5 Ways to Heal Faster from an Osteoporosis Fracture
Osteoporosis fractures happen without warning. One of the most common places for people to get hurt is in their homes. They trip on a loose throw rug, stumble over a box in their garage or slip on ice. There’s no way to prepare yourself for the pain and disruption in you life breaking a bone causes. But thankfully there are things you can do to speed up your recovery and get you back on your feet. Implement my Top 5 Tips and you’ll feel better faster.
1. Ask for Help
The most common bones people with osteoporosis break are their wrists, spine, and hips. If you break your wrist, you simple tasks like typing on a computer or opening jars may be impossible. If fracture your spine or ribs, don’t lift or carry anything heavy since that will put added stress on the bones in our back and could cause excruciating pain. If you have an osteporosis hip fracture, your mobility will be even more restriced. You might need someone to help you with preparing meals or running errands, such as picking up medications or taking out your trash. It’s imperative that you let yourself rest so you can heal faster. So ask for what you need. You’re worth it. And if help from family and friends isn’t enough, reach out to local organizations, such as your place of worship or other non-profits. They usually have programs and people in place to help people just like you in their time of need.
2. Manage the Pain
Fractures can create intense pain that lasts for months or even years. Work with your doctor to find pain medications that will give you the most relief with the least side effects. If your doctor is trained in integrative medicine they may be able to help you identify additional, natural ways you can use to manage the pain.
3. Stick with Physical Therapy
After an osteoporosis fracture people are less active while they’re healing. This can result in muscles becoming weaker. Physical therapy can help build stronger muscles and improve balance, and could be an important part of your rehabiitation. Clinical trials show that physical therapy sessions along with home exercises improve strength and balance while reducing pain after fractures. Physical therapists tailor exercises to meet your unique needs and teach you how you can safely get stronger after an injury. If you doctor prescribes physical therapy, stick with it and do the work, even if it’s hard. And if your physical therapist recommends exercises for you to do at home, do them. While it takes time, energy and commitment, the long-term benefits are worth it.
4. Focus on Excellent Nutrition
Nutrients provide the raw materials for the body to do its job. When you break a bone, your body is focused on repairing the damage and requires optimal nutrition for faster healing. Studies show that taking a protein powder after an osteoporosis fracture reduces bone loss, increases muscle strength, and reduces complications. If you supplement your diet with a protein powder, consider taking one that provides about 15-20 grams of protein per serving. A whole foods diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, and high-quality protein is also important while healing.
5. Evaluate your Supplements
After experiencing a fracture, you should make sure you’re taking dietary supplements that contain the most absorbable forms of nutrients and nutrients shown in studies to help promote bone healing and grow stronger bones. These include calcium, vitamin D and vitamin K. There are multiple types of vitamin K. The form and dose that has been researched the most for its effect on bone health and fractures is a specific form of natural vitamin K2, called MK4. This natural form of vitamin K2, when taken in amount of 45 mg per day, has been shown to stop and reverse bone loss, reduce fractures and grow stronger bones.
An excellent multivitamin and mineral dietary supplement is also important for providing general, broad-spectrum nutritional support. Make sure the minerals in the product are the most absorbable forms, such as an amino acid chelate, citrate or malate form of minerals, and that there are 25-50 mg of the different B-complex vitamins. As already mentioned, supplementing your diet with a protein powder could also be an important part of your bone health nutritional routine.
Bennell KL, Matthews B, Greig A, et al. Effects of an exercise and manual therapy program on physical impairments, function and quality-of-life in people with osteoporotic vertebral fracture: a randomised, single-blind controlled pilot trial. BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2010;1136. [article]
Bonjour JP. Protein intake and bone health. Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2011;81(2-3):134-142. [article]
Dusdal K, Grundmanis J, Luttin K, et al. Effects of therapeutic exercise for persons with osteoporotic vertebral fractures: a systematic review. Osteoporos Int. 2011;22(3):755-769. [article]
Lab testing is part of many doctors’ appointment. The complete blood count (CBC) is a routine blood test that healthcare providers order on annual exams and as a general screening test for anemia.
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