Yoga For Osteoporosis
Yoga for osteoporosis treatment and prevention may be the exercise of choice for people with lower back pain.
Weight bearing exercises are always the first form of exercise recommended for osteoporosis treatment and prevention. But if you have chronic lower back pain it may be difficult to participate in many of the recommended exercises.
A new study from India, published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (Volume 14, page 637) indicates that one week of intensive yoga practice may reduce chronic low back pain that is preventing participation in many fitness activities.
In the study, eighty adults who had suffered from lower back pain attended a residential health care center for one week. Part of the group participated in eight hours of yoga each day and the other part participated in general physical exercises like hamstring stretches.
The yoga group practiced meditation, breathing and chanting, deep-relaxation and stress-reduction techniques... as well as yoga postures designed to strengthen back and abdominal muscles and relax muscles in the spine. The physical exercise group also did breathing exercises (non-yoga based) but participated in standard stretching and strengthening exercises.
At week's end, the yoga group had a 49% reduction in disability and a significant increase in spinal flexibility. The physical exercise group also had a reduction in disability and better spinal flexibility but improvements were not as great as those in the yoga group.
The best exercise is always the one that you can do in the moment and that you enjoy and will continue over time. Yoga for osteoporosis treatment should never be dismissed simply because it is not weight bearing. It has provided health benefits to millions of people for centuries.
It might be the perfect addition to your osteoporosis treatment program.