Ask an expert

06 Dec 2004

I suffered with Perthes as a child. I am now 47 and a recent bone density scan revealed Osteopenia in my hips. I have been advised to do weight bearing exercises however walking and jogging is painful for me as my right hip is severly damaged from the Perthes. Please advise me if cylcling is considered a weight bearing exercise and what other exercises can I do?
Answer 474 views

01 Jan 0001

Hi Cheryl

Cycling is not generally considered a weight bearing exercise, but in your case, if your conditions is severe enough to limit walking, then it would a suitable substitute. Generally, when people talk of weight bearing, they speak of walking and jogging. However, cycling will involve some force on the bones, because every time you push down on the pedals, there is some force, which is lower than that of walking, and hence more suitable for you. I would not set aside walking and running completely however, you can look into medical treatments for ostopaenia (which you may have done, though this has a limited effect at best) but also remember that as your muscles get stronger from cycling, your bones also develop strength and so it may be that in months to come, you can do some walking. My advice will be to walk as often as possible, but only in very short stints. If your pain comes on after 5 minutes, then walk 4 minutes, cycle the rest, and over time, you will find that the pain only kicks in later.

As for other exercises, aqua running and aerobics involve very little impact and may also be suitable, and if you are at the gym, look into this option.

Good luck
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
Voting Booth
Have you entered our Health of the Nation survey?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
33% - 9321 votes
67% - 18659 votes