10 Ways to Lower Your Bone Fracture Riskby PJ Hamel Patient Expert
Many fractures in older people — especially in the hip, spine, and wrist — are related to osteoporosis. And fractures aren’t just painful, but they can cause you to lose your valuable independence, too. Here’s how to help prevent and avoid broken bones as you age.
Lessen your salt intake
Eating foods high in salt (sodium) can cause you to lose calcium, which is key for strong bones, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation. Keep sodium intake to under 2300 milligrams daily, which is the equivalent of about 1 teaspoon of salt.
Drugs can help
If you’ve been diagnosed with bone loss, there are many different osteoporosis drugs that may help strengthen your bones and prevent fractures. Ask your doctor which one is right for you.
Use the handrail on stairs
Going up and down stairs can be a challenge when eyesight and balance are both failing. Avoid falls — use the handrail, both going up and going down.
'Fall-proof' your house
Loose rugs, slippery floors, trailing electrical cords, clutter on the floor — all can cause you to trip and fall. Identify and correct any problem areas around your house.
Dress and accessorize to prevent falls
No, this doesn’t mean wearing body armor! But wear shoes (and slippers) with good-grip soles. And keep your hands free by carrying a shoulder bag or fanny pack, rather than a handbag.
Last but not least, keep in mind that many falls happen at night, when darkness and sleepiness can cause you to trip on furniture you’d avoid during the daytime. Make sure your paths to the bathroom and kitchen are well-lit.