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Have you broken any bones lately? As a member of the Sandwich Generation dealing with the issues of caring for elderly parents and helping with grandkids, we also need to ask, have any of our aging parents broken any bones recently? That thought has been on my mind a lot the past two weeks since I have! As you may have read, I am recuperating from a 5th metatarsal fracture to my right foot. Interestingly enough, I discovered that this type of fracture is fairly common, so I don't think my age or bones necessarily play into that.
According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, "Nearly one-fourth of all the bones in your body are in your feet, which provide you with both support and movement." When you consider that you use your feet the most, it's actually a miracle we don't all break bones more often! 🙂
After doing a bit of research, I discovered a very useful government website, Medline Plus, published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, where you can find a wealth of wonderful information and links, all about osteoporosis including, natural osteoporosis treatment, exercises, diet, vitamins, etc. There they write:
"Osteoporosis makes your bones weak and more likely to break (hmmm, I guess that could include a 5th metatarsal fracture). Anyone can develop osteoporosis, but it is common in older women. As many as half of all women and a quarter of men older than 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis. Risk factors include:
- Getting older (guess that includes all of us in the hate-to-admit-we-are-aging baby boomers generation, as well as our senior parents!)
- Being small and thin
- Having a family history of osteoporosis
- Taking certain medicines
- Being a white or Asian woman
- Having osteopenia, which is low bone mass
Osteoporosis is a silent disease. You might not know you have it until you break a bone. A bone mineral density test is the best way to check your bone health. To keep bones strong, eat a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D, exercise and do not smoke. If needed, medicines can also help."
Hmmmm, guess those of us over 50 who break a bone should be asking our doctor about this possibility. Be sure, if you do, to first check with your insurance company (or that of your senior parents 🙂 ). Some insurance policies do cover the test to see if you have Osteoporosis, which is great!
Next week, I'll be writing more on this topic. And, as always, we'd love to hear your comments, ideas, and stories if y'all are dealing with osteoporosis for yourselves or your elderly parents, not to mention anyone keeping me company with broken bones. 🙂
P.S. You'll note that exercise is included on that list. Osteoporosis exercises for older women (and men) should include weight-bearing exercises. Skeletal Fitness by Mirabai Holland is an informative osteoporosis prevention bone loading and strength training exercise DVD. As they put it, it's "a workout for bones." It sounds like an excellent resource, doesn't it? If you are interested in checking it out, just click here. 🙂 And if you or your senior parent prefers a written guide, here is one, Osteoporosis: An Exercise Guide. I'm ordering that as well, for my senior mom and myself. I'll be reviewing it for you in the next few weeks along with two others I've ordered so keep checking back. 🙂