during yoga. The idea is to let your spine and bones naturally relax and stretch little by little over time. It is a good idea to avoid overarching the back or engaging in any poses that require you to extend your spine forward. It is especially important to ensure you aren’t supporting your entire body weight with your hands or wrists as they might be fragile. If you need to build the strength in these areas of your body, add Mudras to your practice.
Yoga & A Healthy You
Yoga, in general, provides many benefits to those who practice it. It offers benefits particularly helpful to those with bone issues associated with osteoporosis such as:
- Increased balanced
- Muscular strength
- Improved Coordination
- Enhance range of motion
Add that on top of an all around great way to get some exercise in and there aren’t many reasons why you shouldn’t give yoga a try.