Reversing Osteoporosis Through Strength Training

Submitted by: Anne Spicker

Terri's Success Story

Terri came to me in October 2011 because she was diagnosed with osteoporosis following an ankle fracture. Terri is the typical picture of osteoporosis: petite, slight build, Caucasian, and a post-menopausal 62-year old.

A bone density test showed Terri's T-score at -3.5. T-score shows how much your bone mass varies or deviates from the bone mass of a healthy 30 year old. A score of -3.5 indicates that Terri's bone mass was 35% below that of a healthy 30 year old. Normal is -1 to +4.

Terri was prescribed a medication for osteoporosis but she wanted to do more. We began strength training in October 2011. Terri had been a runner and wanted to return to running. I designed Terri's program to include balance, stability and strengthening exercises using moderate weights. Terri never lifted more than a 10 lb dumbbell.

Terri took a beginner's running class in March 2012 and was soon running 3 miles. We began to include plyometric exercises to complement her running. Terri eventually increased her running distance to 10 miles.

In April 2013 Terri delivered the exciting news that her latest bone density test showed she had reversed her osteoporosis and her T-score was 0. Terri now had the bone mass of a healthy 30-year old.

She was elated to be able to stop the medication she had taken for 3 years.

Osteoporosis can be reversed, and a dedicated strength training program is the way to do it!