Hips and Hormones
by Jose Sonik
Some news from the science front! Hormone replacement in women is linked to hip replacement – and childbearing is linked to knee replacement. These two new findings come out of England where 1.3 million women were followed since 1996.
Hormone replacement therapy is quite common among post-menopausal women, particularly those at risk of osteoporosis. Estrogen prevents bone-loss, which in turn prevents osteoporosis. But it seems to have a negative affect on join strength. Notable, estrogen with progestragen was more closely correlated with hip replacement than estrogen alone or tibolone.
The second finding is more startling. It’s well known that running, excessive jumping, climbing, and carrying heavy things can damage the knees, but nobody ever thought to apply that to carrying children. Though, when you think about it, some of those babies can get quite heavy.
This finding creates one of those tight corners often created by conflicting medical advice. Exercise during pregnancy is highly recommended, but it’s important to avoid unduly stressing the knees. Here are a few recommendations:
1. Swimming. Swimming takes the weight off your legs while getting your heart rate pumping. An outdoor pool or swimming no more than once a week because of the chlorine and ammonia that can build up over indoor pools.
2. Rowing, weightlifting (from sitting position), and similar exercises are healthy and will also get you ready to start carrying around a 10 lb baby.
3. Biking on a stationary bike will support your weight while giving you great aerobic exercise.
4. Yoga is both relaxing and healthy and a good idea any day.