Osteoporosis Bone Pain Self Care

Osteoporosis is a condition that causes a person’s bones to become brittle and weak. A person who suffers from osteoporosis can fracture her bones through even the simplest activities, such as by bending over, lifting a grocery bag or coughing.

Often, osteoporosis is caused when calcium, phosphorus and other important minerals are deficient in a person’s bones. However, drug use and certain disorders can also contribute to osteoporosis.

To treat osteoporosis, your doctor might prescribe medications or suggest physical therapy. In addition to following their doctors’ treatment regimens, many people with osteoporosis have benefited from self-care.

Managing Osteoporosis: Dos and Don’ts

When lifting, do bend at your knees, not at your waist. Also, lift with your legs and work to keep your upper back straight.

If you have osteoporosis, don’t lean over when doing such activities as reading, eating or writing. Rather, keep your back erect.

Osteoporosis: Self-Care Tips

Managing and coping with osteoporosis can be a lot easier if people know simple steps they can take to reduce symptoms and prevent injury. If you have osteoporosis, consider there self-care tips:

  • Maintain Good Posture: People with osteoporosis should practice good posture. This means keeping:
    • your chin in
    • your head held high
    • your lower spine arched
    • your shoulders high
    • your upper back flat.

By maintaining proper posture, you will reduce the amount of stress placed on your spine and will reduce your risk of fractures.

When you are sitting, you can maintain good posture by placing a rolled towel at the small of your back.

  • Manage Pain: Chronic pain associated with osteoporosis shouldn’t be ignored. Talk to your doctor about pain management options. He will likely be able to prescribe a medication to alleviate painful symptoms. Leaving pain untreated can contribute to reduced mobility and can cause symptoms to worsen.
  • Prevent Falls: In order to keep from falling and fracturing fragile bones, you should wear low-heeled shoes with good traction. Also, remove or reposition items in your home that could cause you to fall. These items include electrical cords, area rugs, door stops, etc. In addition, keep rooms brightly lit. Also, purchase grab-bars from your local hardware store and install them both inside and outside of your shower as well as next to the toilet. To prevent falls, you should also:
    • Avoid using floor polishes or cleaners that could make your floors slick.
    • Avoid walking outside at night, especially in poorly lit areas.
    • Keep floors free from standing water.
    • Place non-slip mats in your bathtubs and showers.
    • When walking outdoors, try to stay on grass or other soft surfaces. Avoid cracked sidewalks and streets.

Osteoporosis Self-Care: Exercises

Weight-bearing exercises can help you reduce bone loss and can even help increase bone mass. Weight-bearing exercises make your muscles work against gravity and include:

  • Jogging
  • Stair-climbing
  • Walking.

Before beginning any exercise program, talk to your doctor about which exercises are right for you and your specific condition. If you have osteoporosis, never begin an exercise regimen without your doctor’s consent.

Resources

FreeMD Staff. (n.d.). Osteoporosis home care. Retrieved April 2, 2010, from the FreeMD Web site: http://www.freemd.com/osteoporosis/home-care.htm

Mayo Clinic Staff. (006). Osteoporosis: Self-care. Retrieved October 18, 2007, from the Mayo Clinic Web site: http://mayoclinic.com/health/osteoporosis/DS00128/DSECTION=10