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A recent research study states that those with Osteopenia have just about as many fractures after falling as those with Osteoporosis. While it is true that those with Osteopenia do not usually experience spontaneous fractures from bending forward or from standing quickly, when it comes to falls, we are at serious risk
So fall prevention strategies should be on everyone's 'to do' list:.
1. If you are past age 45 do retake your ‘balance tests’ (They are on the Osteopenia3 web site under Balance Exercises). Retake these with each new season: Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer. Retesting is important because as we age our proprioception ( sense of where our body and limbs are in space) deteriorates slowly over time. . As a result we have less sense of where our feet are as we walk and we can stumble or fall more easily. Test and retest your balance so you know where you are in this important area. If you notice a big change, speak with your health care provider. Physical therapy might help.
2. Practicing balance exercises for a few minutes every week is an excellent strategy for preventing falls. These exercises are on the web site too. They can be incorporated into daily activities. Example: You can stand on one foot while waiting in line at the grocery store . Your shopping cart is there in case you start to ‘tip’. No one will notice your foot raised a few inches from the floor! You can find a time for one minute balance exercises. They have been proven effective in preventing falls!.
3. For those of you who like yoga, there are a number of yoga poses that aid balance Yoga is great AS LONG AS you avoid poses that could cause stress fractures. (Check with your health care provider about what yoga poses will be safe for you given your current level of bone density.)
4. Fracture prevention also means ensuring that your house is FALL SAFE.. Take up scatter rugs and electric cords. Add a non-slip mat to your bathtub or shower even if you have a ‘non-slip’ tub since non-slip surfaces wear down over time. Put grab bars on your tub or shower walls AND be sure that you have a low light in the bathroom. Hospital data show that many hip fractures occur when people get up at night. They turn on the bathroom light and the sudden brightness sort of startles them. They lose their balance and fall. Broken hip! I know that most of us think NOT me….but the data show that this is the scenario that makes for hip fractures. Get a night light for your bathroom this month. Please.
Readers of this newsletter have access to a Special page at:
http://www.osteopenia3.com/special.html The pass word for this page remains:
This special page for newsletter readers lists the new Osteopenia3 pages and this month it gives a ‘monthly special page link. It also offers you a special form for submitting comments or questions.
Thanks to those all the readers who made comments or suggestions last month. I have not gotten around to answering some of the questions but hope get caught up soon.
Meantime enjoy a glorious October! And keep your balance in all things