View Full Version : Hiking with osteoporosis
We need help. My wife and I are avid section hikers and have made it to central Virginia. She has recently been diagnosed with osteoporosis of the spine, specifically L 1 thru L4. Her T score is -2.9. At this time there is no evidence of deformity. Her Doctor has recommended Actonel, exercise, and calcium which she has begun.Actually she has begun taking the Actonel, everything else she was already doing. Her question is , are there any hikers out there with similar maladies, has it interfered with your backpacking, and how have you coped? Are you doing anything special?
Carry her pack for her!! :sun
Other than carrying her pack, you need to assure that her pack is well fitted and transfers most weight to her pelvis. Many folks have similar problems with disk disease and continue our sport with caution.
She is more at risk with falls, particularly with wrist and ankle injuries. Because of the stress of hiking, I'd anticipate her need for Calcium will go up, and would assure that she gets adequate Vit D. Sunshine helps, but suppliments are reasonable.
Since this is your wife, I'd suggest you consider getting checked also. We think of women mainly for osteoporeosis, but men get it also.
Orangebug, Thanks for the ideas. We do plan to get a new pack. Her old one is a Dana Terraplane. Calcium supplements and Vit. D wiil definitely be taken while hiking. Oddly enough , because of our normal diet, the Doctor did not consider this necessary while we are at home. She was prescribed Actonel. I agree with you that men need to be checked as well. I've lost almost 1.5" over the last forty years. I was 6 feet . So for though my physician said the test is not needed.
Orangebug, Thanks for the ideas. We do plan to get a new pack.
Check out the ULA P-2 pack. I got this pack at Neel's Gap. I believe Mt. Rogers outfitters sells it too. They will fit it to your wife's back like they did for me. It fits like a glove. I used it on an overnighter and never once had to adjust it after I put it on. It weighs just under 3lbs. No, I don't work for the company, just very impressed with the pack.
I would think all that walking and excercise would be good for her. Just don't push the miles. I know when my body starts getting tired, I start stumbling. My body tells me when to take a break, and it's not always when I want to. :rolleyes:
You have gotten some excellent advice. Just another thought, though. Maybe find another person who would hike along with you two and share part of the load. This may not work for you if the two of you prefer to be on your own. But I just thought I would mention it.
Hope you continue to enjoy your hiking.
One other idea. You and your wife might want to consider Yoga classes to help with stretching, strength and balance - especially balance. Yoga isn't just a girly-girl exercise class, but involves a great deal of core strengthening and tone. The work and stress of it will increase catabolism of bone, further strengthening both of you.