What safety precautions should I take with osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a bone disease. It occurs when bone density and mass decrease, leading to weakened bones and an increased risk of fractures.

Even minor injuries or falls can cause fractures in people with osteoporosis, and many people don’t know they have the disease until they break a bone. For these reasons, it is important to know your risk factors, attend a timely osteoporosis screening, and take the necessary safety precautions if you are diagnosed.

In this article, we’ll look at how to stay active and healthy with osteoporosis, treatment options, and other steps you can take to reduce your risk of fractures.

It’s important to stay active, even with osteoporosis, but sometimes it’s necessary to adjust your activity habits.

To ensure your overall health with osteoporosis, it may be a good idea to limit or stop high-risk activities. This could include a temporary or long-term break from contact sports such as football, rugby or wrestling. Activities that involve aggressive twisting of the spine, such as golf, may also not be ideal.

Making adjustments to your regular exercise regimen doesn’t mean giving up on being active. It simply means directing your energy towards safer activities with higher wellness returns. Talk to a doctor to identify low-risk physical activities that will strengthen your bones and muscles.

Weight-bearing and resistance exercises are best for bones, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases National Resource Center.

Recommended exercises for people with osteoporosis include:

  • while walking
  • Trek
  • To go up the stairs
  • lifting weights

Swimming is also a great source of muscle-building cardio without too much impact on your bones, which means it comes with a low risk of broken bones.

It is important to listen to your body. If you feel pain during training or if the pain gets worse with a specific activity, take a break and talk to your doctor.

Your doctor may also suggest that you work with a personal trainer or physical therapist who specializes in osteoporosis. Everyone’s body is different. Based on your individual health factors (including age, previous injuries, chronic illnesses), a specialist can help you design an exercise program that meets your needs.

Bone health and nutrition are linked, so eating a balanced diet is key to keeping your bones healthy.

Calcium, protein, and vitamin D are all essential for supporting bone density and strength. There are a variety of ways to incorporate all of this into your diet by consuming:

  • oily fish
  • liver
  • cheese
  • animal protein
  • low-fat dairy products
  • vegetables like kale and broccoli

Getting enough sunlight is also important for your vitamin D levels. Not getting enough vitamin D from sunlight or your diet can lead to a deficiency, which harms your bones (and isn’t good for you). your mood). Take care to avoid excessive radiation by protecting your skin and eyes when exposed to the sun for long periods.

Vitamin C is also excellent for bone health. Many fruits and vegetables are good sources of this vitamin, including oranges, strawberries, and red and green peppers. Learn more about vitamin C supplements.

If you want to make changes to your diet but don’t know where to start, consider asking a doctor for a referral to a nutritionist. A nutritionist will listen to your personal goals, assess your current diet, and help you come up with a realistic plan that works for your health. Some nutritionists specialize in working with clients with osteoporosis.

Remember: before adding any new vitamins or supplements to your diet, it is advisable to consult your doctor or nutritionist. Always take supplements as directed to avoid toxicity or adverse effects.

When you have osteoporosis, seemingly minor injuries and falls can have an outsized effect on your health. While others may walk away with a bruise, you may suffer a fracture, resulting in weeks (or months) of rest and healing. It is therefore essential to take precautions to limit the risk of tripping or losing your balance.

Clutter is a big cause for concern, making it easy to trip over stray objects. Try to rationalize. Organize or store loose items in your living environment and discard or donate anything you don’t need. Avoid leaving anything on the floor that you could trip over, even if it’s just dirty clothes or grocery bags.

Other things you can do to improve home security include:

  • cover or treat slippery surfaces
  • wear supportive shoes or low-heeled sneakers (and don’t walk around in socks on smooth floors)
  • Make sure carpets and rugs have non-slip mats underneath or are secured to the floor. Or consider removing rugs altogether.
  • make sure your home is well lit, especially the stairs
  • have handrails on all stairs and use a handrail to go up or down
  • install grab bars in the bathroom near the toilet and in the shower
  • put a rubber bath mat in the shower or bathtub to prevent falls
  • have a flashlight by your bed (or use your smartphone)

Some people with osteoporosis may need mobility aids, such as a cane, walker or wheelchair.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. We all need help sometimes, and it’s better to be honest about what you need than to risk hurting yourself. You may need to consider giving up some independence to retain more independence overall.

When in doubt, ask for help – whether it’s yard work, grocery shopping, changing light bulbs or other chores. Help can come in the form of a family member, neighbour, paid carer or volunteer. Talk to your doctor about community or self-help resources available to you.

AARP also offers state-specific resources on caregiving.

In order to stay as safe and healthy as possible, it is important to manage your osteoporosis with a personalized treatment regimen.

Treatment plans may vary depending on your age, menopausal status, medications and supplements you take, and other personal medical factors.

Osteoporosis management options to understand:

  • lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, minimizing alcohol and caffeine intake, starting a safe exercise program, and eating a balanced diet
  • take prescription drugs
    • anti-resorptive drugs (such as bisphosphonates, estrogen agonists/antagonists, calcitonin, estrogen, and denosumab)
    • anabolic drugs (terperitide)
  • attend physical therapy

When you have osteoporosis, it’s important to stay active and eat well to keep your bones and muscles strong. However, osteoporosis increases the change in bone fractures, so you may need to adjust your schedule or type of activity as a precaution.

Osteoporosis-related safety issues may require you to declutter your space, take a step back from more strenuous exercise, and seek help with certain tasks. Making modest, targeted lifestyle changes can save you from excessive falls and fractures.

Talk to your doctor about starting or modifying an osteoporosis care plan and help them identify safety issues before they interfere with your independence.


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Susan W. Lloyd