Thursday, July 31, 2014

Preventing Stress Fractures


Posture exercise series to strengthen your back and prevent stress fractures

What is a stress fracture?
·         In women and men, the combination of aging and reduction of physical activity can affect your musculoskeletal health and contribute to the development of bone fragility. 

·         While more common in women, stress fractures occur in men, particularly in those with low testosterone.

·         Stress fractures are tiny cracks that can occur in any bone.

·         They can be caused by overuse, increased intensity of an activity at a rate that is too high for the body, overuse and osteoporosis in people over 50.  

·         Skeletal health can be assisted by improving the strength of supportive muscles.  Ideally the objective should be to prevent fractures rather than treat associated complications. 

How can I prevent stress fractures?
Doing exercises on a regular basis can help strengthen your abdomen and lower back in order to keep your muscles strong and prevent injury.
When you start a new exercise, start slowly and progress gradually, making sure you are practicing correct form with each movement.  
Also, make sure you are getting the proper nutrition as this is also a critical component to bone health.

Here are some posture exercises to help prevent stress fractures in the lower back:

*Benefit is to strengthen  back muscles

-Lay face down on the floor with your arms stretched out in front of you and neck in neutral position
- Keeping your arms and legs straight lift simultaneously up towards the ceiling
-Hold for 5 seconds and lower down to complete one set 

Superman with arms at your side
*Benefit is for back muscle strengthening

-Lay face down and place pillow under your abdomen with your arms at your side
-Looking down at the floor raise your head and chest off the floor

Donkey Kick Exercise
*Exercise for improving strength in lumbar extensors and gluteus maximus muscles

-Put both hands and knees on the floor with your head facing the floor
-Slowly lift one leg at a time towards the ceiling making a 90 degree angle with that leg
-Bring leg down to starting position and repeat with opposite leg

Lying down with head lift
*Exercise to strengthen abdominal muscles

-Lay on your back on the floor with your knees bent and arms at your side
-Lift your head towards your chest and raise a few inches off the floor
-Hold for 5 seconds and bring head back down to resting position

 Supine with one arm raised by your head  

-Lay down on your back with your knees bent and one arm raised at your head and stretch and hold
-Release this arm and bring down to your side
-Repeat on opposite side