Improving Bone Density

DeanneDeanne Sunshine Coast QldMember Posts: 2,097
edited September 2016 in Health and wellbeing
Just thought I would update about my experience so far with attending classes at The Bone Clinic for osteoporosis (Letrozole/Femara induced) in my lumbar spine. Absolutely loving the sessions and meeting lots of lovely people also keen to improve their bone density through weight bearing exercise.

I have never been a "gym" person but this is such a relaxed and friendly environment that I am actually looking forward to each class. The results for people attending are very encouraging with one lady improving her bone density by 9% in just 8 months. I am really hopeful that this will work for me. It is fun and beneficial anyway so definitely glad I found this facility.

It is working out pretty well for me with only needing to attend 2 x 45 minute sessions a week to get the maximum benefit. They have centres in Brisbane at Hendra and Cooparoo, one on the Gold Coast and a new one at Maroochydore on the Sunshine Coast. All classes are supervised and designed around the latest research for beneficial bone building exercise. Highly recommend it!  :)
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  • primekprimek Broken HillMember Posts: 5,017
    Sounds fabulous. Just wondering if you could give us some idea of the exercises you do. Unfortunately us in the rural areas don't  get access to these things. Thanks Kath.
  • DeanneDeanne Sunshine Coast QldMember Posts: 2,097
    edited September 2016
    Yes it must be difficult in rural areas. We do four main exercises (a deadlift, overhead press, squat and chin-up type of exercise) which you do need to learn the correct technique for and you do need specialised equipment for. However they also have an on-line course that I think anyone can do with just a few simple pieces of equipment at home. If you look them up on google (The Bone Clinic) all the info is there about the on-line facility etc. There is a cost involved but I think it is fairly minimal. They are associated with Griffith University and have a dietician and exercise physiologist too.
  • Michelle_RMichelle_R Gold Coast QldMember Posts: 893
    hi Kath,
    I think Deanne will confirm that there are on-line classes through the Bone Clinic - it is called ONERO if you want to look it up.  I contacted the Clinic and they sent the information.  You might like to do it on-line.
    Hi Deanne,
    Just to fill you in on my recent bone scan since Prolia injections - my spine T-score has improved from  -0.12 to 0.32  so at least something is working.  Due for No.8 in December.  Maybe I will try ONERO too.
    xx Michelle

  • DeanneDeanne Sunshine Coast QldMember Posts: 2,097
    Hi Michelle,
    Yes that is right the on-line course is called Onero. I was going to do it until they told me that there would be a centre opening up on the Sunshine Coast.

    Glad to hear that your density has improved on Prolia. Sounds like yours was a lot better than mine to start with. Mine was -3.2 (T-score at spine) but normal at my wrist and ok (but less than ideal) at hips!  It had deteriorated 11% (at the spine only) in just 12 months. Hopefully I can improve this with exercise specifically targeted for the spine which seems to be my major problem area. 

    I like the fact that the only side effects of this exercise approach are that I will improve my strength and balance while having fun with some lovely new friends. With Femara also already effecting my cholesterol I want to leave more medication as a last resort. Sooo hoping this works for me but only time will tell. Keeping my hopes up and fingers crossed! :)
  • primekprimek Broken HillMember Posts: 5,017
    Thankyou so much. I'm not recovered enough for dead lifts yet...or much of anything but this is definetely an option.
  • DeanneDeanne Sunshine Coast QldMember Posts: 2,097
    It's good to have options  :). It sounds really hard but it's very basic and they demonstrate it really well and it's actually easy to learn with the right instructions.

    I am not at all strong in my upper body (probably my problem!  :() but already I am lifting 25kgs. Most of the ladies are a bit older than me (I am 50) and they are lifting heavier weights than me!

    They actually have clinical classes for people with injuries or other health issues and the exercises are adjusted to their needs. Today there was a lady with a fused spine and lymphoedema in one arm. The exercise physiologist had adjusted the exercises to be safe for her. Obviously it is not possible to do this for the on-line program but the exercises on that are not using the weightlifting equipment. I think they are more resistance, balance and impact based.

    Another alternative for people is to see an exercise physiologist in their area (if available) and have them design an appropriate program for them. Your GP should be able to refer you and with a GP Management Plan you are entitled to 5 visits subsidised by Medicare. 

    We are so lucky to live in Australia where we do have options, even in remote areas thanks to the Internet. Getting support on here is a great example of that.  :)
  • DeanneDeanne Sunshine Coast QldMember Posts: 2,097
    Lifted 30 kg today in the deadlift. I only weigh 60! I am amazed at how good I am feeling after each class. One of the ladies remarked that she feels taller after each session. It is excellent for your posture and not that strenuous.

    As one of the coaches put it - this is not about endurance or even fitness. It is purely about using your muscles so they send messages to your bone to grow a bit more. If you don't use those muscles you don't stimulate new (and stronger) bone growth. Each exercise is aimed at using the muscles to encourage bone growth in your hips and spine, where most people have bone loss as we age (and have low estrogen levels). Because of the treatment we are on for preventing recurrence (if you are hormone positive) we are even more at risk of bone loss than the average person unfortunately.

    I never thought I would ever do weightlifting but this is actually fun  :)
  • Michelle_RMichelle_R Gold Coast QldMember Posts: 893
    Impressive, Deanne!  As usual, you give things 110% and deserve a great outcome!  Keep up the good work  xx  Michelle
  • NeNe Member Posts: 337

    I love this forum and all the tips and recommendations.  Thank you Deanne for sharing this.

  • DeanneDeanne Sunshine Coast QldMember Posts: 2,097
    You are welcome  :) I agree this forum is such a great place to find things out. I am sure my life is so much better than it might have been post treatment because of the things I have learnt about from others on here.  <3 it!
  • NeNe Member Posts: 337
    Deanne said:
    Hi Michelle,
    Yes that is right the on-line course is called Onero. I was going to do it until they told me that there would be a centre opening up on the Sunshine Coast.

    Glad to hear that your density has improved on Prolia. Sounds like yours was a lot better than mine to start with. Mine was -3.2 (T-score at spine) but normal at my wrist and ok (but less than ideal) at hips!  It had deteriorated 11% (at the spine only) in just 12 months. Hopefully I can improve this with exercise specifically targeted for the spine which seems to be my major problem area. 

    I like the fact that the only side effects of this exercise approach are that I will improve my strength and balance while having fun with some lovely new friends. With Femara also already effecting my cholesterol I want to leave more medication as a last resort. Sooo hoping this works for me but only time will tell. Keeping my hopes up and fingers crossed! :)
    Hi Deanne. After my recent bone density scan revealed I am in the 'red' and my Oncologyst's concern over the state of my bones at age 41, I stumbled on this post and decided to look up the Onero program.  I really felt I would benefit from this so I joined the group and have started with my at home exercises..  I am planning on attending one of their  Friday afternoon clinic sessions just to check my tecnique etc and will be asking them all the questions I have but wondered how many times per week do you do your home exercises Deanne?  I try and do mine at least 3 to 4 times a week.  Wondered what the reccomendation was for this as I couldn't find it online.
  • DeanneDeanne Sunshine Coast QldMember Posts: 2,097
    Hi Ne,
    It would be best to ask them when you attend one of the Friday sessions. I am attending 2-3 sessions a week at the Sunshine Coast location now. Am absolutely loving it and improving quickly. On their facebook page they have shared some of the latest results from ladies who have been attending for 12 months. Two of the ladies had 20% improvement in their bone density, one of them moving from the osteopenic range into the normal range. If I can achieve something like that I will be very happy!

    An interesting fact that I have learnt is that anxiety can really affect your body's ability to absorb calcium. When you are anxious your cortisol levels go up and this hinders calcium absorption! I am having so much fun at the classes that I am sure my anxiety has gone down as a result. 

    I found the staff very helpful so I am sure they will be able to give you some good advice regarding how many times is ideal for the home routine. Good luck with it.  :)
  • NeNe Member Posts: 337
    Deanne said:
    Hi Ne,
    It would be best to ask them when you attend one of the Friday sessions. I am attending 2-3 sessions a week at the Sunshine Coast location now. Am absolutely loving it and improving quickly. On their facebook page they have shared some of the latest results from ladies who have been attending for 12 months. Two of the ladies had 20% improvement in their bone density, one of them moving from the osteopenic range into the normal range. If I can achieve something like that I will be very happy!

    An interesting fact that I have learnt is that anxiety can really affect your body's ability to absorb calcium. When you are anxious your cortisol levels go up and this hinders calcium absorption! I am having so much fun at the classes that I am sure my anxiety has gone down as a result. 

    I found the staff very helpful so I am sure they will be able to give you some good advice regarding how many times is ideal for the home routine. Good luck with it.  :)

    Thanks Deanne, I am looking forward to seeing some results too and thanks again for recommending them.

  • primekprimek Broken HillMember Posts: 5,017
    Thanks everyone for the extra info. My bone density has come back crap so will be looking at this very soon and hope that my physio might be of assistance or failing that a exercise physiologist.
  • DeanneDeanne Sunshine Coast QldMember Posts: 2,097
    It is such a shame that this type of facility is not available to everyone. The encouragement of the other women is so helpful and keeps you motivated. I have never exercised in a group situation where it is so friendly before. Let me know how you go and maybe we can encourage each other to get those muscles going and send messages to the bones to grow and get a bit stronger. I think the thing that has really encouraged me is that it only takes 2 sessions (1 1/2 hours in total) a week to make a big difference. And I feel so much less worried! 
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