Exercise is an important part of managing your osteoporosis. But you’ll want to avoid exercises that put stress on your spine like sit-ups, golf, or tennis, and activities with too much running, jumping, or a high risk of falling.
Experts estimate that
Regular exercise is important for preventing and managing osteoporosis. Weight-bearing aerobic exercises, such as stair climbing and strength training, can help
Despite the benefits of regular exercise, certain activities may put you at an increased risk of fractures if you already have low bone density. You may want to avoid these activities or consult your doctor to see if they’re safe for you.
In this article, we look at four types of exercises that may put you at an increased risk of breaking a bone if you have osteoporosis.
You can also read about exercises that may be beneficial for people with osteoporosis.
Osteoporotic fractures most often occur in the spine. Fractures here are about twice as common as in other areas, such as your hips and wrists.
Exercises that involve twisting or bending at the waist put stress on your lower spine and can increase your risk of fracture if your bones are already weak. Your lower spine is the most common location for fracture.
Sit-ups and variations
Sit-ups and sit-up variations that involve spinal flexion may put you at risk of injury. Spinal flexion means bending your spine forward.
They also found evidence that horseback riding and golfing may increase your risk of fracture. But the level of evidence for these activities was low since researchers reviewed only one study for each.
Golf and tennis
Golf and tennis swings both involve rotation through your trunk at high speeds. This fast, twisting motion may put you at risk of a spinal fracture. Both sports may also increase your risk of wrist injuries, which are common among people with osteoporosis.
Some yoga and stretching positions
Yoga can be beneficial for people with osteoporosis, but certain positions may put your spine under stress. It’s a good idea to avoid positions that put your spine into a rounded position or that involve a large amount of twisting.
Lifting heavy objects can put stress on your lower spine, especially if you have poor lifting form. Many people round their backs when lifting objects from the floor instead of lifting with their legs. This stress on your back may put you at risk of a spinal fracture.
- Keep your upper body and neck straight for any movements involving bending or lifting.
- Always move in a controlled and smooth way within a comfortable range of motion.
- Engage your abdominal muscles during movement.
Activities that involve running and jumping put a large amount of force on your bones and joints when your feet hit the ground.
It’s a good idea to consult your doctor or another expert, such as your physiotherapist, before starting jogging or running. Your doctor might tell you that jogging is OK, but they may recommend against it if you have advanced osteoarthritis.
The ground reaction forces while running can be more than
Forces on your body can be very high when you land from any type of jumping motion. Even landing from a height of about 10 centimeters (4 inches) can cause a ground reaction force higher than four times your body weight.
You may want to consider avoiding any activities that involve jumping unless your doctor says it’s OK.
People with osteoporosis are at an increased risk of falling due to factors, such as:
- muscle weakness
- spinal curve abnormality
- poor posture
They’re also at an increased risk of fractures when they fall due to decreased bone density.
Skiing and snowboarding
Skiing and snowboarding have a high risk of injury. In a
Horseback riding has a high risk of falling, which may put you at risk of fracture. Repeated vibrations from riding may also increase your risk of fracture. In a
Contact sports come with a high risk of injury for people with osteoporosis. These might include:
- American football
Regular exercise is an important part of preventing and managing osteoporosis. But if you already have low bone density, certain activities may increase your risk of injury.
In general, it’s a good idea to consult a doctor or another medical expert before performing activities like jumping, golf, or tennis that put sudden force on your bones and joints. If you’re not sure if an activity is safe for you, it’s always best to talk with a doctor.
Taking safety precautions with osteoporosis can help you stay injury-free and maintain a high quality of life. Learn more about safety considerations for osteoporosis.