Coping With Osteoporosis & Its Impact On Your Spine

Category: Spine | Author: Stefano Sinicropi

November Spine

Our bodies are constantly working to replace old worn down bone with new healthy bone tissue, and in our younger years, it’s easier for our bodies to replace bone at an efficient rate. As we get older, our ability to produce healthy bone tissue can slow down, and this can cause bones to become weaker. Osteoporosis occurs when your bones reach a critical stage of thinning, putting you at a greater risk for fracture.

One of the most common areas for osteoporosis to develop is in the spine. More than 1.5 million vertebral compression fractures occur each year in the US, and many of them are due in part to bone loss and osteoporosis. If you are one of the millions of Americans who are battling bone loss or osteoporosis, what should you be doing to minimize its effect on your spine? We share some tips in today’s blog.

Preventing Osteoporosis-Related Spinal Fractures

Thin and weak vertebrae are at an elevated risk for fracture. You may not be doing incredibly physical actions when you’re older, but as osteoporosis sets in, it doesn’t take significant trauma for a vertebral fracture to occur. A short fall, an awkward collision or even a forceful sneeze can be enough to fracture a bone in your spine.

When patients hear this, their natural inclination is to shy away from actions that could cause a fracture, and while certain risky or extremely physical tasks should be avoided, movement also helps to strengthen bones and push healthy blood to your spine, so don’t just sit on the couch all day. Remain active and seek out low-impact exercise like walking, yoga or swimming if possible. Other helpful tips to keep in mind include:

  • Mind Your Posture – Help to reduce strain on your spine by having ideal posture and making adjustments when you notice that your spine is out of alignment.
  • Proper Lifting Techniques – Lift with your legs, not your back, and perform tandem lifts for any objects that you may struggle to move on your own.
  • Nutrient-Rich Diet – Strive to get a range of healthy vitamins and nutrients each day from your diet. A healthy diet can also help you avoid gaining weight, which will only put more stress on your spinal column.
  • Supplementation – If you can’t get enough of your daily vitamin and nutrient intake through your diet alone, talk with your doctor about adding supplements for an extra boost.
  • Limit Alcohol And Tobacco Use – Smoking and alcohol consumption can speed up the effects of osteoporosis, so reduce or eliminate your reliance on these products.

Don’t shy away from activity just because you are in the early stages of bone loss or you’ve been diagnosed with osteoporosis. Instead, pursue smart physical activities and work to strengthen your spine and its bones through other healthy actions each day. If you want personalized assistance reducing your risk of an osteoporosis-related spinal fracture, reach out to Dr. Sinicropi and the team at The Midwest Spine & Brain Institute today at (651) 430-3800.

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