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PMR & Osteoporosis

Hi all. had a routine bone density test as I'm on Pred. The results showed I'm just into Osteoporosis on my hips (well some parts of my hips anyway - worst reading was -2.8). Spine was fine. I'm waiting to get the full results and any prescribed meds from my GP .

I'd like to exercise to improve my bone density (weight bearing, running?) but if I exercise too much it affects my PMR symptoms.

Anyone got any ideas on the best compromise.


2 Replies

David, walking is one of the best weight bearing exercises. When at the lower doses of steroids, I joined a Nordic walking class - it's amazing how supportive the poles are if PMR makes us feel a little unstable. My instructor mentioned a lady in another class who joined due to having been diagnosed with osteoporosis, and a repeat scan some time later revealed an actual improvement in her bone density. Another great exercise is Tai Chi. Perhaps I was just lucky that throughout 6.5 years on steroids starting at 40mgs, and without being offered even a calcium/Vit D supplement, my bone density hardly changed, but without doubt, both the Nordic walking and the Tai Chi did their bit!


Walking is one of the best forms of weight bearing exercise - and can be easily tailored to suit how you are on the day. The key is that you should not have pain after the exercise - a little ache the day after is OK, provided it goes away if you try a short walk that day. If it doesn't, then you have done too much. The Nordic walking sounds good - but not everyone can get to a group, so very basic walking around the local park will be a good start!

If you don't ache you can slowly 'up the ante' by going towards (note, not suddenly) power walking - or walk further, or incorporate hills. Oh, and watch your posture - you need to activate the core muscles as these will help with stability and reduce the likelihood of falling and breaking something.

I only have one short hill near me, but boring though it was, I walked up determinedly watching my posture and breathing, coasted down, walked up again - and repeated this time and time again trying to get my heart rate up and my muscles moving. I think it helped to keep me mobile. In running it is called interval training. Calling it that makes it sound much less boring.......!

Also check out your diet for a good mix of bone encouraging vits & minerals.

If it helps, I never thought I'd ride again - and I am now (fab exercise for strengthening the core muscles). In fact I'm mucking out too! As you can imagine I'm so grateful to have this back. I also can now walk 10 miles (OK, not at the old pace) with a day sack on my back - and I swim regularly too. So there can be life after PMR and with ongoing osteoporosis........ you just have to find your pace.


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