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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What type of exercise should I AVOID if I have osteoporosis?

    Could someone generate a list of exercises/activities one should avoid with osteoporosis? I don't want to put myself at more risk for injury
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    Ali treats people from all walks of life and a variety of complaints. His interests lie in treating and rehabilitating sports injuries, treating headaches and … View Profile

    People with osteoporosis must choose their exercises/activities carefully to avoid strain on bones and injury.

    Exercises / activites to avoid may include:

    1. High impact / dynamic exercises - examples include running, contact sports, hiking, tennis, netball etc
    2. Sport / exercises with risk of falls - activities that require quick change in direction i.e. racquet or ball sports, avoid walking on uneven surfaces
    3. Coupled movements - excessive bending and twisting movements of the spin and hips

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    Adam Floyd

    Physiotherapist

    Adam is a Physiotherapist and Exercise Physiologist with over 15 years clinical experience. The Director of Regenerate Physiotherapy, Regenerate Fitness and Rehabilitation and GymED Continuing … View Profile

    The first and most obvious type of exercise to avoid is high impact activities. So, running, box jumps and anything that involves a large grand reaction force puts someone with osteoporosis at more risk of a fracture. The degree of high impact activity someone with osteoporosis could perform is entirely dependent on how far along the spectrum they are.

    The second main genre of exercise to avoid is anything involving loaded or repeated flexion. Sit-ups, which involve putting your trunk into repeated flexion or bending forward, can cause a wedge compression fracture of the thoracic spine, which is the most vulnerable area in most people with osteoporosis. Heavy squats and dead lifts are questionable exercises, particularly if the person loses form and rounds their shoulders, because that puts a very loaded flexion force on the spinal cord and could cause a wedge compression fracture.

    Other than that, most exercises are relatively safe, but again it depends on how far along the spectrum the patient is.

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