One in three women over the age of 50 and one in five men over 50 will experience a fracture this year. Osteoporosis is the leading cause of fractures in the middle-aged and elderly, which is a serious issue if you are facing your fiftieth year of life or beyond. If you do hear a bone break, it will have a distinctive snap, crackle, and/or pop sound. Here is what you should do if this does happen to you.
Get More Rest and Take Vitamins
As you age, the production of osteoblasts, or groups of bone-making cells, decrease. As the result, bone cell growth also decreases. When there are more osteoclasts than osteoblasts, you have osteoporosis. The osteoclasts break bone down and absorb it, so when there are not enough osteoblasts to continue making bone, the osteoclasts are destroying bone faster than you can make it.
As such, you suffer more fractures when you are not careful. You heal significantly slower than you did ten or twenty years ago. To heal a fracture, you need more rest and plenty of vitamins (like vitamin D) and minerals (like calcium and magnesium) to help you heal.
There is evidence that shows that moving prevents fractures and helps current ones heal better. While you should rest in the early stages of a fracture, you should still attempt to move some every day. As the fracture heals in the mid to late stages, you should be moving more. Simple daily walks are sufficient, so long as they are at least twenty to thirty minutes in length. If you can walk farther for longer, that is even better.
Start a Medication Regimen for Osteoporosis
In women who are not over sixty, you can take hormone replacement therapy to help decrease your chances of breaking bones. The estrogen in these pills prevents the osteoporosis from taking over your body. There is even evidence that it can help prevent some forms of cancer.
If you are a man at the start of osteoporosis, there are several medications you can take to halt the progression of this disorder. (Clearly you cannot take estrogen, which is why your only option is one of these other medications.) Women may opt to take the osteoporosis medications as well, especially if they are over sixty or would rather not take hormone replacement therapy medications.
Altering your diet to lose weight also prevents fractures, as you are not carrying quite so much weight around. The weight can put a strain on your muscles and bones, causing them to fracture. Less weight equals less strain, and less strain equals fewer fractures.