Good posture and proper body mechanics are important throughout your life, especially if you have osteoporosis. "Body mechanics" refers to how you move throughout the day. Knowing how to move, sit and stand properly can help you stay active and prevent broken bones and disability.
Proper posture can also help to limit the amount of kyphosis, or forward curve of the upper back, that can result from broken bones in the spine.
One of the most important things about body mechanics and posture is alignment. Alignment refers to how the head, shoulders, spine, hips, knees and ankles relate and line up with each other. Proper alignment of the body puts less stress on the spine and helps you have good posture.
To keep proper alignment, avoid the following positions or movements:
• Having a slumped, head-forward posture • Bending forward from the waist • Twisting of the spine to a point of strain • Twisting the trunk and bending forward when doing activities such as coughing, sneezing, vacuuming or lifting • Anything that requires you to reach far. An example is reaching up for items on high shelves.
Some exercises can do more harm than good. If you have osteoporosis or have broken bones in the spine, you should avoid exercises that involve bending over from the waist. Some examples of movements you should NOT do include sit-ups, abdominal crunches and toe touches.
If you have osteoporosis, a knowledgeable physical therapist can teach you to exercise and move safely throughout the day to protect your bones.View Thread
Calcium supplements prepared from unrefined oyster shell, bone meal or dolomite may contain lead or other toxic metals. Choose supplements that are known brand names with proven reliability for these types of supplements.
If you are not familiar with a supplement's brand, look for labels that state "purified" or have the USP (United States Pharmacopeia) symbol. The "USP Verified Mark" on the supplement label means that the USP has tested and found the calcium supplement to meet certain standards for purity and quality. Because applying for the USP symbol is voluntary, many fine products may not display this symbol. The USP symbol is helpful when you don't know the brand.View Thread
Place a calcium supplement in vinegar or warm water for 30 minutes while stirring occasionally. If the supplement dissolves, it will probably dissolve well in your stomach. This test only works for non-chewable calcium tablets or pills.View Thread
Only your healthcare provider can give you clearance to exercise following your fracture. In some cases, pain from spine fractures will continue for a while, even after the fracture heals. In addition to appropriate exercise, it is also extremely important to learn how to move safely throughout the day. This includes not flexing (rounding) your spine. Examples of movements to avoid include toe touches, abdominal crunches and sit-ups, because these exercises all cause you to flex your spine. You should also avoid twisting or bending at your torso (trunk) to an extreme. Examples of excessive twisting include a full golf swing or swinging a tennis racquet.
NOF's brochure, "Protecting Your Fragile Spine" gives more examples of safe movement as well as helpful information about preventing and recovering from spine fractures. You can download this brochure by visiting www.nof.org/osteoandyourspine
The best way to learn safe and appropriate exercises for your individual needs is to work with a physical therapist or other rehabilitation specialist. You can ask your doctor if you can obtain a referral for physical therapy. Look for a therapist who has experience working with osteoporosis patients.
According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, adults age 50 and older need 1,200 mg of calcium from all sources (foods supplements) every day. Adults under 50 need 1,000 mg of calcium from all sources every day.
In order for your osteoporosis medication to work, it is extremely important to get enough calcium every day. If you don't get enough calcium from the foods you eat, you can make up the difference by taking a calcium supplement. On the other hand, getting too much calcium from supplements is not beneficial and may even be harmful. That why it's important to estimate your dietary intake and only supplement the amount you need.
NOF offers a calcium calculator handout that can help you estimate the calcium you get from foods and calculate the amount of calcium you need from a supplement. You can request this handout by visiting the following link and typing "Calcium Calculator" in the box labeled "Question/Request."
No, if you take more calcium than your body needs, the extra calcium is excreted through your kidneys into your urine. This is why taking too much calcium from supplements can increase the risk of kidney stones in certain individuals. NOF recommends that individuals age 50 and older get a total of 1,200 milligrams of calcium per day from all sources. This includes the estimated amount of calcium you get from the foods you eat each day. If you don't get enough calcium from food alone, you can make up for the difference by taking a calcium supplement. For more information, visit NOF's web page about calcium .View Thread
A Z-score compares your bone density to what is normal for someone your age. While a Z-score alone is not used to diagnose osteoporosis in premenopausal women, it can provide important information. Here are some tips to help you understand your Z-score:
*If your Z-score is above -2.0, your bone density is considered within the ranges expected for your age or normal according to the International Society for Clinical Densitometry (ISCD). For example, a Z-score of 0.5, -0.5 and -1.5 is considered normal for most premenopausal women.
*If your Z-score is -2.0 or lower, your bone density is considered below the expected range. Examples are -2.1, -2.3 and -2.5. If your Z-score is in this range, your healthcare provider will consider your health history and possible causes of bone loss, including secondary osteoporosis, before making a diagnosis of osteoporosis.
*If your Z-score is normal, but you've broken one or more bones from a minor injury, your healthcare provider may diagnose you with osteoporosis because some people with normal bone density break bones easily. As mentioned above, a bone density test will also show a T-score. A T-score compares bone density to what is normal in a healthy 30-year-old adult.View Thread
You may have celiac disease and not know it. Because celiac disease does not always cause noticeable symptoms, the condition is commonly missed.
People with celiac disease have trouble digesting foods with gluten. Gluten is found in grains such as wheat, rye and barley. People with celiac disease have problems absorbing nutrients, including calcium and vitamin D. This can lead to bone loss and osteoporosis. Some people have digestive symptoms such as diarrhea, abdominal pain and weight loss, while others do not notice any symptoms at all.
Ask your doctor if you should have a test for celiac disease. For most people, the disease can be successfully treated by following a gluten-free diet. By eliminating gluten from the diet, most people restore the ability to absorb important vitamins and minerals for bone health and overall health. In people with celiac disease, a gluten-free diet can help to reduce the risk of osteoporosis and broken bones.View Thread
If Prevacid was the drug prescribed for your reflux/heartburn and it was helping your symptoms, you shouldn't stop unless advised by your doctor. Since calcium citrate (as in Citracal) doesn't require acid in the stomach for absorption, this is your supplement of choice. Tums are made from calcium carbonate as is Caltrate; they may not be totally absorbed while on an acid reducing medication.
The current standard recommendation for daily calcium intake is 1200 mg every day. Remember that this number includes calcium from food. Most people who eat a well-balanced diet, get about 300 mg of calcium without even trying! If you include dairy products or calcium fortified foods in your daily diet, you can reduce or even eliminate the amount needed from supplements. To help estimate your daily calcium intake, contact NOF and request a calcium calculator handout.
Note: You shouldn't take your Prevacid and calcium supplements together. Check with your doctor about the appropriate timing of the medication in relationship to your calcium citrate.
Vitamin D3 comes in several strengths over-the-counter, so you should easily be able to find the amount you need.View Thread