TOE TOUCHES, SIT-UPS CAN LEAD TO SPINAL FRACTURES, PHYSICAL
THERAPIST TELLS PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATION
crunches, sit-ups, and other common exercises that bend the
spine can cause back pain and even spinal fractures, according
to physical therapist Sara Meeks in remarks prepared for the
annual meeting of the American Physical Therapy Association.
results of these exercises can be catastrophic," said
Meeks, chair of the APTA's special interest group on osteoporosis,
and author of Walk Tall! An Exercise Program for the Prevention
& Treatment of Osteoporosis. "Bending forward compresses
the spine. Spinal vertebrae that have been weakened from bone
loss can crush or break easily."
says that most instructors and personal trainers are not aware
that crunches, toe touches, and other flexion exercises are
harmful to many people. Research has shown that they can cause
back fractures due to compression of the vertebrae.
a geriatric clinical specialist, says she "considers
everyone at risk until a bone density test shows normal bone
mass." She has developed a program for safely building
bone and muscle in everyone, even those who have osteoporosis.
The program also improves posture and balance, relieves back
pain, and leads to weight training at the gym.
frightening that most people with low bone mass are not aware
of it," Meeks says. "They think osteoporosis is
a disease that only affects older Caucasian women. But my
patients include children, young adults, men, and people of
all ethnic origins."
especially concerned about senior centers, where exercise
classes are usually done in the seated position. Sitting compresses
the spine, and risk of fracture is increased by bending forward.
a condition characterized by the progressive loss of bone
density, results in weak, fragile bones that break easily.
It is a major health threat to over 28 million Americans.
For more information, visit http://www.triadpublishing.com/osteoinfo.htm.