Osteoporosis is a disease that causes bones to become brittle and break easily. If you have osteoporosis, you need to make some simple changes in your daily life to protect your physical and mental health. The following are some steps you can take to help reduce the risk of falling or other
situations that could cause injury.
Make your home a safe environment. Wear sturdy, low-heeled, soft-soled shoes. Don't walk in socks, floppy or slippery shoes, or sandals. Anchor rugs so they don't slide or slip. Never use slippery floor waxes, and always clean up spills immediately. Make sure your home is clean and free of clutter. Keep loose wires and electrical cords out of the way. Keep halls, stairs, and entries well-lit. Use nightlights in your bedroom and bathroom. In the shower or tub, use grab bars and nonskid rubber mats. In the kitchen, use nonskid mats near the sink and stove.
Preventing falls is also important outside the home. Use extra care walking on uneven or unfamiliar ground. Slow down and don't be afraid to ask for help or use a cane or walker if you feel there is any risk of falling. A little caution may prevent a painful and debilitating fracture. Have your vision and hearing checked regularly. When driving, always wear a seat belt, and adjust your seat properly. Ask your doctor whether any medications you are taking can cause dizziness or loss of balance, and whether you can take any steps to prevent this.
Activities that improve your posture and build up strength can help you prevent falls. Even light exercise, such as walking or carrying soup cans, is beneficial. Some health care providers, or the Arizona Physical Therapy Association, can recommend a physical therapist who can develop a safe exercise program that will benefit your bones.
Your doctor or health care provider may be able to help you learn more about preventing and treating the disease. Many people living with osteoporosis benefit from meeting with a support group. An osteoporosis support group gives you the chance to see that there are many other people living with the disease, and you may be able to exchange ideas, express feelings, and talk about common concerns.
While having osteoporosis may change the way you do things, it shouldn't stop you from many of the activities you enjoy. In fact, staying active and keeping a positive attitude is a good way to improve your health and deal with the demands of living with osteoporosis.
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