Protect your Bones:
Preventing Fractures with Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a prevalent joint ailment commonly linked with aging. It causes not only pain but often overlooked concerns:

The risk of Fractures.

Many people associate osteoarthritis with joint pain and stiffness. However, the bone damage it can cause is also significant. Your bones are your foundation; let us work together to strengthen them.

Today, we will discuss the issue of fractures in people with osteoarthritis. We will also provide some helpful tips on how to prevent fractures.

Understanding Osteoarthritis

When the protective layer on the ends of bones gradually breaks, it causes joint pain, stiffness, and limited movement.

This breakage mainly impacts joints that support weight, such as the hip, knees, and spine. The cause of osteoarthritis is not clear. Experts believe that it is a combination of factors. These factors include age, joint injuries, weight, and genetics.

Osteoarthritis elevates the likelihood of fractures because of the joint alterations it induces. As the Mayo Clinic states, when cartilage deteriorates, bones may grind together, leading to inflammation and potential changes in their forms. As a result, bone spurs may emerge. These spurs make bones more prone to fractures.

Damaged joints that can’t move well make falls more likely, especially in older adults, which can cause fractures.

Managing osteoarthritis is vital for joint comfort and preventing fractures, achieved through lifestyle changes and medication.

Identifying the Risk Factors

Osteoarthritis-related factors can occur in anyone, and the variables that cause them also vary. Understanding these elements is necessary for the efficient management of disease. The following are the risk factors that lead to fractures;

Age

As we age, our bones become more brittle and prone to fracture. Osteoarthritis often occurs later in life, leading to risk.

Gender

Women predominantly suffer from osteoarthritis fractures than males. It is because of changes in hormones following menopause, which impair the density of bones.

Lifestyle Choices

Smoking and heavy alcohol intake make bones weaker and raise the risk of fractures. Loss of exercise causes muscle weakness, which lowers the support for bones and joints.

Previous Fractures

If you have had fractures before, your chances of having another one increase, especially if you have osteoarthritis.

Family History

Your risk may increase with a family record of osteoporosis or osteoarthritis.

Medications

Certain drugs, such as steroids, increase the fragility of bones over time, increasing the risk of fractures.

Preventing Fractures with Osteoarthritis

Importance of Early Detection

Early detection of osteoarthritis preserves general health and avoids fractures. Regular medical checkups and prompt management can help control the illness significantly.

Early diagnosis permits valuable methods to retain joint function and avoid additional damage. For example, healthcare professionals can personalize workouts and physical therapies to meet your needs. These exercises relieve pain and strengthen the muscles around the joints, improving stability.

Tips for Preventing Fractures with Osteoarthritis

Preventing fractures in osteoarthritis is essential to keep a high-quality life. Here are some tips to lower your risk of fractures,

Medical Assessment

Medical examinations are essential for optimal osteoarthritis care. These assessments are necessary to analyze your condition and determine fracture risk.

Bone density tests are an essential part of these evaluations. These tests provide critical information about your bone strength and density. It is especially essential for osteoarthritis since weaker bones are more prone to fractures.

By testing bone mass, healthcare providers can detect people more likely to fracture and implement necessary preventive measures.

Nutrition and Diet

A healthy diet is essential for preventing fractures and improving bone strength.

Prioritize a fruit and vegetable-rich diet. Broccoli, ginger, citrus fruits, and canola reduce arthritis pain. They have antioxidants and minerals that help joints. 

Remember protein like poultry, tofu, beans, and fish. They aid in repairing and developing solid muscles, provide stability, and prevent falls.

Finally, minimize the consumption of sugary and processed foods. They aggravate osteoarthritis symptoms by causing inflammation. 

Taking in sufficient fluids to remain well-hydrated is also vital for joint wellness.

Exercise Regularly

Daily workouts maintain joint mobility, strengthen joint muscles, and improve blood circulation in the joints. All these aspects are essential for the proper functioning of the joints and cartilage.

Low-impact exercises, such as swimming, stationary cycling, and walking, are suitable for people with osteoarthritis. These activities are easy on the joints, relieve discomfort, and improve joint flexibility.

Physical therapy provides personalized exercises and procedures for symptom management.

Fall Prevention

Falls occur commonly in older adults with osteoarthritis. It is critical to provide a safe atmosphere and encourage the usage of assistive devices.

One important method is to keep the home clutter-free. Remove all barriers and dangers from walkways, ensuring no loose carpets or cables. Installing well-lit lamps and lighting is also essential to light up gloomy areas of the house.

Promote the use of assistive devices such as canes and walkers as needed, says Health Direct. These aids offer security and assistance, lowering the risks of falling. Check that they are well-set to your height and in good functioning order.

Handrails in restrooms along stairwells can also improve safety. You can avoid slipping using non-slip mats or sticky strips in the shower areas.

Vitamin and Supplements

Certain medications and nutrients can help you rebuild your bones. One crucial factor is calcium supplementation, which gives the necessary minerals for bone health.

Calcium enhances bone density and provides strength. Hence, it is an essential component of osteoarthritis care.

Additionally, doctors prescribe vitamin D supplements along with calcium, as vitamin D aids in the absorption of calcium in the body. Together, these supplements assist osteoarthritis patients. Plus, it lowers the risk of fractures and preserves joint function.

The recommended per-day calcium intake is 1000 mg for men and women who have not reached menopause. However, women who have gone through menopause should have 1200 mg of calcium per day.

Remember, you should not consume calcium in excess because it is a potent substance. More than required use may lead to kidney problems, constipation, and indigestion.

Preventing Fractures with Osteoarthritis

Regular Follow-Ups

Routine checkups with your doctor are crucial to control osteoarthritis and protect your joint health.

At the visits, your physician will assess factors like the density of bones and joint status to monitor bone health. This data is critical in establishing if your current treatment strategy is working or needs changes.

Furthermore, these appointments allow you to communicate your concerns or changes in symptoms. These appointments also enable you to seek advice and make required changes to your treatment plan.

 

Other Lifestyle Modifications

Other than major daily lifestyle changes, there are various lifestyle changes that play an equal part. They include, 

Quit Smoking

If you smoke, think about quitting it. The carcinogens in smoke makes the bone weak. This weakness results in decreased bone density and increased risk of fractures.

Limit Alcohol

Limit the amount of alcohol you drink because it can damage bones. Adhere within the restricted recommendations, which is one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.

PHNJ | Your Ultimate Stop for Health Matters

Do you want to experience a pain-free life? 

Our modern osteoarthritis prevention program at Prime Health of New Jersey is your defense against joint pain. Say goodbye to sore joints and accept a future where you can quickly move. Book an appointment now to address your joint-related concerns.

Key Takeaways

  • Osteoarthritis increases the likelihood of fractures because of bone weakness and loss of mobility.
  • Osteoarthritis patients require proactive interventions to prevent fractures.
  • Doctors use regular medical exams, especially bone density tests, to determine the risk of fractures.
  • A healthy diet, vitamins, and supplements help to maintain bone health.
  • Physical therapy sessions and exercise can help improve joint health by retaining mobility.
  • Lifestyle changes, such as no smoking and less alcohol intake, also increase bone strength.
  • Follow-up consultations with healthcare experts are essential for monitoring and adjusting treatment programs.
  • Prioritizing these strategies can considerably reduce fracture risk and enhance the quality of life for osteoarthritis patients.

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Our Team

Dr. Farhan Malik Primary Care Physician
Dr. Shoaib Malik Primary Care Physician

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