Heather’s Bone Density Blog

Posted on: September 16, 2011
32 comments so far (is that a lot?)

I am a 30 yo female with the bones of an 80 year old. I fell when i was 7.5 months pregnant walking out my front door steps and broke both of my feet. I spent 5 months in a wheelchair due to injury. when i finally got out of the wheelchair i had developed such bad osteoporosis the doctors were scared my bones might snap just from walking. I began researching supplements and took many- vitamin K2, Vitamin D, magnesium, a bone growth supplement containing calcium and boron, vitamin b12, etc. I ate well. i did physical therapy 3x/week to learn how to walk normally again. However i continued to injure myself, and get set back to wherei coudlnt walk for weeks on end. Finally six months after i got out of the wheelchair i was walking out of a movie theatre and my big toe broke! I spent another six weeks in a boot. I had my final check up with the orthopedist in october and my bones had barely made any progress towards building strength in the previous year despite all the efforts in diet and exercise. The upper body bones are strong, but the lower body bones (they assume from disuse) are very very weak and fragile. I am really hoping the rebounder can be the answer:)

  • Heather Mathis December 22, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    So i have been studying the rebounding videos (i have watched them all, but in an effort to do this with proper form to avoid any injuries) i have watched and watched and rewatched. In my last round of watching I started to note any questions I had. As i go through, i will continue to note any questions and post them on here. Would love to hear any answers y’all have to the questions. My questions from the last two weeks of studying these (so far) are:

    1. How is the parallell bounce different from the health bounce?

    2. When you do the parallel bounce do you push off the balls of your feet to go higher? i find myself doing this, but in the video I hear “push through the heel”. I am not sure that i am doing this correctly. I can’t seem to both push through the heel and keep my ankles loose. If I have loose ankles i find myself pushing through the ball of my foot some. Are there any forms where you are pushing off the ball of your foot in the parallel, stomp, or alternating?

    3. The “pum pum”. can this be done with shoes on? I have been doing it with shoes. My feet are so bad i can not walk without shoes on. I can’t push through the ball of my foot at all without shoes (and wish shoes experience a great deal of pain) so in trying this i am afraid to do it shoeless. Will i still get benefit with shoes? … Also how high do you lift up onto the ball of the foot for this exercise?

    These are all the questions for tonight. My son has a whooping cough so its been a long few days! Iam going to head to sleep!

    • Sylvia December 23, 2011 at 9:00 am

      Hello Heather, Happy to see your blog posting and I am happy to answer your questions:
      1. Health bounce and Parallel Bounce are the same. Just two different words for it.
      2. Normally, in the parallel bounce, I do not push off the balls of my feet. However sometimes I do it purposely in order to strengthen my arches. This is a great exercise and I throw this movement in from time to time. But usually on the videos – when I say “Parallel Bounce” I just mean normal relaxed bouncing, not pushing off the balls of the feet.
      3. Yes, you can doe the PUM PUM with shoes on. I just lift of an inch. It should be a very natural movement.
      Happy Bouncing and Merry Christmas!

      • Heather Mathis December 23, 2011 at 9:32 pm

        Thank you for responding:) I am curious, how do you keep yourself on your heels? I naturally push through the ball of my foot, but because the PT tendon and AT tendons are stressed (and very painful) it would be better for me to stay pushing through my heels. When i try, the only way i can be successful in this is to keep my ankles locked and very stiff… and i know this is probably not wise.

  • Heather Mathis December 22, 2011 at 10:03 pm

    I hope y’all have a very merry christmas. I have been sticking with the rebounder a few minutes at a time, a few times a day. Trying not to stress the ankle! This has been a horrible flare up! I had no idea that PT tendonitis could be so bad!

    Sometimes i like to just stand on the rebounder. Not actively jump, but stand there and move with the rebounder. Do y’all ever do that? it is very relaxing. You could almost slip into a mediative stance that way, that is, if you didnt have a fifteen month old clawing at your legs! lol.

  • Heather Mathis December 4, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    I do hope everyone had a wonderful thanksgiving. We made a wonderful turkey with butter/lemon juice/zest under the skin and a few lemons in the cavity- then i made homemade broth out of the juices! So good!

    The flareup in my ankle persists. I do the rebounder about 3 minutes a day. The doctors are trying the anti inflammatories through phonophoresis at physical therapy and then the extracorporeal shock wave therapy at the doctors office. Its pretty well settled into one tendon now, just the anterior tib.

    The physical therapist has been workign with me to teach me proper walking technique again. Something that I totally took for granted in my past is so difficult for me! They tell me all these things i should remember and watch for and i find myself walking breaking each movement into “steps” . It is a lot to remember and very hard to coordinate. They believe if i can get a proper walking form back that maybe these flare ups will dissipate. isurely hope so.

    I appreciate the response to my last post asking about inflammation. I had been very concerned with body wide inflammation. I know there is a receptor that initiates inflammation in the body- Nuclear factor Kb. I am putting a link at the bottom of this for your viewing pleasure if inflammation is a fellow concern of yours. I began taking banjo (an herbal supplement supposed to work with this NF Kb) about 45 days ago. I have noticed less inflammatory responses of my skin, but have not noticed less inflammation in my ankle tendons. My knee on the other hand, where i had some arthritis and patellofemoral dysfunction has resolved well.

    I go see the rhumatologist on tuesday to see how my osteoporosis is progressing. I do hope for some good news. I would be interested in getting further testing on inflammation and gut allergies/sensitivities. Who do i see to do those? I know i do suffer from IBS-C. I already have cut out gluten from my diet (an occasional slipup but very very rarely). I also cut out a majority of dairy unless it comes raw… raw goat or raw milk. I knwo i am allergic to shellfish (got tested at the allergist), so i avoid that like the plague as well.

  • Heather November 24, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    Happy thanksgiving all! I have been in quite a bit of pain the last week. This is how my last two years have gone, rather frustrating. I do well for periods of time, make progress in learning to rewalk (i have lost a lot of motor coordination in simple things like balance and walking. I fall over when i try to put clothes on standing up. I limp. I dont stand with weight equally distributed. All things the therapists are trying to work on and I am hoping the rebounder can help with, especially the balancing!) then i have these flare ups, which set me back. It is why i have been in physical therapy for a year and a half. I have been using essential oils to try to help the inflammation in the tendons, and the physical therapists have been using phonophoresis along with ionto patches…. and my podiatrist has been using extracorporeal shock wave therapy! Finally they are feeling manageable again!! I hope they stay this way! I was able to really use the rebounder again tonight and it felt so good to be on it and do something without excruciating pain! My son continues to love the rebounder, he is bouncing better than I am i think sometimes! Haha. I hope everyone has had a great thanksgiving! And an even better black friday shopping experience!!!

    • Sylvia November 24, 2011 at 9:33 pm

      Dear Heather, Thank you for letting us know where you are. I am sorry to hear that you have been in so much pain. That is really a tricky disease, you have. Go gentle on the rebounder, more like a massage of your spine than like exercise. Just come into a soft movement and breathe. I think of you! Kind regards and Happy Thanksgiving. Sylvia

      • Heather Mathis December 4, 2011 at 9:46 pm

        Thank you! I hope you had a wonderful thanksgiving!

    • Charlie November 25, 2011 at 12:10 pm

      Hi Heather,

      I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving! I have been reading your posts and first off wanted to say hang in there. It seems like you have the drive to keep going forward with this and so all credit to you for all your physio work and perseverance. Things will improve, the ups and downs are testing I know, but keep sight of the overall goal and know when there is a flare up, it will settle down and you can continue on your path to recovery shortly after.

      You mentioned in your posts a few things like allergies and the flare ups etc. It does sound like you are under the care of doctors etc which is great. I was wondering about the inflammation you are having and whether you have had any tests of your immune system done? My apologies if I have missed your writings about that. The reason I ask is because the doctor who has been helping me sees Bone loss/Osteoporosis as an inflammatory condition caused by an underlying immune response or possible autoimmune condition. So, just wondered if you have been tested for any immune conditions. I also wondered if you may have an underlying mal-absorption issue with your gut? Food allergies (gluten/dairy etc), possible bacteria infection in your gut can lead to a lot of inflammation in the body and sometimes people are fine for years and then something triggers the immune response and so these foods become an antigen for the body and create an immune response. There are all sorts of testing you can have done to rule some of these things out, if you haven’t already. I know it could seem like a lot and that to do more testing could take a lot more energy, but getting to the root of the problem with the inflammation would be helpful it seems. I certainly wish you luck with it all and am happy to pass on information on the testing if you would like.

      With the rebounding, do keep it so easy it almost feels like you are doing much. As each day you can do 30 seconds (for example) is the start of you building your foundation. Every little bit will help. Your body has got to gradually change, challenge it in small increments and the change will happen. I wish you the best with everything and am looking forward to hearing how everything goes. Have a good weekend!

  • Heather November 14, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    So i have a question to all of you. I have been trying very hard to stay loose like the first video shows and fail miserably. I tend to be very uptight, and i dont breath (i find myself taking very shallow breaths and sometimes holding my breath for long periods of time). I suffer very badly from IBS-C and the naturopath i know says that i hold stress and bad emotion in my colon, mostly from not breathing. I say all that to say this, does anyone have suggestions on how to breath more effectively or break this cycle i am in? Any suggestions on becoming looser in life and on the rebounder?

    • Sylvia November 14, 2011 at 8:13 pm

      Dear Heather, Thank you for bringing this breathing theme up which is very important. What I always found helpful for my clients is that they really start slowly the first week or even weeks of rebounding. That means, no special exercises. Just the health bounce and concentration on the breath. Breathing in and out like a wave form. That goes so well with the soft up and down bouncing. Practice this for a while until the breath comes naturally. All our participants of this workshop are rebounding for quite a while longer than you are. All of them went through a first period of just very little rebounding and paying a LOT of intention to the “form” (feet positioning, alignment – but also breathing and relaxing of shoulders). For some people this comes very naturally, for others it really needs a lot of focus. You seem one of those people who need to focus on breath and relaxing the upper body while softy bouncing. Take rebounding in the beginning more like a MASSAGE OF THE SPINE rather than an exercise. Please let us know if you can apply that. Kind regards and all the best, Sylvia

    • Lena November 19, 2011 at 7:08 pm

      Hi Heather
      I hope you are beginning to feel a bit more relaxed on your rebounder. One thing that I have noticed is that if I am bouncing (in the living room) and the TV is on and there suddenly is music, I feel more relaxed. Maybe you will feel that way too. Perhaps if you also sing along a little your breathing will be more natural? Good luck to you /Lena

      • Sylvia November 19, 2011 at 7:28 pm

        Awesome idea, Lena. I like that! Sylvia

  • Heather November 14, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    We came out of town this week, which gave us the experience to travel with the rebounder. We have a minivan so it was very easy to travel with… the legs folded right up and laid flat in the back of the minivan. It was nice to see how easy it was to travel with!

    • Sylvia November 14, 2011 at 12:40 pm

      Yes, that’s the great thing of the folding leg rebounders. If I drive by car, I’ll take my 39 folding leg one with me. It’s really great to have this portability. Have a good week, Heather! Sylvia

  • Roxy November 12, 2011 at 10:07 am

    Hello Heather!

    Welcome! You look very vibrant in your picture- I hope your energy will keep encouraging you on with your rebounder. It must be very frustrating to have the many bone problems as mentioned, being young and with a young son, too. I hope the rebounding will help. It’s a gentle way to do weight bearing exercise for the lower body and spine.

    What company is your cod liver oil from? I had been looking at Green Pasture’s cinnamon flavor or considering their capsules, but have not yet tried either, waiting to see if I could find out how it tastes before buying.

    • Heather November 14, 2011 at 12:16 pm

      Hello! I have been using the garden of life cod liver oil. (it is flavored with essential oils- mint and lemon!). My dad has tried green pastures and said it was so thick it caused him to choke as he swallowed it, and it is so expensive that i havent wanted to waste the money to try it. The garden of life one has 4500/450 A/D vitamins- so you will need to double the serving size to reach the reccommendations by weston price foundation. It is the appropriate ration of less than 10-1 A-D , so it is safe from that standpoint.

  • Heather Mathis November 9, 2011 at 11:08 pm

    hey all, im still in teh middle of this huge flare up of two tendons on the inside of my ankle… the tibialis anterior, and tibialis posterior. Any suggestions on what i can do to relieve it? was at the dr. today and she mentioned doing an injection if it does not improve (the tendon is visibly swollen). I fear injections because steroids are horrible for bone growth. I dont even take ibuprofen because it effects bone growth negatively. I use an herbal anti inflammatory instead. I have PT on friday where i’m sure they will ultrasound it, but i definitely would try any other suggestions… of oils or anything holistic.

  • Emilie November 9, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    Dear Heather,

    welcome to the rebounder bone building club. It is nice to see your picture. It makes it much more personal. Maybe we should all do that.
    How nice that your son likes the rebounder. A child knows what is fun.
    I was also out of breath with only a few minutes in the beginning. Now I can do 20 minutes and after that just calmly eat my breakfast.
    I hope your under-part will be better soon!

    • Heather Mathis November 9, 2011 at 11:05 pm

      Thank you, i hope it will be better soon too! My son loves to dance and jump, he is a little wild man…. so the rebounder is perfect for him. I figured if it is good for me, it must be good for him too. I try not to tell him “no” allll the time (a difficult task as a 14 month old that gets into way too much), so if he gets on something that isnt going to hurt him i usually let him go:)

  • Heather Mathis November 8, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    So i have had a week and a half of getting used to the rebounder. I was very surprised to see how tired the rebounder made me. I have spent the last year and a half in physical therapy, i swim miles at a time, i exercise on the recumbent bicycle, and i lift weights many times/week. And i can’t do more than 2-3 minutes on the rebounder without being out of breath. I did not expect that. I have opted to do the rebounder 2 times a day since going up in time is not an option just yet. Hoping it gets easier the more practice i give it.

    I was also very timid about letting my feet come off the rebounder. From someone that broke a big toe walking out of a movie theatre (yes, you read that right, walking… not falling, or stubbing, or anything like that, just walking) I am very hesitant about any impact additionally on my bones. I started off just standing on the r.b. and letting myself bounce but not having my feet come off the mat. I can say now my feet do come off the mat and everything seemed to tolerate it very well. It must be very gentle because it did not cause any flare ups.

    I havent been able to use the rebounder the last 2 days because at physical therapy they used an electrode shock treatment to try to activate my flexor hallicus longus (it bends the big toe) and the calf muscles. In shocking the tendons to get the big toe to bed they apparently caused a flare up to my anterior tibialis tendon. It is still painful. I go in friday to have it ultrasounded, in the meantime i am wearing a specialized brace they gave me that helps relieve pressure to the posterior/anterior tib.

    One really interseting thing is my 14 month old son loves the rebounder. He climbs up on it himself and jumps. I have a holding bar to prevent any falls since i have serious balance issues… so he holds onto the bar with his hands and jumps and laughs and laughs. It is terribly cute.

    Another interesting thing…. i have horrid allergy problems. When i get up in the morning i can hardly breathe, usually for hours on end. but… when i rebound right after i get up…. it knocks the runny nose/sneezing right out of me. Not sure if it is draining my lymphatic system or what, but i can get on it feeling miserable, and get off 2 minutes later feeling a whole lot better!

    i found a new cod liver oil that i started taking too. I have tried carlsons cod liver oil in the past but the taste was ok at best, and it didnt have as much vit a/d as i was hoping for. The new stuff i am using tastes wonderful! It has essential oils in it to mask the flavor of the fish:) Love it!

    • Vickie Chiodo-Maung November 9, 2011 at 1:23 am

      Welcome, Heather!!!
      I have no experience with all the difficulties you have had with your feet and all. I did have the same experience as you are having, however, with only being able to bounce 2 minutes at a time at first. After a while you will definitely be able to do much more. I read it is better to start out very slowly in order to let your body adjust to this unique form of exercise. So what you are doing is the best for your body anyways. Please be careful to stay in touch with your doctors about doing the rebounding safely. My heart really goes out to you and your challenges. You have a fighting spirit to win, though, so that is fantastic! I think if you are careful, rebounding should really help you.

      Best wishes,


      P.S. I have to go out of town (again!) tomorrow so I won’t be back online for several days – in case you replied to this.

      • Heather Mathis November 9, 2011 at 10:57 pm

        thank you, my doctors were cautious when i told them i was jumping, lol. But they know after a year that i too am overly cautious and that i listen to my body limits. I have gotten to where if i start to feel pain, i just stop and go lie down. Lately i have been in a big flare up of a few tendons around my ankle. I pray that goes away so i can get back to chasing after my toddler!

    • Elizabeth November 9, 2011 at 4:10 am

      Hi Heather,

      I’m so glad you have joined us rebounders. I really hope that you will gain great benefits from this programme. I just started in Oct. and feel so much better for it already. For everything you have been going through I really admire your energy to do everything you can improve your condition. Like you’ve mention, I’m discovering that the rebounder is a very gentle piece of equipment but very powerful all the same. According to the research and the way I’m feeling it’s addressing my whole body and wellbeing as well as my bones. Very exciting indeed!

      I’m looking for a cod liver oil to try…what’s the new one you are using?

      • Tonya November 9, 2011 at 4:41 pm

        Heather – Welcome to the club! Your story and your good attitude are very inspiring. So happy to hear that your young son is enjoying the rebounder at such an early age. No doubt it is very beneficial for him and you, as long as you remember to continue slowly for a while. I too have overdone it, especially when I’m feeling good and listening to some lively music, but now I’m starting back slowly again, and know I can build on that within a week or so.

        Tonya MacKinnon

      • Heather Mathis November 9, 2011 at 11:00 pm

        Thank you, i really do hope it helps. The doctors had mentioned fosamax, but i’m sure you are aware of the problems with that drug. Especially in people of childbearing age. My podiatrist said it can affect fertility and that is not something i want to chance. I am much happier to do the rebounder! I use the garden of life cod liver oil. It has a good ratio of A/D (always look for one that has a minimum of 10:1). For flavor it has mint and lemon essential oils in it! It tastes very clean! No fishy flavor at all. I have heard that green pastures fermented one makes the most nutritious, but my dad said it was very thick and got stuck in his throat, so i think i’ll stick to the garden of life one! I hear that the activator x that green pastures sells, when taken with cod liver oil, increases effectiveness. I would like to get that to use someday!

    • Lena November 9, 2011 at 9:38 pm

      Dear Heather

      So nice that you are joining us Rebounders !

      I believe that in starting rebounding you are doing the right thing for your lower body bones. This low bone density that has come as a result of you not being able to use your legs, is that a common phenomenon? Did the fact that you where pregnant at the time play a part perhaps? Since you have strong bones in your upper body it doesn’t sound like the ”over all” kind of Osteoporosis that many of us have. Maybe it is like the kind of lower bone density that the astronauts get? As I have read that they use rebounding to strengthen their bones when they return to earth, let’s hope it will strengthen your bones too! I’m sure everyone of us here in Sylvias & Charlies group are hoping rebounding will turn out to be a big success for you!

      You mentioned that maybe the rebounding is draining your lymphatic system. That is a thing that happened to me, I had a big detox reaction. If you like you can read about that in Rebounding journal of Lena L http://rebounding.tv/rebounding-journal-blog/ and also I posted about it in the sharing blog the 5th and the 12th of October.

      Kind regards /Lena

      • Heather Mathis November 9, 2011 at 11:03 pm

        I have what the doctors originally called “disuse osteoporosis”. They anticipated with use it would improve quickly, but has not, so it has all the doctors confused and at a loss. I wasnt aware that the astronauts used rebounders… i know they use power plates (www.powerplate.com). I had tried a power plate, but it was very jarring and i had a subsequent flare up in my foot/back. So it is not something i am able to do at this moment. I am appreciative of the rebounder because it is so gentle, it is not jarring, so i feel much safer on it than the other device. I would like to read your blog … i will hopefully have more time to sit and read things when my husband returns on the 18th. He’s been out for 6 weeks with the military.

      • Heather Mathis November 9, 2011 at 11:04 pm

        Oh, and the reason i did not get osteoporosis in my upper body is because i was actively engaged in my upper body pusing the wheelchair and lifting myself in and out of the wheelchair, and i swam (just stroked, couldnt kick) 2-3 miles a day while pregnant! I stayed strong on my upper body!

        • Sylvia November 12, 2011 at 8:02 pm

          That is pretty awesome, Heather! Big compliment!!!! Sylvia