OsteoporosisDid you know that your skeleton is 1/10th of your body mass and 10% of your bone is renewed each year. Our bone mass peaks between the ages of 20 and 40 years and from the ages of 30-35 years there is an average decrease of 1% in done density per year. This can be accelerated up to 6% decrease in bone mass for females post menopause due to the more significant changes in hormone levels.

I’m sure we’re all aware that I’m hinting at Osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is defined as being below -2.5, when measure on a DEXA machine. The term Osteopenia is also give to someone whose bone density is slightly below average but not at osteopenic levels (-1 to -2.5 DEXA). The loss of bone density in itself is not painful. However, the fractures that occur because of it are and the resulting change in body shape due to the healing process of the fractures can impact on breathing, digestion and movement. Unfortunately, we only find out there may be an issue once and incident has occurred. One the positive side, it’s never too late to start addressing you’re bone health. Loss of bone density can be significantly slowed through modification of lifestyle, nutrition and increase in or change in activity types and levels.

National Guidelines from UK and World authorities vary slightly but agree on taking a minimum of 150 minutes per week of regular moderate to vigorous intensity aerobic exercise. Most importantly the Department of Health indicate that there should be 2 days per week of strength conditioning and balance. The benefits of these activities help prevent falls and the associated fractures that could result from falling. Weight bearing exercises also encourage the bones to strengthen and the muscles to support the skeleton better. It also encourages better and confidence in movement patterns i.e. reduced risk to tripping ad better support if there is a loss of balance.

The best news if that if you’re attending a Modern Pilates session at Ormkirk Pilates you are meeting the recommendations for preventing or reducing the impact of reduce bone density. The standing, balancing and arm loading work we do are weight bearing exercises and they develop your movement patterns. We strengthen the supporting muscles of the spine, reduce the weight of the head on the spine and learn to move to give maximum support to it in our movement.

If you have been told that you have osteopenia or osteoporosis and would like to support your body more or you don’t know but would like to prevent it from occurring and want more information drop me a line at info@ormskirkpilates.co.uk

Hyperextension of the knees

Hyperextension is the movement of a joint past its normal range. All our joints have an optimal range of movement, which they are designed to function optimally within. They are also designed to be able to a little bit beyond that range as a mechanism to protect from injury.

If the knee joint is hyperextended the shin bones are pulled backwards in relation to the foot.

Hyperextension of the knees

The bones of the body are meant to stack one of top of the other in order to transfer ‘forces’ through the joints and the body. If the knee joint is hyperextended, it puts greater strain on the ligaments at the back of the knee and has the impact of unbalancing the muscles above and below the joint. Ultimately the whole body is affected as our lower body doesn’t work in isolation of the upper body.

If our daily habits assist in the hyperextension of the knee, the joint will gradually become lax. This laxity can then transpose into our movement when standing and walking. So, when walking our leg straightens as our heel strikes the ground and transfer forces up the leg the bones of the leg should stay in parallel. If there is laxity at the joint at this point the knee effectively moves backwards, closes the space of the knee joint and increases the likelihood of wear and tear of the joint.
Signs you might be a ‘knee extender’?

  • Loss of definition of the vertical creases at the back of your knees.
  • Your legs look like they’re bending backwards.

If you recognise that you’re a ‘knee extender’ what can you do to break the habit?

  • Keep checking your knee position when standing. They should be soft and feel relaxed but not bent.
  • Take shorter steps when walking. This will also help you move from your core as opposed to your extremities.