Exercise and Osteoporosis: The Best Ways to Strengthen the Spine

Osteoporosis Exercises

Osteoporosis is most common in the aging population and leaves individuals more susceptible to fractures and other major problems such as spinal stenosis. Fortunately, many safe exercises can be performed to build up the muscles that run alongside the spine, boosting bone density while better supporting the structures around the spine for additional protection against spinal conditions. Here are a few great exercises for those with osteoporosis, recommended by the spine surgeons at The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration:

  • Neck Presses

    This simple exercise is performed by lying flat on the floor with the head supported by a pillow. The head is then pushed down in an effort to straighten the spine with the chin tipped forward. The position should be held for a count of five with a few seconds of rest in-between the set of 10.

  • Walking

    Walking is a relatively safe activity that works well to strengthen the spinal column. The gravity that is endured when ambulating makes patients work against its forces and serves to strengthen the muscles of the back.

  • Weight-Bearing Activities

    Research shows that people with osteoporosis who regularly engage in exercises that involve reasonable weight lifting generally experienced muscle growth and increased bone density. Patients should take care when using weights because equipment that is too heavy may cause injury.

  • Non-Weight-Bearing Exercises

    Participating in activities that help develop balance serve a dual purpose. Fine muscles are strengthened from exercises that focus on maintaining good posture, and the increase in balance helps protect individuals from falls.

Once a patient has been cleared by his or her physician to engage in exercise, it is important to be mindful of preserving the vertebral column. Bending the spine forward can make the column more prone to breaking, but leaning or arching back does not contribute to injury.

Interested in learning more about spinal health? Call (310) 828-7757 and schedule an in-person appointment with one of The Spine Institute’s board-certified spine surgeons in Santa Monica. Our team of world-class physicians can determine if osteoporosis is resulting in a more severe spinal condition and the best treatment options. Make your appointment today – we look forward to hearing from you.