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Real Life Nutrition Questions Answered

Real Life Fitness Questions Answered

Emma Brown
Nutritionist

Janet Aylott
Nutritionist

Kelly Marshall
Fitness Consultant

Q.

What can I do with osteoarthritis of the lower spine?

HI,

I have severe osteoarthritis of the lower spine, so floor exercises and stomach crunches etc are a definite no-no.

Are there any chair-based exercises I could do? I do have a set of wrist/ankle weights.

Thanks

A.

Our expert says...

Hi,

You could absolutely do chair-based exercises using your weights, (holding them in your hands that is), to target areas such as your arms, (biceps and triceps) and shoulders.

In terms of targeting your stomach specifically, you would be better to do upper body exercises from a standing position and even a single leg position as this targets the core at the same time but without placing undue compression stress on the vertebrae of the lower spine.

Make sure whatever exercises you do are done with you drawing your belly button in towards your spine, (see my 'Simple exercises to achieve a leaner middle' article on the resources page of the website). This activation of your deep abdominal muscles is an effective way of reducing the risk of aggravating your osteoarthritis and long term training of these muscles will help reduce the impact of this condition on your quality of life.

To target your arms you could try the exercises detailed in my articles on the resources page of the website, under the subheading of 'Kellys home exercise articles', try:

- Self-resisted bicep curls and triceps press ups from my 'Shape up your arms for the summer' article

- Standing 1-arm scaption from my 'Protect and tone your shoulders at home' article.

The key thing is to focus on exercises where you can use your core muscles, (deep abdominal), to keep your lower spine still while another body part moves. This kind of exercise is unlikely to aggravate your arthritis but still targets the stomach area as the muscles work to prevent unwanted movement.

Hope this helps

Kelly

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