For a previously active person, an osteoporosis diagnosis can be devastating. Many people assume that they will now have to give up some of their favorite pursuits due to the risks of fractures. Fortunately, there are things you can do so that you can safely remain active. The following tips can help you adjust to life with osteoporosis.
Tip #1: Avoid high contact sports
Contact sports are naturally out once you are diagnosed with porous bones, but that doesn't mean you have to give up competitive sports. There are many ways to remain both active and competitive – golf, competitive swimming, and even slow pitch softball can be safe options. If you enjoy non-competitive sports, then walking and low-impact hiking are good options. Just make sure you talk with your doctor and get the okay before engaging in any activity.
Tip #2: Engage in low-impact exercise
Exercise, when done correctly, can help slow the progression of your osteoporosis, which allows you to remain active longer. You generally want to choose low-impact aerobic exercises that don't require you to bend below the waist or to twist your back, since these can put stress on your spine. Your spine is often the most fragile part when you have osteoporosis. You also want to avoid any exercises that require a lot of heavy weight – this includes body weight exercises like pushups. Your doctor can provide you with a list of safe exercises or refer you to a physical therapist that specializes in osteoporosis.
Tip #3: Avoid repetitive stress fractures
A major concern is fractures that occur due to repetitive stress. You may not even realize the injury is occurring until it is too late. Jogging, walking, and hiking can be culprits here, since the repetitive movements can cause hairline fractures in the hip, lower spine, or leg and foot bones. The easiest way to avoid this issue is to wear good quality shoes with proper support. You may also want to walk with poles, an activity referred to as nordic walking, as this takes the stress off of your legs, hips, and back. Another option is to opt for ultra-low-impact activities. Swimming is popular because the buoyancy of the water helps prevent injuries.
For more help, talk to a doctor that specializes in osteoporosis and its treatment, such as those found at Sarasota Arthritis Center. They can refer you to information to help you remain active in the sports and activities that you love the best.