Osteoporosis Workshop

In 2017, Workshopsby Christine Lamb

Osteoporosis is the gradual and silent loss of bone throughout the body, often only spotted after multiple fractures in later age. Over 3 million people in the UK have osteoporosis, but one in five women won’t receive an osteoporosis diagnosis until after three or more bodes have been fractured. Osteoporosis can occur without a known cause or be attributed to another secondary condition, such as hyperthyroidism or coeliac disease or to medications, such as steroids. It is NOT, however, an inevitable consequence of ageing. Evidence suggests that lifestyle is a major culprit.

In Japan, hip fracture rates have been found to be consistently lower than many western countries. Nutritional differences in Japanese and Western diets aren’t enough to explain this low incidence of hip fracture: calcium intake (a critical element in bone health) is notably much lower in Japan. Lifestyle habits, such as floor sitting, play a part big in building strong hip musculature and fracture resistant bones. Such practices, sadly, are rapidly disappearing with the progressive Westernisation of Japanese lifestyle and nutritional habits. In the urbanised world, we base our habits of daily living on convenience and time management. Online shopping and labour-saving devices might make our lives more time efficient, but more efficiency doesn’t necessarily equal better quality of life. Our increasingly sedentary living is really destroying our bones.

Bone is reactive not proactive. Peak bone mass depends on calcium functions in the body, and not all exercise is bone protective or bone stimulating. There is compelling data that the right physical exercise can improve bone quality and decrease fracture risk,improving muscle strength and reactivity whilst protecting the bones from fracture. Not all exercise is equal, though, and the wrong workout drastically increases the risk of dangerous spinal fractures. A tailored Pilates routine that focuses on lower body strength and the extension and strengthening of the thoracic spine is ideal for building bone in the spine.

The Pilates on Tay Osteoporosis Workshop tackles these issues, taking a look at nutrition and medication as well as the best exercises to improve lower body strength and balance whilst protecting the spine from fracture.

The next event is Sunday 26th February, 9.30-12.30 at Fowlis Wester Hall.


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