Osteoporosis is a condition that affects the bones, causing them to be weak and brittle, making them more prone to fractures. It is also known as the ‘silent disease’ because the bone loss occurs without symptoms and people often do not know that they have osteoporosis until the first fracture occurs.
Research has shown that as the disease progresses, the bones can become so vulnerable that fractures can occur during simple everyday tasks such as lifting a light object from the floor, closing a window and even through coughing and sneezing.
The disease is of such concern because the risks associated with poor bone health are high.
Hip and spinal fractures can cause the individual to become bedridden or wheelchair bound resulting in a loss of mobility and independence as well as an increased risk of early death.
Alarmingly, one in five with osteoporotic hip fractures die within a year.
10 million Americans older than 50 years already suffer from osteoporosis.
Another 34 million are at risk of developing osteoporosis.
By 2020, half of Americans aged 50 and over will be at risk for fractures from osteoporosis and low bone mass if there is no immediate action taken to improve their bone health.
Worldwide, over 200 million women have osteoporosis and the risk of a woman fracturing her hip is equal to the combined risk of her developing breast, ovarian and uterine cancer.
In Singapore, the number of osteoporosis hip-related fractures in women over 50 is 8 times more than that of breast cancer.
Doctors used to believe that osteoporosis is a natural process of aging. However, this is no longer the case and we can in fact do something about it through lifestyle changes.
Besides ensuring proper nutrition, it is essential to be physically active. Weight-bearing exercises that improve strength and balance must be incorporated as they build strong bones and slow down bone loss.
Pilates is the most often recommended program to take up because Pilates builds muscle strength and increases bone density. Pilates also teaches awareness of where the body is in relation to space so that the individual develops better balance.
With improved sense of balance, it can prevent devastating falls that result in fractures.
Because Pilates is a low impact exercise, it is suitable for most people especially the elderly.
Pilates is also recommended for individuals who have osteoporosis. Whilst one can learn Pilates from books and online videos, it is essential that the individual works with a qualified Pilates teacher who is aware of his condition as not all Pilates exercise are suitable for him and modifications may be required. A qualified Pilates teacher will be able to develop a program appropriate for this individual modifying where necessary.
It is never too late to start moving and get active. Make an appointment for a Pilates trial today. Book online or call us now.