Osteoporosis is known as the “silent thief” because symptoms
often remain hidden while bone loss manifests. Many people
unaware of the threat until their bones are sufficiently weakened
to the point that a simple fall can cause a debilitating fracture.
Isometric exercises involve tensing a muscle and holding
it stationary while maintaining the tension, and evidence
hints at their utility in combating the effects of osteoporosis.
Forty-one postmenopausal women (a high risk group for the
disease) with osteoporosis participated in a two-part study
that evaluated the effect of isometric exercise on muscle
strengthening and bone loss. Exercises incorporated an inflatable
ball with attached nonelastic straps providing progressive
Study participants performed 10 exercises every other day
(half each day) with one exercise-free day per week; each
exercise session lasted approximately 5-10 minutes. Eight
weeks of training improved muscle strength and bone formation,
with no further loss of bone noted.
Women in particular are at risk for osteoporosis following
menopause because levels of circulating hormones drop noticeably.
Your doctor can tell you more about the dangers of osteoporosis
and what you can do to minimize or prevent the “silent thief”
Swezey RL, Swezey A, Adams J. Isometric progressive resistive
exercise for osteoporosis. Journal of Rheumatology
2000: Vol. 27, No. 5, pp1260-64.
For additional information on women’s health, visit http://www.chiroweb.com/tyh/women.html.