BONE & JOINT DISORDERS (ARTHRITIS)

 

OSTEOPOROSIS – PREVENTION

 

I. Prevention of Osteoporosis

 

The aim of preventive measures is to attain adequate bone mass and to maintain it. Preventive measures should be taken right from childhood.

 

  • Proper nutrition: Adequate intake of calcium, protein and vitamin D till adult life is important to achieve ample bone mass. Low calcium intake throughout the life may cause decrease in peak bone mass, increasing the risk of fractures. However, excessive intake of protein and vitamin D should be avoided (causes negative calcium balance). Know more about nutrition
  • Exercise and physical activity: Exercises especially weight bearing exercises (such as walking, dancing, jogging, climbing stairs) have been shown to be beneficial in maintaining the bone mass.
  • Hormone replacement therapy (HRT): Hormone replacement therapy with estrogen may be considered in perimenopausal or postmenopausal females with reduced bone mass, who are likely to develop fractures.
  • Stop smoking: Smoking might reduce the levels of estrogen leading to reduced bone mass.
  • Avoid excessive alcohol intake: Excessive alcohol intake increases the risk of osteoporosis by decreasing bone formation and possibly due to poor nutrition too.

 

II. Prevention of falls and fractures

 

If one is suffering from osteoporosis, even a trivial injury may cause fracture. This can be prevented by taking some simple precautions:

 

  • Wear flat shoes.
  • Make sure that the stairs, bedrooms, halls and bathrooms are well illuminated.
  • Keep the floor dry, especially in bathrooms and kitchen.
  • Avoid alcohol and sedatives.
  • Use a cane or walker if you are very weak and cannot support you body weight properly.
  • Avoid wearing bifocal glasses.
  • When getting up from a lying position, first sit on the edge of the bed for sometime before standing up (to avoid postural hypotension).