Hilda was 68 years old when she fell on her porch. Her daughter took her straight to see her family physician. Fortunately, the doctor told her nothing was broken. She would be sore for a few days, but other than a few bruises she was going to be just fine. Her doctor explained to her years ago how bone and joint health for seniors is incredibly important; Hilda had taken his advice to heart, and began to take the supplements and medications he prescribed, eat a balanced diet, avoid sodas, and she lifted small weights and walked almost every day for exercise.
As We Age, Bone & Joint Health takes the Spotlight
Your bones are literally the foundation of your body. Although aging does tend to cause a decrease in bone mass, studies have shown that this is not inevitable. For instance, seniors that take in enough calcium and vitamin D (which is essential for proper absorption of the calcium), and exercise regularly, have a distinct advantage over those who don’t.
1 out of every 2 female seniors, and 1 in every four men will experience a bone fracture in their lifetime. Research has even also shown that breaking a hip can lead to an earlier death. Women with a broken hip are five times more likely to die within a year than those who do not.
Osteoporosis (brittle bones), is a disease in which bones become much weaker and more porous. This can easily lead to bone fractures, which can be life threatening or require long-term care. Although osteoporosis can affect both men and women, females tend to be more likely to develop the disease. Other risk factors include a family history of the disease, a smaller or thinner body size, certain medications, low overall activity levels, and smoking.
And it is not just your bones at risk, either. Joint health is equally as important as bone health because without healthy joints, you can’t move around as much, increasing your chances for osteoporosis.
Ways to improve bone and joint health include a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables. Leafy greens are especially rich in calcium and other minerals that can help both your joints and bones. If you exercise, be sure to choose low impact exercises that do not place too much strain on your joints. Many seniors choose walking, cycling or swimming to stay in shape. Yoga and gentle stretching can help keep your joints more flexible, too. Lifting small weights can also improve your bone density.
Exercise also improves mood, reduces stress and boosts your immune system. The best time to fight osteoporosis is before it begins. Bone and joint health are a part of your overall wellness. You should also talk to your doctor, as certain medications (even over the counter ones like Prilosec which many people take for heartburn), can leech calcium from your bones.
If you, or a loved one would like to know more about living more fully with healthy bones and joints, or if you need treatment for any bone or joint condition, including osteoporosis, we can help. Please call Advanced Bone & Joint at (636) 229-4222, for an appointment today. Don’t wait to take care of your bones and joints. After all, they are meant to last a lifetime.