Yoga Osteopenia Osteoporosis?

Yoga Osteopenia Osteoporosis. Is Yoga good for building bone or is it dangerous for those with Osteoporosis or Osteopenia? Many readers have asked. Web sites seem to give contradictory information. What is the truth?

So I have spent a great deal of time researching the question.

IMPORTANT

If you are going to read this page, please read the whole page. It is not helpful to your health to make decisions to adopt or not adopt yoga on partial information. You need to know both the positive and the negative aspects of Yoga for Osteoporosis and Osteopenia before making your decision.

First, the positive effects of Yoga on health - especially bone health and fracture prevention.

1. "Yoga is an ancient practice that provides integral and holistic health benefits to its practitioners." This means it can have positive effects on many aspects of your overall health:

  • It reduces tension.
  • It stretches and strengthens your body.
  • Yoga teachers speak of its positive effects on body chemistry. It balances and rejuvenates circulation, the endocrine system etc.
  • Since many of yoga's postures are 'weight bearing' they stimulate your bone building osteoblasts to build new bone.

2. Yoga promotes tension reducing breathing and it can help clear the body of harmful toxins.


3. Practice promotes balance and coordination. These two traits help prevent falls and the fractures that occur in persons with Osteoporosis and Osteopenia.

4. Since yoga is a mind-body practice, its practitioners often develop an alertness and calmness that carries over into their every day activities. They become more effective at work and their interpersonal relationships can be more harmonious.  This reduces stress, a cause of bone loss.

5. Yoga is a "step by step" practice.  A good teacher guides a student to advance at his or her own pace....thus avoiding  injury.

6. Yoga can be a life long practice. Age does not exclude practice. Postures can be modified or others can be substituted as the physical body changes. Thus, yoga is a practice that extend over your entire life span.

But there are cautions to be observed about Yoga Osteopenia Osteoporosis

1. Persons with Osteoporosis can experience spontaneous spinal fractures when bending forward or twisted.

These fracture often occur without warning as the body moves back to its original position. There are a number of Yoga positions that could cause such spontaneous fractures in someone with low bone density.

Recent studies show that persons with Osteopenia are at no less risk for fracture than those with Osteoporosis. So, there needs to be caution by those with 'bone thinning' as well as those who have 'porous bones' in any use of Yoga Osteopenia Osteoporosis.

Anyone using Yoga Osteopenia Osteoporosis needs guidance as to what postures should be 'off limits' until their bone density increases to the normal range. If your teacher does not know, find another teacher.

2. Some Yoga weight bearing positions can put too much stress on the bones for those with compromised bone density. Hairline fractures of bones or crush fractures of vertebrae can occur.

3. Persons with a diagnosis of Osteopenia or Osteoporosis..or some one whose bone density has not been screened but who has suffered an adult fracture from any cause should do two things before beginning yoga as a practice:

  1. Consult your health care provider about engaging in Yoga before beginning any practice.
  2. Only learn from an experienced, and preferably certified, teacher and be sure to explain to your teacher that your bone density is compromised to the extent of having Osteopenia or Osteoporosis.
  3. Be sure to Advance slowly - "listen to your body". Be satisfied with your practice and do not feel that you must attain weight bearing postures before your bones can sustain them. You do not want to turn your practice of Yoga Osteopenia Osteoporosis into a health disaster!
  4. General advice at Osteoporosis Exercise Warning 
  5. To read more on about yoga go to: Yoga and Kyphosis (Dowagers hump, back hump)

    Finally, here  is an outline of Jan Madden's book about Yoga and bone loss.


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