DEVELOPING BONE STRENGTH & GOOD POSTURE
Helping those with and fending off osteoporosis to align their spine
Osteoporosis weakens the density of bones—making them more likely to break or fracture—and often affects the vertebrae, small bones that make up your spinal column. Vertebral fractures often are painful and can lead to other problems such as pneumonia and immobility.
The forces that cause the vertebrae to fracture increase when the spine is in a flexed—or bent—position. Often, poor posture or previous vertebral fractures result in a bent posture. This series of stretches and strengthening exercises can help you align your spine and hold yourself straight. Note: If you have osteoporosis or a vertebral fracture, please see your healthcare provider before initiating an exercise program.
1. Facing a wall, stand about six inches from it, feet straight ahead.
2. Place both hands on the wall at shoulder height.
3. Contract your stomach muscles and squeeze your shoulder blades together.
4. Slide both hands up the wall so they are above the height of your head.
5. Return to starting position.
6. Repeat 10 times. (You also can perform this exercise by alternating your arms.)
1. Stand facing an inside corner, about six inches from each wall.
2. Place each hand on an adjacent wall, hands at about the level of your head, elbows at shoulder height.
3. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and lean forward toward the corner, feeling a stretch in the front of your chest.
4. Hold 30 seconds, return to starting position.
5. Repeat three times.
1. Begin, either sitting or standing, with your hands fisted, arms crossed and thumbs at opposite hips.
2. Open your hands, turn your palms up, gradually separate your arms as you raise them in front of you and then lift them overhead to form a V.
3. Maintain the V, arms straight, and reach backward, holding this position for five seconds.
4. Close your hands and lower arms to the starting position.
5. Repeat 10 times.
1. Begin, either sitting or standing, with arms extended to the side at shoulder height.
2. Straighten your elbows and turn your palms upward.
3. Squeeze your shoulder blades together.
4. Hold for five seconds, and then relax.
5. Repeat 10 times.