If you have ever broken a bone before, whether it be your baby toe or your arm, you know how incredibly painful it is. Now, researchers have discovered that it can cause you a lot of pain throughout your life, even long after healing has taken place. The study, completed at the Medical Research Council Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit, included subjects that had experienced hip and spine fractures and determined that they were more than two times as likely to suffer from pain throughout the body on a long-term basis.
Because chronic, widespread pain is becoming an epidemic, this study has brought to light the need for extended treatment options for fracture patients. While scientist work on how to prevent chronic pain after a broken hand or other fracture, there are many things that can be done to help reduce the likelihood of sustaining a fracture from an injury or bone disease in the first place.
Avoid Bone Fractures through Lifestyle Changes
Changes in lifestyle can improve bone health by increasing mass and density. Important steps you can take include:
Reducing Alcohol Intake
Alcohol can deteriorate bones by blocking calcium absorption. While occasional drinking doesn’t cause negative effects, heavy alcohol consumption and binge drinking causes brittle bones. Healthy, moderate consumption for bone health is less than three ounces daily.
Weight training and other exercises actually strengthen the bones. Studies have shown that a sedentary, or inactive, lifestyle can contribute to a host of health concerns, including bone diseases such as osteoporosis.
Consuming a Healthy Diet
Everyone knows the benefits of calcium and vitamin D for bone health. However, many people use supplements as a replacement for a healthy diet. Since excess amounts of these supplements can actually interfere with healthy bone development, they may have the opposite effect that what was intended. Incorporating a wide variety of whole foods into your diet will ensure you receive essential vitamins and minerals. Increase your intake of fresh produce such as spinach and greens while reducing the amount of processed foods.
Additionally, quitting smoking and illegal drugs will minimize bone loss that can lead to fractures. Bone doctors also recommend checking your prescription drugs to see if they include side effects that may increase your risk of fracture by accelerating bone loss.
A consultation with an orthopedic specialist will help you discover your risk factors for fractures and educate you about how to improve bone mass and density for a healthy skeletal system.