When my dear mom in-law suffered from sever back ache, she was prescribed to use a belt along with a basketful of medicines. Hubby took her to the physiotherapist for the measurement! Measurement…? “We can measure her tiny-waist at home with the inch-tape”! I wanted to prevent her from further inconvenience.
“It’s not a matter of a waist only. Whole upper body measurements are required”. He replied keeping his cool. With the name belt, I could associate the object that helps to intact our jeans at place.
Really! When our parents start to grow beyond a certain age, we experience a dilemma, for our lives changed forever. And this feeling is totally different from the one we have for our grandparents. As when we are born, parents are young and energetic humans. Grandparents, on the other hand, already old people. As we age further, start caring for the older and fragile couple. While our parents keep nurturing us along with their old parents.
Then comes a day when ‘our parents’ lose ‘their parents’ and we’re without our old, loving, storytelling grandpa and grandma. We are left devastated and shattered with a huge loss. Life goes on… We graduate; we work; we succeed and finally get married and (to) have kids!
And in this movie, mom and dad are mostly back grounded and ignored. They self-manage their lives along with helping us. We never accept them old until they give up.
Back to mom-in-law’s belt! A wooden cage was bought by her son, which was ‘the belt’ she was prescribed. Very precise measurements were needed in order to keep her posture upright and prevent further microfractures of the back-bone.
She was suffering from Osteoporosis! That said her bones were no more the toughest and elastic part of the body. She was living with brittle, porous and fragile bones. That’s why she developed backbone micro fractures.
Things didn’t stop worsening further. She lived with a constant fear of falling due to her drooped and misbalanced posture. Hubby dear was supporting especially in reaching her room from the washroom. But one day when she fell down, never to stand on her feet again, hardly one foot from her dear son, he couldn’t lend a helping hand to her. The ‘belt’ never gave her that support to maintain a proper posture!
I regret not understanding the woes of an old body then. Had I some awareness, how severely Osteoporosis can impact, the character of my story would have been anyone XYZ but she!
The Only reason behind telling you this story here is to spread some awareness for the people in your family. Be the Grandparents, in-laws, parents or even neighbours, never hesitate to extend your help with an open heart. In this post, I have covered everything to protect you and your dear ones from this “bone killer disease”. So please don’t cease Reading. Pour some milk in a glass and read till the end.
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What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis ((from the Greek “porous bone”) is a condition in which thinning of bones occurs, resulting in pain and fractures. Factors causing osteoporosis are age, gender, inappropriate bodyweight, menopause, lifestyle etc.
This initiates bones to become weak and brittle up to the extent that a fall or minor strain like bending or even coughing can cause a fracture. Osteoporosis-related fractures most commonly occur in the hips, wrists or spine.
Osteoporosis is often referred to as a “silent” disease—because the loss of bone density is not easily perceptible, a patient may not know she has the disease until she breaks a bone or finds her upper back rounding as the result of asymptomatic vertebral fractures.
When bone mass is low but not low enough to be classified as osteoporosis, the condition is called osteopenia, or “bone poverty.” It precedes, but does not always lead to, osteoporosis.
While lower bone density means greater risk of fractures, more fractures occur in those with osteopenia rather than those with osteoporosis—in large because a greater number of people have osteopenia.
You May Like to Read More On Your Back Pain
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- Yoga Poses For Fibromyalgia- Back Pain Series-2
- Yoga for Cervical Spondylosis| Back Pain Yoga Series
The Gender Biased Osteoporosis!
Among the people with low bone density most are women: Women are four times more likely to develop osteoporosis than men.
For women, a drop in estrogen at the time of menopause leads to a more rapid and significant loss of bone mass.
For men, a drop in testosterone, just starting around age 70, can lead osteoporosis. Also, medications (especially steroids), medical conditions (such as rheumatoid arthritis and eating disorders) can contribute to osteoporosis.”
Other risk factors include family history, smoking, lean physique, sedentary lifestyle, inadequate intakes of calcium, vitamin D, or other vitamins and minerals, and excessive liquor consumption.
The common medical recommendations for osteoporosis—medication, calcium and vitamin D supplements, avoiding alcohol and tobacco, and drinking plenty of water, a good support (viz. a tripod or walker) to avoid falls.
“Osteo-facts” you need to be aware of!
Osteoporosis affects men and women of all races. But white and Asian women — especially elderly in their post menopause are at highest risk. Medications, healthy diet and low strain physical activities such as yoga and tai chi can help prevent bone loss or strengthen already weak bones.
Our Skeletal System is constructed from the living tissues which are constantly being broken down and replaced. Osteoporosis occurs when the formation of new bone doesn’t pace with the abolition of old bone.
Bone fractures, particularly in the spine or hip, are the most serious complication of osteoporosis. Hip fractures often are caused by a fall and can result in disability and even an increased risk of death within the first year after the injury, as in case of my mother-in-law.
Sometimes spinal fractures may happen without any fall or a subsequent injury. The bones constructing your spine (vertebrae) can weaken to turn brittle and crunch, resulting in severe back pain, gone height and a hunched forward posture!
How “Yoga for Osteoporosis” works- Brief Anatomy
As a common belief to thinking that only common weight-bearing exercises such as walking, running, jumping, and lifting exert enough stress on your bones to maintain or increase their density.
A scientific research titled “Twelve-Minute Daily Yoga Routine Reverses Osteoporotic Bone Loss” came as a surprise to many.
What is “Twelve-Minute Daily Yoga Routine Reverses Osteoporotic Bone Loss
We became more rational over the years. That means more reliance on scientific researches and evidences.
“Twelve-Minute Daily Yoga Routine Reverses Osteoporotic Bone Loss” is a research conducted by NCBI on a controlled group to study the yogic effects on our bone density.
The study conducted on 227 participants, 202 of whom were women, practiced the yoga routine at least every other day for two years. Their average age was 68 when they entered the study, and 83% had lower-than-normal bone density. The DEXA scans they submitted at the end of the study showed significant increases in bone density in the spine. Hip bone density increased, too, but not significantly. None of the participants reported bone fractures or other injuries caused by doing yoga.
Blockbuster news for you is that while doing yoga, your bones are rejuvenating more than any other element. That said, while holding a pose like Child’s pose or Cobra pose, one group of your muscles are being stretched against the other. So a constant tug of war between your quadriceps and hamstrings induces a force to induce *osteoblasts– the bone producing cells. In other words, you are working towards reproducing new bone cells, thus reversing the process of bone degeneration caused due to age or other factors. Also, this is in fact quite contrary to the some of the old schools’ philosophy! In which they believed that once woman approach to menopause their bone producing and protecting power has to pause.
*OSTEOBLASTS are the cells that form new bone. They also come from the bone marrow and are related to structural cells. They have only one nucleus. Osteoblasts work in teams to build bone. They produce new bone called “osteoid” which is made of bone collagen and other protein.(Osteoblast | cell | Britannica.com)
While initial symptoms of the bone loss remain potentially undetected, you must get red-flagged for these changes-
- Back pain– could be a fractured or collapsed vertebra
- Diminished Height– loss of bone strength
- A Stooped Posture- forward bend and disbalanc
- A Bone Fracture – result of coughing or sneezing
What Causes You Osteoporosis
As with other body cells, those in your bones too, are in a constant state of renewal. It is a cycle of breaking the old one and creating the new.
When we’re young, the rate of reproducing new bone is faster than the breaking of the old bone. Hence our bone mass increases. Thus we reach the peak bone mass by early 20s. As we reach our 30 plus, bone mass is lost faster than it’s created.
This is the reason why chances to develop osteoporosis depends majorly on how much bone mass you attained in your youth. The higher is better. Having bones in your body bank is more important than the money in your bank!
Best methods Of Preventions
Best way to combat on any illness, as I always advocate is
Calcium is the most important mineral for your bone to stay healthy. However, there are other minerals that play an important role as well. The best part is that a balanced diet provides adequate nutrients for most people, hence leaving no room for expensive supplements.
Sneak-Peak of some mineral and corresponding resources For Osteoporosis
SOURCES -almonds, apples, bananas, broccoli, celery, pears, grapes, legumes, nuts, and tomatoes.
SOURCES – Beans, nuts, mushrooms, liver, oysters, cereals, and chocolate.
SOURCES – Dark green, leafy vegetables, such as spinach, and red meat.
SOURCES – Chocolate, green vegetables, nuts, seeds, squash, whole grains-and hard water.
SOURCES – Cereals, dairy, eggs, fish, meat, legumes, nuts, and grains.
SOURCES – Avocados, bamboo shoots, beans, cereals, orange juice, and scallops.
SOURCES – Eggs, fish, legumes, milk, poultry, oysters, and whole grain breads.
Sources- Vitamin D improves your body’s ability to absorb calcium and improves bone health in other ways. People can get adequate amounts of vitamin D from sunlight, but this may not be a good source if you live in a high latitude. . For people without other sources of vitamin D and especially with limited sun exposure, a supplement may be needed. Most multivitamin products contain between 600 and 800 IU of vitamin D. Up to 4,000 IU of vitamin D a day is safe for most people.
Good nutrition and regular exercise are essential for keeping our bones healthy throughout the life.
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9 Best Yoga Poses to Counter Osteoporosis
Disclosure- I’m a yoga and health expert and not an osteo-expert. Moreover, I never met you in person (though I wish strongly). Please consult your doctor before following the these sequences.
1. PLANK POSE
2. LOCUST POSE
How to do:
- Start from lying on your stomach.
- Slip your both hands under the thighs.
- With an inhale, lift your core and head from the ground, as in cobra pose.
- Using thigh muscles, try to raise your legs and pelvis area too ( see pic.).
- Stay for 30 sec. or 3 to 4 breaths.
- Exhale and surrender to ground.
3. BRIDGE POSE
- Start from lying on your back.
- Bend your knees while opening your legs hips width apart.
- Stack your knees straight above your ankles (see pic.), and hands on the ground with palm-down.
- Inhale and Push the trunk upward while the head still on the ground.
- Hands, either supporting your waist or on the ground.
- Stay for 30 sec.
- Bring everything down with an exhale.
4. COBRA POSE
5. CHILD”S POSE
6. SEATED TWIST
- Sit on your mat with legs spread in front of you.
- Inhale then exhale while folding one of the leg.
- Rotate your trunk giving a slight twist from the base of your spine.
- Make best use of your hands to support your twist (see pics.).
- Hold and keep breathing.
- Repeat with another side.
7. WARRIOR POSE
- Start from mountain pose.
- Open your legs 2 to 3 feet wide.
- Spread your arms parallel to ground.
- Inhale and rotate your one (say left, see pic.) foot and and knees outward.
- Keep your gaze to your left hand.
- Keep breathing and hold as much you can.
- Repeat with another leg.
8. COW POSE
Wrapping Up- Yoga Poses For Osteoporosis
Thanks for accompanying me up to here. I hope it will help you someway. Above said yoga poses are preferred keeping in mind their simplicity and acceptability. Any yoga sequence is going to benefit your brain and body, your bones are of great impotence in the whole journey.
Last I would say never go hard with yourself. Yoga will also prove to be a guide to your subconscious mind. It will enable you to think better and act the best.
I know you will share this information with your dear ones. Share buttons are bellow. Thanks for sharing and caring!