6 Ways to Prevent Osteoporosis
May is National Osteoporosis Awareness Month. Strong bones are essential for overall good health, but at Goldsmith Podiatry, we have a particular interest in this condition. There are 52 bones in your feet. Low bone density means you are more vulnerable to fractures, which can create long-term disability, especially if they are not diagnosed promptly. If you sustain a serious fracture due to an injury, you will obviously know. But stress fractures can be more subtle. Pain may come and go and there may or may not be the swelling or bruising that accompanies more acute fractures. The takeaway is get any foot pain treated promptly at our Upper West Side office. Our podiatrists, Dr. Howard Goldsmith or Dr. Rosanna Troia will examine your foot and order x-rays or other imaging studies as needed to see if you have a stress fracture.
Other steps you can take to build bone strength include:
1. Explore new sources of calcium—everyone is familiar with the heavy hitters: milk, cheese, and yogurt. But did you know there are many other sources of calcium including leafy greens, canned fish like salmon and sardines and fortified cereals and juices. You can find plenty more online. Find ways to work a variety of calcium rich foods into your diet daily.
2. Take a dance class—tai chi, or kickboxing. Exercise is extremely beneficial when it comes to keeping bones strong and promoting new bone growth. Look for activities that involve weight-bearing, muscle strengthening and balance exercises.
3. Snack on seeds and yogurt—these are both good sources of calcium and they are also low in calories and fat. Make your snacks work for you rather than against you!
4. Lose 5 pounds—unless you are already at your ideal weight or underweight, most of us can stand to lose 5 pounds. The less your weigh, the less strain on your lower extremity bones. As an added bonus, the payoff is more than one to one. For every pound you lose, for example, you reduce the stress on your knees by 4 pounds—that means a 20-pound reduction for your knees with only 5 pounds on the scale!
5. Do a med check—decreased bone strength is caused by more than just low amounts of calcium and vitamin D. Several medications, including certain chemotherapy, antacids, steroids, thyroid hormones and others can also result in weak bones.
6. Quit smoking—smoking is bad for bones (not to mention circulation, lung function and overall health).
If you have suffered from one or more stress fractures in the past and you are over the age of 50, contact our New York City office for an appointment by calling: to discuss your personal risk factors.