Meet Sarah, a spirited woman in her early sixties living in London. Recently, Sarah was diagnosed with osteoporosis, a condition that weakened her bones and increased her susceptibility to fractures. This revelation came as a shock to her, as she had always led an active lifestyle and cherished her independence.
Upon learning about her diagnosis, she made a promise to herself: osteoporosis would not dictate her life. Guided by this resolve, Sarah sought help from the London Osteoporosis Clinic. Here, she was introduced to the concept of Pilates as a means of managing her osteoporosis.
Sarah had heard about Pilates but had never given it a go. Now, faced with the need to keep her body strong and balanced, she decided to take the plunge. However, the clinic’s osteoporosis specialist clarified that not all Pilates exercises were suitable for her condition.
Sarah was advised to steer clear of any Pilates exercises that involved flexion, such as the Roll-Up or Roll-Over. These could put excessive pressure on the front of her spine, making it prone to fractures. This was a bitter pill to swallow, but Sarah was determined to adapt.
Instead, she was encouraged to focus on exercises that promoted extension, like the Swan or the Leg Pull-Down. These exercises kept her spine straight and helped improve her posture.
She was also recommended to perform exercises that built core strength, such as modified versions of the Plank and the Hundred. The clinic emphasised that a strong core was essential for supporting her spine.
Additionally, Sarah was encouraged to practice balance exercises like the Side Kick and the Standing Leg Lift. These exercises would help her reduce the risk of falls, a common concern with osteoporosis.
Over time, Sarah grew fond of her Pilates routine. She understood that while it had to be adapted to her condition, it was possible to continue leading an active lifestyle even with osteoporosis. Each day, she felt her body becoming stronger and more stable.
Sarah’s journey with osteoporosis and Pilates is not merely about managing a medical condition. It’s a testament to her resolve and adaptability. It’s a story of how modifying exercises to meet the requirements of her body allowed her to remain independent and active.
So remember, if you or someone you know is dealing with osteoporosis, there’s a path forward. And sometimes, that path may lead you to a Pilates mat, to the guidance of a caring instructor, and towards a stronger, more balanced self. Just as it did for Sarah.
However, Sarah soon discovered that managing osteoporosis was as much about what to avoid as it was about what to do. She was initially surprised by the list of Pilates exercises she was advised against, but the reason was explained to her in detail.
Exercises that involved rounding or bending the spine forwards, such as the Roll-Up, the Roll-Over, and the Teaser, were potential threats. These exercises could place undue pressure on the front of her spine, the area most vulnerable to fractures in individuals with osteoporosis.
Recalling her resolve to proactively manage her condition, Sarah diligently avoided these exercises. Instead, she focused on the safer exercises she had been taught, even as she watched others in her class perform movements she could no longer risk.
This avoidance also extended to the temptation of following general Pilates routines on video-sharing platforms. Recognising that many of these routines were not designed with osteoporosis in mind, Sarah strictly adhered to the customised routine provided by her osteoporosis specialist at the London Osteoporosis Clinic.
In all, Sarah’s story emphasises that managing osteoporosis with Pilates is not a one-size-fits-all approach. It is a tailored journey that demands an understanding of both what to embrace and what to avoid. In Sarah’s case, it was this understanding that enabled her to stay active, strong, and balanced, even in the face of osteoporosis.