As the name suggests, osteoporosis means porous bone, where the density and quality of bone are reduced, causing the bone more fragile and easier to be broken. If you have back pain, loss of height, curved upper back or fractures that occur with minor injuries, you might have osteoporosis and need to seek for medical help. Osteoporosis can happen to everyone.
This article offers some home remedy tips for people who have osteoporosis.
For those who don’t have osteoporosis, or not sure whether you have it, or want to prevent osteoporosis, click here for more information: Never Too Early to Prevent Osteoporosis
1 Diagnosis of osteoporosis
1.1 How to diagnose and what the result means
Bone mineral density (BMD) has been used to diagnose osteoporosis. According to WHO (World Health Organization), the relationship between the BMD score (called T-score) and status of osteoporosis is as followings:
T-score of -1 or above
T-score lower than -1 and greater than -2.5
T-score of -2.5 or lower
T-score of -2.5 or lower, and presence of at least one fragility fracture
1.2 Where to go and how to prepare
You can go to any hospital with the facility for BMD. Here are things you need to do before the test:
- Stop your calcium supplements, if you are having any, at least 48 hours before the test. The calcium levels introduced by calcium supplements may lead to inaccurate readings.
- On the day of test, stop using any medicine you’re using.
- Eat normally before and on the test day.
- If you have taken barium or any other contrast material before, wait at least two weeks before doing the test.
- Do not wear jewelry. Wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothes with no metal zippers or buttons on the day.
- If you recently suffered from hip or back injuries, tell the doctor.
2 Home remedies for osteoporosis
Having osteoporosis means it’s easier for you to get a fracture. For senior citizens, especially those over 60 years old, a fracture can sometimes be fatal. Here are tips you can do at home for people with osteoporosis.
2.1 Avoid falls
With osteoporosis, falls may lead to fractures. To prevent falls, first you need to know what may cause you falling:
- Visual impairment
- Blackouts, dizziness and drowsiness (sometimes caused by the medicine you’re using)
- Impaired balance and muscle weakness
- Kyphosis or Dowager’s Hump
Keep balance - avoid falls
How to prevent falls:
- Build a fall-proofed home. You may ask your friends or children to help. Make sure there’s no objects you could trip over on the floor. Affix the mats. Install handrails and non-skid mats in your bathroom. Keep your house well lit. Make sure the handrails of stairs are secure.
- Do regular exercise (as in 2.4).
- Wear comfortable shoes with a broad heel and non-slip soles.
- A healthy and nutritious diet (as in 2.3).
- Stay on treatment and seek help from your doctor if you have any problems (as in 2.2).
2.2 Stay on treatment
Compared with people who continue treatment, those who stop halfway may have smaller increases in bone density and greater fracture risk.
2.3 A nutritious diet
Apart from calcium and vitamin D (see suggested intake content in 2.1 of this article), you also need to keep a balanced diet of protein, vitamin B, vitamin A, vitamin K, Magnesium and Zinc. Here are foods rich in the nutrition:
Protein: lean red meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy foods.
Vitamin B: animal livers and kidneys, clams, sardines, beef, fortifies cereal, tuna.
Vitamin A: green leafy vegetables, red and yellow colored fruits and vegetable.
Vitamin K: lettuce, spinach, cabbage, liver, soya bean products.
Magnesium: green vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, fish.
Zinc: lean red meat, poultry, whole grain cereals, pulses, legumes.
2.4 Recommended exercises for patients with osteoporosis
Consult your doctor before doing the exercises to see if they suit you. Protect yourself by asking someone to company while exercising.
The exercises target on posture, balance, gait, coordination, and hip and trunk stabilization.
Warm-up: gently move your major joints (like wrists, knees, and ankles) to have a warm-up. The exercise is performed either seated or standing. Walk or do some dancing steps to end the warm-up.
Workout: do strengthening and stretching exercises like chest expansion, shoulder stretching, and neck stretching. Heel raises and toe pulls can help improve balance and prevent falls. You can also try challenging tandem walks and obstacle courses.
Relaxation: take 5 to 10 minutes to carry out relaxation techniques like deep breathing and progressive muscle tensing and relaxing.