Running with Osteoporosis ?: Hi all I'm new to... - Bone Health

Bone Health

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Running with Osteoporosis ?

Hot_Water profile image

Hi all

I'm new to this group - recently diagnosed with Osteoporosis in my spine as a result of taking Prednisolone for PMR. I'm 56 and (thought I was...) fit and healthy. Dexa scan showed T scores of spine -3.3 and hip -1.4. I used to run 5 mornings a week for about 30mins (until the PMR, which is now under control) - loved it, and would love to go back to it if it's safe to do so.... Rheumatologist said no problem, whereas an Osteoporosis exercise therapist said I shouldn't. What are your experiences/views please ...

8 Replies

How long is it since you did any running? I don't think any of us can advise for your individual situation, but as a general rule it's really good impact exercise and for most people with osteoporosis, so long as no fractures, shouldn't cause any problems. You can start with just short and gentle jogging, and gradually build up. I have no problems with quick bursts, chasing after my grandchildren! I also do star jumps, skipping, jumping off a step, hopping and exercise with weights and resistance bands, all of which are good for improving bone density if you do enough of them. As your rheumatologist said it's OK, I'd be inclined to believe him, but be very cautious initially. There's a lot of conflicting advice around, but most recently it's been recognised that high impact exercise, when done correctly, is good for bone health.

If you want a second opinion and can afford it, I'd recommend a REMS bone scan, which should give you more reliable bone density readings. There's a huge difference between your hip and spine scores which, unless your steroid medication has affected your spine but not your hips, suggests an error in one or both measurements. If you'd like to know more, here's their website - based in the Midlands, but with clinics around the country:

Hot_Water profile image
Hot_Water in reply to Met00

Thanks so much - that's really helpful - and reassuring. I will check out the REMS site

I second @Met00's opinion and would definitely get a REMS scan if possible. I had similar discordance but my hip was the worse of the two. Turns out that the spine score was more accurate.

Hi,I was diagnosed with OP following a Coeliac Diseases diagnosis. My T Scores were similar to yours. My GP said that the better hip/femur scores were probably due to the fact I have always run so that has kept my lower half of my skeleton healthy. He suggested keeping up the running and also try adding some upper body impact training but I haven't really bothered with that - I just love running and being outside on the trails.

I guess you need to beware of falls - I've had a few tumbles over roots and stones but been lucky onto the break anything.

You could always start of with a skipping rope to get your general fitness up, I understand this is a very good impact exercise for improving bone density.

Good Luck. Ian

Hot_Water profile image
Hot_Water in reply to ianwoowoo

Thanks - that's really helpful - like you, being outside is so important to me.

Hi! Like you I had prednisolone that set my bones off. I’ve had seven fractures to date. I was on terraparatide for two years and had no problems. I then had to go on Denosumab and five months into taking it I had another four back fractures. They are now telling me it takes between one and two years to work.

I was advised not to run after breaking my NOF during a marathon (no fall, just a stress fracture repaired with a dynamic hip screw). I was told I could run slowly for 30mins once or twice a week but no more (and my husband was in the consult so no fudging the issue). It used to take 30mins to get fully into the zone, I loved my distances, so I don’t run now. I do walk, Nordic walk and strength train - pretty much the same exercises as Met000 just not all at once or for long periods.

Hi. My Dexa scan results were more severe than yours plus I've had two spinal fractures and a wrist fracture. Like yourself, I stopped running. My rheumatologist plus the REM scan consultant encouraged me to start running again, sensibly, and on turf as opposed to concrete where possible. Sometimes I wonder how my bones have deteriorated further as a result of stopping my routine exercise due to the Dexa scan.

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