Prevention of Osteoporosis with Yoga

Prevention of osteoporosisBy Dr. Rita Khanna

Prevention of osteoporosis is a reality, but it is a complete holistic plan. Osteo means bones and porosis means porous. Osteoporosis is the disease which affects the bones inside the body of the human beings. In this disorder, the bones of the skeleton become fragile due to excessive loss of tissues. Ladies are affected more than the males by osteoporosis. This difficulty is noticed mostly in postmenopausal women who cross the age of 50 to 55. When a person suffers from osteoporosis, the bones become susceptible to fractures even by small injuries. It could result in cracking and collapsing of the bones in the three parts of the body areas like wrists, hips and spine. Normal bone consists of a series of thin, intersecting plates called ‘trabeculae’. These plates are surrounded by a dense shell. These plates form is called the bone mass. In osteoporosis, they become filled with holes or may even totally disappear. This causes a diminution of bone mass. With loss of bone mass, the shell also becomes thin. All these changes make the bones extremely fragile and it can crack with the most trivial injury.

 

Symptoms:

• If the fracture is in the spine, the victim may feel a shooting pain that spreads from the back to side of the body.

• Repeated fractures in the spine can result in a deformed and curved spine. It may give the affected person a hunched back.

• Some victims of this ailment may develop minimal trauma fractures while performing regular activities like walking or climbing stairs.

 

Causes:

• After menopause, women tend to lose bone density and, in some cases, this leads to the development of osteoporosis.

• Some women develop osteoporosis due to their genetic structure.

• People who do not get adequate amount of calcium and Vitamin D in their diet also develop osteoporosis in their later years.

• Excess consumption of meat, heavy smoking, chronic alcoholism, post-menopausal hormonal imbalances and diminished physical activity with age increase the chances of osteoporosis.

 

The Yogic approach:

yoga instructor certificationPrevention of osteoporosis is possible and can be treated through regular Yogasanas, with proper diet and lifestyle habits. Yogasanas surely help to strengthen your bones and muscles, preventing the onset of this condition and providing relief from the pain. Yoga helps the prevention of osteoporosis by creating a balanced harmony between the ovaries, adrenals, parathyroids, pituitary and pineal gland, thus ensuring that the body receives a steady supply of the right hormones for maintaining bone strength and maximum health and well being. Any one without any fear can start with simple Yoga flexibility exercises.

Flexibilty exercises:

• To begin flexibility exercises for the prevention of osteoporosis, sit on the ground with legs stretched out straight on the ground, and exercise the parts of toes of legs, soles, ankles, leg muscles, knees, backbone and thigh bones, waist, spinal column, fingers, palms, wrists, elbows, shoulders, chest, belly and stomach, neck, eyes and muscles of the face.

 

• To perform the flexibility exercise known as butterfly exercise, one has to sit with legs extended in front. Thereafter bend both the legs from the knees. Thereafter widen both the knees. Thereby heels are nearer the body now hold toes of both the feet by both the hands. Now, slowly move the knees in such a manner that it resembles the butterfly moving its wings up and down. Heels must remain touching each other and as near to the body as possible. This exercise for the prevention of osteoporosis, helps bones of the thighs, pelvic girdle; cover bones of the knees and joints of legs.

• Now repeat this butterfly exercise by holding the knees. Heels and toes should remain touching each other and remain very near to the body. Now hold the knees and slowly press both the knees downward as well as upward position.

• In the third process of the exercise stretch left leg forward; raise and lift right leg and put it on the left thigh. Now move the right knee initially from top to bottom and bottom to top and thereafter in a round circular motion. This process must be repeated at least 16 times. In the above-described manner now straighten the right leg; put the left leg on the right thigh.

 

• Thereafter left knee should be moved alternatively up and down, as well as down to up. Thereafter move the left knee in a circular movement. To establish a program of prevention of osteoporosis, this process should also be repeated 16 times.

• In addition to these flexibility exercises even when food is consumed one can no doubt sit in Vajrasana. In Vajrasana keeping the legs turned behind, the bones of knees and bones in the leg with its muscles including tibia-fibula and other bones as well as ankles of the legs and fingers of the legs get a good advantage in the prevention of osteoporosis.

 

Certain Yogic postures are very helpful in the prevention of osteoporosis.

about prevention of osteoporosisThey are called Kati-utthana, Setubandha, Trikonasana and different types of Trikonasanas, Virikshasana (Tree pose), Suryanamaskara, Bhujangasana, Shalabhasana, Dhanurasana, Chakrasana, Halasana, Paschimottanasana, Ushtrasana, Supta-vajrasana etc.

Pranayam: Omkar, Bhramaari, Nadi Shodhana, and Kapalbhati (Frontal brain cleansing breath) are also beneficial for osteoporosis.

Below is a description of Kati-utthana, Setubandha, Shalabhasana, and Supta-vajrasana:

Kati-utthana: Lie on your back, and bend your knees. Keep your feet close to your hips with hands by the side, and palms resting on the floor. Inhale slowly and push the waist upwards as much as you can without any pressure on your neck. Hold for some time while breathing normally.

Setubandhasana: From Katiutthana get into Setubandhasana.

yoga teacher courseNow support the waist by both the hands. Keep both the upper hands up to the elbow from the shoulders parallel to the ground; the hands from the elbow to the wrists should be straight at right angles. The support of the hand will be given to the waist from down under. Now straighten both the legs on the ground slowly; knees should not be bent, heels and toes should be touching the ground, legs should touch each other. In this fashion the shape of the body will resemble a fly-over bridge.

This Setubandhasana if practiced will give exercise to the joints of bones of the shoulders, bones of the elbows, and joints of the bones of wrists, fingers, whole of the spinal column, bones of the waist pertaining to the thighs, knees and ankles of the leg.

 

Shalabhasana: Lie in the prone position, bring the legs together, toes pointing outwards, hands by the side of the body, fists closed, and chin on the floor. Then raise both the legs slowly without bending at the knee. Do not tilt the pelvis. Hold this for some time with normal breathing, and come back down slowly.

Supta Vajrasana: Sit straight in Vajrasana. Keep your feet apart on the floor. Lean backwards on your right and left elbows. Now try and bend your head a back towards the floor as much as you can till you are comfortable while stretching the abdomen. Keeping the hands on the thighs, hold for some time breathing normally. Now with the help of the elbows slowly come back to the original position.

 

Yogic Diet for Osteoporosis:

Diet plays an important role in the treatment and prevention of osteoporosis. A Yogic diet of fresh fruit (orange, lemon, pineapple, papaya) and vegetables (green leafy vegetables, red beet and carrot), whole grains and high protein foods with moderate amounts of dairy products (milk, curds and milk products) will provide the calcium and other important minerals to prevent and reduce the development of osteoporosis. In particular, add omega-3 and vitamin E rich nuts, seeds and fish. Beware of consuming too much salt and animal protein as these can both leach calcium from your bones. Caffeine, alcohol, carbonated soft drinks and nicotine can also deplete your body’s calcium supply and a diet high in sugar has also been linked to low bone density. Make sure you get outdoors for your daily dose of vitamin D from the Sun. While supplementing your diet with calcium and other vitamins and minerals is important to help meet your daily intake requirements, these vitamins and minerals, especially calcium, are much readily absorbed and utilized when they are obtained from the food you eat.

Prevention of osteoporosis is possible by adhering to a calcium-rich diet, Yogasana, Pranayama and regular checkups with a qualified orthopedic doctor.

 

Aum Shanti

If you feel inspired by this article, feel free to publish it in your Newsletter or on your Website. Our humble request is to please include the Resource as follows: –

Courtesy: Dr. Rita Khanna’s Yogashaastra Studio.

A popular studio that helps you find natural solutions for complete health.

Also conducts online Yoga Courses & Naturopathy Guidance.

Mobile: + 919849772485

Ph:-91-40-65173344

Dr. Rita Khanna

Dr. Rita Khanna is a well-known name in the field of Yoga and Naturopathy. She was initiated into this discipline over 25 years ago by world famous Swami Adyatmananda of Sivananda Ashram in Rishikesh (India).

She believes firmly that Yoga is a scientific process, which helps us to lead a healthy and disease-free life. She is also actively involved in practicing alternative medicines like Naturopathy. Over the years, she has been successfully practicing these therapies and providing succour to several chronic and terminally ill patients through Yoga, Diet and Naturopathy. She is also imparting Yoga Teachers Training.

At present, Dr. Rita Khanna is running a Yoga Studio in Secunderabad (Hyderabad, India).

 

Related Resources:

YOGA Anatomy Second Edition

by Leslie Kaminoff and Amy Matthews

The YOGA MIND:

52 Essential Principles of Yoga Philosophy to Deepen your Practice

by Rina Jakubowicz.

RESTORATIVE YOGA FOR LIFE:

A Relaxing Way to De-stress, Re-energize, and Find Balance

by: Gail Boorstein Grossman.

YOGA: THE PATH TO HOLISTIC HEALTH

by B.K.S. Iyengar

TEACHING YOGA: Essential Foundations and Techniques

By Mark Stephens

Boyce WJ, Vessey MP. Rising incidence of fracture of the proximal femur. Lancet. 1985 Jan 19;1(8421):150–151.

Leichter I, Margulies JY, Weinreb A, Mizrahi J, Robin GC, Conforty B, Makin M, Bloch B. The relationship between bone density, mineral content, and mechanical strength in the femoral neck. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1982 Mar;(163):272–281.

Dalén N, Hellström LG, Jacobson B. Bone mineral content and mechanical strength of the femoral neck. Acta Orthop Scand. 1976 Oct;47(5):503–508.

Mazess RB. On aging bone loss. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1982 May;(165):239–252.

Stevenson JC, Lees B, Devenport M, Cust MP, Ganger KF. Determinants of bone density in normal women: risk factors for future osteoporosis? BMJ. 1989 Apr 8;298(6678):924–928.

Hall ML, Heavens J, Cullum ID, Ell PJ. The range of bone density in normal British women. Br J Radiol. 1990 Apr;63(748):266–269.

Quigley ME, Martin PL, Burnier AM, Brooks P. Estrogen therapy arrests bone loss in elderly women. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1987 Jun;156(6):1516–1523.

Talmage RV, Stinnett SS, Landwehr JT, Vincent LM, McCartney WH. Age-related loss of bone mineral density in non-athletic and athletic women. Bone Miner. 1986 Apr;1(2):115–125.

Riggs BL, Wahner HW, Melton LJ, 3rd, Richelson LS, Judd HL, Offord KP. Rates of bone loss in the appendicular and axial skeletons of women. Evidence of substantial vertebral bone loss before menopause. J Clin Invest. 1986 May;77(5):1487–1491.

Riggs BL, Melton LJ., 3rd Involutional osteoporosis. N Engl J Med. 1986 Jun 26;314(26):1676–1686.

Riggs BL, Wahner HW, Seeman E, Offord KP, Dunn WL, Mazess RB, Johnson KA, Melton LJ., 3rd Changes in bone mineral density of the proximal femur and spine with aging. Differences between the postmenopausal and senile osteoporosis syndromes. J Clin Invest. 1982 Oct;70(4):716–723.

Norimatsu H, Mori S, Uesato T, Yoshikawa T, Katsuyama N. Bone mineral density of the spine and proximal femur in normal and osteoporotic subjects in Japan. Bone Miner. 1989 Jan;5(2):213–222.

Bohr H, Schaadt O. Bone mineral content of femoral bone and the lumbar spine measured in women with fracture of the femoral neck by dual photon absorptiometry. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1983 Oct;(179):240–245.

Eriksson SA, Widhe TL. Bone mass in women with hip fracture. Acta Orthop Scand. 1988 Feb;59(1):19–23.

Melton LJ, 3rd, Eddy DM, Johnston CC., Jr Screening for osteoporosis. Ann Intern Med. 1990 Apr 1;112(7):516–528.

Chevalley T, Rizzoli R, Nydegger V, Slosman D, Tkatch L, Rapin CH, Vasey H, Bonjour JP. Preferential low bone mineral density of the femoral neck in patients with a recent fracture of the proximal femur. Osteoporos Int. 1991 Jun;1(3):147–154.

Krølner B, Pors Nielsen S. Bone mineral content of the lumbar spine in normal and osteoporotic women: cross-sectional and longitudinal studies. Clin Sci (Lond) 1982 Mar;62(3):329–336.

Cornell CN, Schwartz S, Bansal M, Lane JM, Bullough P. Quantification of osteopenia in hip fracture patients. J Orthop Trauma. 1988;2(3):212–217.

Meltzer M, Lessig HJ, Siegel JA. Bone mineral density and fracture in postmenopausal women. Calcif Tissue Int. 1989 Sep;45(3):142–145.

Härmä M, Karjalainen P, Hoikka V, Alhava E. Bone density in women with spinal and hip fractures. Acta Orthop Scand. 1985 Oct;56(5):380–385.

Firooznia H, Rafii M, Golimbu C, Schwartz MS, Ort P. Trabecular mineral content of the spine in women with hip fracture: CT measurement. Radiology. 1986 Jun;159(3):737–740.

Wootton R, Brereton PJ, Clark MB, Hesp R, Hodkinson HM, Klenerman L, Reeve J, Slavin G, Tellez-Yudilevich M. Fractured neck of femur in the elderly: an attempt to identify patients at risk. Clin Sci (Lond) 1979 Jul;57(1):93–101.

Jensen GF, Christiansen C, Boesen J, Hegedüs V, Transbøl I. Epidemiology of postmenopausal spinal and long bone fractures. A unifying approach to postmenopausal osteoporosis. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1982 Jun;(166):75–81.

Elsasser U, Hesp R, Klenerman L, Wootton R. Deficit of trabecular and cortical bone in elderly women with fracture of the femoral neck. Clin Sci (Lond) 1980 Nov;59(5):393–395.

Lips P, Taconis WK, van Ginkel FC, Netelenbos JC. Radiologic morphometry in patients with femoral neck fractures and elderly control subjects. Comparison with histomorphometric parameters. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1984 Mar;(183):64–70.

Hassager C, Christiansen C. Influence of soft tissue body composition on bone mass and metabolism. Bone. 1989;10(6):415–419.

Cummings SR, Black DM, Nevitt MC, Browner WS, Cauley JA, Genant HK, Mascioli SR, Scott JC, Seeley DG, Steiger P, et al. Appendicular bone density and age predict hip fracture in women. The Study of Osteoporotic Fractures Research Group. JAMA. 1990 Feb 2;263(5):665–668.

Wasnich RD, Ross PD, Heilbrun LK, Vogel JM. Prediction of postmenopausal fracture risk with use of bone mineral measurements. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1985 Dec 1;153(7):745–751.

Porter RW, Miller CG, Grainger D, Palmer SB. Prediction of hip fracture in elderly women: a prospective study. BMJ. 1990 Sep 29;301(6753):638–641.

Dequeker J, Gautama K, Roh YS. Femoral trabecular patterns in asymptomatic spinal osteoporosis and femoral neck fracture. Clin Radiol. 1974 Apr;25(2):243–246.

Smith EL, Jr, Reddan W, Smith PE. Physical activity and calcium modalities for bone mineral increase in aged women. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1981;13(1):60–64.

Sinaki M, Offord KP. Physical activity in postmenopausal women: effect on back muscle strength and bone mineral density of the spine. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1988 Apr;69(4):277–280.

Suominen H, Heikkinen E, Vainio P, Lahtinen T. Mineral density of calcaneus in men at different ages: a population study with special reference to life-style factors. Age Ageing. 1984 Sep;13(5):273–281.

Fiatarone MA, Marks EC, Ryan ND, Meredith CN, Lipsitz LA, Evans WJ. High-intensity strength training in nonagenarians. Effects on skeletal muscle. JAMA. 1990 Jun 13;263(22):3029–3034.

Boyce WJ, Vessey MP. Habitual physical inertia and other factors in relation to risk of fracture of the proximal femur. Age Ageing. 1988 Sep;17(5):319–327.

Angus RM, Sambrook PN, Pocock NA, Eisman JA. Dietary intake and bone mineral density. Bone Miner. 1988 Jul;4(3):265–277.

Cumming RG. Calcium intake and bone mass: a quantitative review of the evidence. Calcif Tissue Int. 1990 Oct;47(4):194–201.

Lamke B, Sjöberg HE, Sylvén M. Bone mineral content in women with Colles’ fracture: effect of calcium supplementation. Acta Orthop Scand. 1978 Apr;49(2):143–146.

Dawson-Hughes B, Dallal GE, Krall EA, Sadowski L, Sahyoun N, Tannenbaum S. A controlled trial of the effect of calcium supplementation on bone density in postmenopausal women. N Engl J Med. 1990 Sep 27;323(13):878–883.

Smith EL, Gilligan C, Smith PE, Sempos CT. Calcium supplementation and bone loss in middle-aged women. Am J Clin Nutr. 1989 Oct;50(4):833–842.

Riis B, Thomsen K, Christiansen C. Does calcium supplementation prevent postmenopausal bone loss? A double-blind, controlled clinical study. N Engl J Med. 1987 Jan 22;316(4):173–177.

Heaney RP. Calcium supplements: practical considerations. Osteoporos Int. 1991 Feb;1(2):65–71.

5 thoughts on “Prevention of Osteoporosis with Yoga”

  1. thank you for this excelent article, detailed in the asanas and the diet.

    question: if dr. rita khanna is now serving in india, is she doing yoga teacher trainning at that location, or she goes to the US eventually?

    again, many thanks for this informative web page

Leave a Comment

Your Cart