Prevent Fractures – What You Need To Know To Stay Safe

Prevent fracture

A fracture or broken bone can mean restricting your life, your freedom, and your ease of movements for a few weeks or even months!  So it’s always better to prevent fracture than treat it.

Here’s why:  once you break a bone (fracture), you really have no other option but to limit your movements and to be somewhat dependent on others for your daily needs.

The period of immobility is comparatively shorter when smaller bones like the wrists and fingers are involved. However, the duration could extend to more than 6 weeks if the large bones of the legs are broken.  But who wants that at all?  Prevent fracture is the name of the game!

So let’s learn how to prevent a fracture so that you can avoid the huge amount of discomfort that comes with it.

What is a fracture?

A fracture is a medical term used to refer to a broken bone. On average, a woman may have one or two fractures during her lifetime. However, sometimes you can’t prevent a fracture and a small crack (or hairline fracture) in the bone that is well supported by strong muscles may go unnoticed. You would feel mild to moderate pain due to a hairline fracture. [1]

But a fracture may not be detected if it doesn’t interfere with the routine activities and the body is able to heal it efficiently. [2] [3]

A complete fracture usually occurs when a strong physical force hits the bone. If the force or pressure is larger than the ability of the bones to withstand it, it can break resulting in a fracture. Makes sense, right?

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The risk of fracture varies depending on your age.  Though fractures are very common in childhood, they are less complicated in children than in adults.

As age increases, the bones become brittle and lose their ability to withstand pressure. As a result, women are more likely to develop a fracture from a fall or trauma that would otherwise have not occurred when they were young.

The risk of fractures is much higher in women than in men. The higher risk can be attributed to the hormonal changes occurring in the body during menopause. The age-related wear and tear of the body can also promote a faster bone loss and make them weak and prone to fractures.  So we all need to know the best ways to prevent fracture.

What are the best ways to prevent fracture?

 

1.  Know the causes of fractures

Bone loss is a leading contributor to fracture so remember rule number one:  prevent osteoporosis. Regular bone density tests can help you detect osteoporosis early and prevent the progression of this disease.

Common causes of fractures include falls, trauma, and injuries. Women tend to lose their ability to maintain balance while walking or climbing stairs as their age increases. This may occur due to the weakness of the muscles. The loss of muscle coordination and reduced reflexes due to aging can also affect your ability to break a fall.  That’s why, in the Ostego Program, we work on balance and flexibility in addition to strength and posture. [4]

2.  Eat nutritious foods

The best way to keep your bones healthy is to eat a nutritious diet. The daily requirement of calcium for adult women is 1200 to 1500 mg while that of vitamin D is 800 to 1000 IU. [5]

Women should ensure their diet includes foods rich in calcium and vitamin D so that our bones remain healthy and strong.  Foods that contain high amounts of vitamin D and calcium are:

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  • Vegetables – especially spinach, broccoli, and kale
  • Dairy products like milk and yogurt
  • Beans including black beans, chickpeas, and tofu
  • Whole grains – brown rice, rye, and oats
  • Almonds and walnuts

3.  Exercise

Exercising regularly will strengthen your bones and muscles and improve your ability to maintain balance. It would also help you break a fall by enhancing your muscle coordination and help you prevent fractures.

4.  Avoid Falling

As we get older, our vision can begin to fail. The risk of falls or injuries can also increase because of the giddiness caused due to hypertension and diabetes. [6]

So take steps to minimize the risk of falls and injuries. Some ideas to make your home fall-proof include:

  • Keep your home including the staircase and corridors well-lit
  • Keep the rooms free of clutter or things like wires and cords that you can trip over
  • Avoid slippery floors by putting skid-free rigs or carpeting
  • Install handrails at the staircase
  • Place a rubber mat in the bathtub or shower to avoid slipping
  • Visit an ophthalmologist regularly to check your vision
  • Try balance training or physical therapy if your balance is poor
  • Use a cane or walker

5.  Take care of your health

If you are suffering from any health condition like diabetes, hypertension, or cataract, consult a physician and seek appropriate treatment. Use the medications for treating these diseases regularly as recommended by the doctor.

Treatment of fractures

The treatment of a fracture usually involves placing a splint or a cast for immobilizing the bone (keeping it from moving). This makes the bone to re-align itself to the normal position and prevent its use so it can heal in place. In case of a fracture of the smaller bones like the toes and fingers, the affected bone can be immobilized by wrapping. [7]

A severe fracture of a bones or joint can require surgery to correct the position along with the insertion of rods or plates to provide better support to the broken bone.

Let’s get started!

The earlier you start taking care of your bones, the stronger and more resistant your bones would be in your older age. Be careful with your diet and integrate the Ostego Program to activate your bone growth so you can prevent fractures and avoid the long period of immobility, restriction of movements, and dependency caused due to a broken bone.

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References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4767832/
  2. https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/understanding-fractures-symptoms
  3. https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/understanding-fractures-treatment#1
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC164361/
  5. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/15241-bone-fractures/prevention
  6. https://www.bones.nih.gov/health-info/bone/osteoporosis/fracture/preventing-falls-and-related-fractures
  7. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/15241-bone-fractures/management-and-treatment

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