Secret to Avoiding Falls and Fractures

Falling and break­ing a bone is one of the most awful things that can hap­pen to you as you get old­er.  But thank­ful­ly, it’s also pre­ventable.

Most often, doc­tors con­cern them­selves pri­mar­i­ly with mak­ing sure your bones are strong.  That’s impor­tant.  Here are some of the stan­dard strate­gies rec­om­mend­ed to ensure that you have strong, healthy bones well into your old age.

  1. Get out in the sun – a lit­tle.  If you’re out in the sun­light for ten min­utes a day, with your face and both arms exposed, your body has a chance to man­u­fac­ture all the vit­a­min D you need.  Any­thing less than that isn’t enough, and exces­sive sun expo­sure is a risk fac­tor for skin can­cer.
  2. Have your vit­a­min D and cal­ci­um lev­els test­ed.  Many peo­ple are defi­cient in these nutri­ents and could ben­e­fit from sup­ple­men­ta­tion.
  3. Exer­cise for bone health.  Weight-bear­ing exer­cise (such as walk­ing or weight train­ing) is impor­tant to build bone strength.
  4. Con­sid­er get­ting your bone den­si­ty test­ed.  In par­tic­u­lar, peo­ple who are at high­er risk of osteo­poro­sis may need to be test­ed.  This includes any­one who’s fall­en and bro­ken a bone, any­one who’s lost an inch or more of height, and any­one who has an imme­di­ate fam­i­ly mem­ber who has osteo­poro­sis or who has bro­ken his or her hip or spine.  Also, if you’re a man over 70, you’re also con­sid­ered to be in high­er risk group.

How to improve balance

Sta­bil­i­ty is easy if you’re a rock — your spine has to bal­ance dynam­i­cal­ly

Even though all these strate­gies are impor­tant, they over­look one impor­tant point. If you nev­er fall in the first place, your bones are much less like­ly to ever frac­ture.

That’s why bal­ance exer­cis­es for seniors are impor­tant.

It can be some­thing as sim­ple as prac­tic­ing stand­ing on one leg — when you’re brush­ing your teeth, or wait­ing in the check­out line.

There are many more var­ied and sophis­ti­cat­ed bal­ance exer­cis­es, too.  I’m devel­op­ing a new video in my exer­cise series: Dr. Lavine’s Top Five Exer­cis­es for Bal­ance.  If you email me at drlavine@yourbodyofknowledge.com, I’ll put you on the top of the list to receive it as soon as its avail­able.

Mean­while, take the steps out­lined above to strength­en your bones.  And even more impor­tant­ly, main­tain your phys­i­cal fit­ness and bal­ance skills to avoid falling in the first place.

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About Ronald Lavine, D.C.

Dr. Lavine has more than thirty years' experience helping patients alleviate pain and restore health using diverse, scientifically-based manual therapy and therapeutic exercise and alignment methods.

His website, askdrlavine.com, provides more information about his approach.

Please contact him at drlavine@yourbodyofknowledge.com or at 212-400-9663.

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