If you’ve been diagnosed with osteoporosis, it’s normal to have some fear of getting hurt and losing your independence. But you can take actions to overcome those fears and make your life easier in so many ways.
The main concern that most people with osteoporosis have is potentially falling and fracturing a bone. This is because fractures are more likely to occur in those with osteoporosis, and the fractures take much longer to heal. Some fractures may even require surgery to repair.
Tips to Avoid Falls
Falling is a common source of injury, but there are steps you can take to make these accidents less likely to occur.
Keep Stairwells and Hallways Brightly Lit
To reduce the chances of tripping in the dark or stumbling over an obstacle, use the brightest wattage light bulb you can. Opt for long-lasting bulbs like LEDs so you don’t have to worry about replacing them as much.
Make Carpet Even
If you have carpet, make sure it doesn’t have lumps and bumps. Wall-to-wall carpet can be professionally stretched for much less than the cost to replace it.
Get rid of mats or area rugs that don’t lie flat, or place non-skid padding underneath.
Handrails are a good way to maintain your balance on the stairs and in the bathroom.
Tips to Stay Healthy and Avoid Fractures
Keeping your body healthy even when your bones are weak is an excellent way to avoid fractures. Although you may be tempted to avoid moving around outside or going to an unfamiliar place, there are usually ways to be active without danger of fractures.
Vitamin D and Calcium
Evidence shows that people with insufficient levels of vitamin D may be more likely to fall. Taken with calcium as part of a supplement, vitamin D can help keep your bones from becoming weaker. As an alternative to taking supplements, you can get both from natural sources in your diet, such as dairy products.
Drink Plenty of Water
If you are dehydrated, you are at greater risk for a fall. This is because dehydration can lead to you feeling dizzy and lightheaded. Measure out your water at the start of your day and be sure to finish drinking it all by the end of the day.
Turn Up the Heat
When your muscles get chilly, they lose some of their ability to hold you up and help you move. Having a warm home improves circulation.
Be Aware of Depression
Lower levels of bone density have been linked with depression in some women. Avoiding activity and the social isolation that can go along with it also can contribute to depression.
Relieve physical tension, reduce stress, improve mobility, strengthen muscles, and increase energy with regular exercise. Simply start with light walking and stretching. Talk to your doctor about an exercise plan that is safe and appealing to you.
Too much caffeine can keep your body from absorbing minerals it needs to keep your bones from weakening. Enjoy it in moderation.
Along with the very many health reasons to stop smoking, nicotine has a negative effect on your bones. Smoking can undo all of the healthy steps you take to manage osteoporosis.
Musculoskeletal Specialists in Colorado
Staying healthy and active for many years is possible when living with osteoporosis. Getting the right treatment for a fracture so that you heal completely and as quickly as possible can depend on getting to the right specialist.
At STAR Spine & Sport, our board-certified physicians are experienced in the evaluation, diagnosis, and non-surgical treatment of fractures.
For an appointment, call our office at (303) 238-4277 today, or request an appointment using our online form. We see patients in three convenient locations in Golden, Westminster, and Denver.