If your doctor has diagnosed you with osteoporosis, that means you have a higher risk of fracturing a bone. You can work with your doctor to determine the right supplements, dietary changes, and medications that will help keep your bones strong and healthy. However, another important part of managing osteoporosis is preventing a fracture by reducing your risk of falling. Here are some tips that can help.
Regular exercise is important for a variety of health reasons, and it can even help you prevent falls. Exercises that keep the muscles in your back and legs strong are beneficial because when you have strong muscles, you support your body better and you can recover quickly when you begin to fall. Weight bearing exercises may stimulate your bones and help keep them strong. This includes things like walking or jogging. Other forms of exercise such as stretching and yoga keep your balance sharp. Maintaining your balance as you age is very important because, with good balance, you'll fall less frequently, and if you do start to fall, you can catch yourself more easily.
Improve Home Safety
A major cause of falls in the home is clutter on the floor that causes you to trip. Be sure everyone in your home knows to keep the floors in your home free from books, backpacks, clothing, toys, and other clutter. In addition, you'll probably want to remove area rugs and make sure there are no cords or wires that stretch across the floor. Besides clearing the floors, you'll also want to make the floors more visible at night. Use nightlights or motion detector lights to illuminate the floors when it is dark. Make sure the non-carpeted floors of your home are not slick with cleaning products or spills. Stone floors in particular are very slick when wet.
Many falls happen in the bathroom, especially the tub. Place stickers or mats in your bathtub so it isn't slippery. Be sure there are sturdy grab bars by your tub and use them each time you get in and out. You may want to put in a walk-in shower or walk-in tub so you can eliminate the dangerous task of stepping in and out of the bathtub.
Be Careful Outdoors
If possible, stay indoors when it is rainy or snowy outside. If you're still working that may not be possible, so take extra care on slick sidewalks. Wear shoes or boots with gripping soles that won't slide. If a sidewalk looks slick with ice, try to avoid it completely by walking through the snow or grass instead. Enhance the safety of your property by keeping it well lit at night. Install motion detector lights that come on as you approach your door so you don't trip on a step. Also, install hand rails along stairs or your front entry, so you can use them to stabilize yourself as you go in and out of your home. This helps you prevent a dangerous fall on stone or concrete.
In addition to these tips, one thing to remember is to keep your hands free as often as possible so you can balance yourself better if you start to fall. Plus, with free hands, you can break your fall rather than land flat on a shoulder or hip. When walking, let your arms swing at your side rather than putting your hands in your pockets. Consider buying a cart to carry your bags inside your house rather than loading yourself down with groceries when walking. By making a few changes like these to your lifestyle, you may be able to prevent a fracture and stay mobile even when you have osteoporosis.
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