Work out & eat right for SCI bone health


People with SCI are at higher risk for osteoporosis due to lack of weight bearing on lower limbs.  Decreased bone density increases the risk of fractures and related health problems

Here are some tips to maximize bone health:

  • Be active!
  • DEXA scan is an imaging machine recommended to measure bone density
  • Consume adequate calcium.  Adults 19-50 years 1000 mg/day.  Those over 51 – 1200 mg/day.  Eat dairy products, dark leafy grean veggies, tofu, canned salmon, calicium fortified orange juice
  • Use supplements if unable to get enough through diet.  Tums antacids are a good, cheap source of calcium.  Note – supplements may cause constipation
  • Get 600 IU/day of Vitamin D
  • Limit caffeine
  • Stop smoking
  • Medication such as Fosamax may be prescribed by your doctor
  • Practice good fall prevention during transfers and other activities

See, Effects of resistance training on adiposity and metablism after SCI, Gorgey AS, Mather KJ, Cupp HR, Gater DR, Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2011 June 8.

See, the development of evidence-informed physical activity guidelines for adults with SCI, Ginis KA, Hicks AL, Latimer AE, et al, Spinal Cord. 2011 June 7.

Source: Vickeri Barton, RD, CD, Associate Director of Nutrition and SErvices, Harborview Medical Center. Presentation April 2011.

Photo:  Director of the Arizona Disability Employerment Center Physical Fitness Center.


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About Karen
Karen Koehler, partner at the nationally recognized law firm of SKW, blogs about all things related to spinal cord injuries...More
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