What can you do if you break a bone? How can you help your body heal most efficiently? Last week, I broke my left shoulder in a bike accident and researched and dug deep to get a good list to follow. If you’re following my osteoporosis diet already, most of these will already be covered.
Check out these top 10 ways to speed the healing of a fracture!
1) No drinking.
It is best to abstain from alcohol while healing a broken bone. To heal properly, bone cells must first form a ‘matrix,’ which later hardens or ossifies into bone. Alcohol consumption changes the makeup of this matrix by hindering the formation of osteoblasts and decreasing their ability to respond to signals that normally trigger bone formation after a fracture.
2) No smoking.
Patients who smoke, have a much longer average time to healing, and a much higher risk of developing a nonunion (non-healing of the bone). Smoking alters the blood flow to bone, and it is that blood flow that delivers the necessary nutrients and cells to allow the bone to heal.
3) Eliminate caffeine.
Coffee, colas, and other caffeinated drinks increase the rate of calcium loss through the urine, and you need that calcium for bone building!
4) Eat a balanced diet that includes the recommended amount of calcium.
For a quick listing of great foods for encouraging bone health, check out my article, “Top 10 Bone-Building Foods.” For a more extensive listing, see the “Foundations” category of this website.
5) Follow doctor’s orders concerning your treatment plan.
*If you are told to use crutches, use them.
*If you are told to rest the injury, rest it.
*If you are told to move the joint to restore full mobility, move it!
*If physical therapy is scheduled, follow through with it!
6) Don’t overdo!
You may feel better on some days than others, but you still need to pace yourself to conserve the energy resources you body needs to use for healing.
7) Stay happy!
Read engaging books, watch comedies and movies with happy endings, call or e-mail an encouraging friend, pet your dog or cat. Simple joys can create happy moments while healing.
8) Take prescribed pain medications when you need them.
There’s nothing heroic about suffering when you don’t need to! On the other hand, foregoing pain meds can sometimes help you focus on the injury so that you can move carefully and protect the bone and affected muscles and joints. You are the best judge of what your body needs. If you need relief from the pain for a time, don’t hesitate to give yourself a break!
9) Do something for someone else.
Look around an you will find others with needs. Doing something to help them will take you out of yourself and your situation, and it will lighten their load–and yours! There may be something you can do physically, even with your current limitations. But even if you can’t move, you can listen to others. You can pray for them. Your time of healing can become a time of healing for them, too!
10) Bless others by opening your heart to receive their help.
If you refuse to allow friends and family to help you for fear of being a “burden” or for fear of losing your independence, you are robbing them of the blessing and happiness they would experience by giving of themselves to you. Why not let them, instead, be a source of joy and comfort to you? Love makes the world go ’round, they say. Giving and receiving love in service to one another transforms our lives into a fulfilling, heart-warming adventure!