My client who has been seeing me for Pilates privates for a couple months shared with me her husband's suspicion that the Pilates Reformer and Cadillac were not ideal for her. She recently had her DEXA scan done, and the results showed osteoporosis in some areas and osteopenia (low bone density) in others. She decided to take medicine for condition, but knew that exercise was also a huge component of bone health. Her husband, who happens to be a retired orthopedic surgeon, suggested she work with a personal trainer and add free weights to her personal workout. However, my client had recently experience Pilates and was hooked. Now he was coming to check it out and see for himself, could Pilates help with his wife's osteoporosis?
I am happy to say that after the session it was smiles all around and a "thumbs up" of approval from the Orthopod. ;-) We all agreed that it was in my client's best interest to do an exercise that she enjoyed and would stick with, while tailoring the sessions to best meet her needs of weight bearing activity.
*Note that extension is safe for clients with osteoporosis, but flexion (especially if there is a history of fractures) is contraindicated.
Working with Osteoporosis but can't get to a studio? Check out the Pilates for Buff Bones DVD!