Hip fractures refer to any kind of breakage or damage in the thigh bone (femur). People over the age of 65, especially women, are highly vulnerable to hip fractures. You will require assistance after hip fractures from family members as well as health professionals and may also be required to be admitted to the hospital for further assistance. Hip fractures can be caused due to weak bones (osteoporosis) or from a fall. Osteoporosis is due to various factors such as age, gender, nutrition, life style or heredity.
Prevention of hip fractures
Healthy lifestyle choices in early adulthood help in building high bone mass and reduce risk of bone related diseases in later years. Some of the methods of prevention of hip fractures are:
- Home safety: Most hip fractures occur due to falls. Falls can be prevented by taking care of small things such as removing clutter from the floor, clearing out excess or unwanted furniture, keeping electric cords away from the floor, using enough lighting in the house, using grab bars in the bathrooms and removing throw rugs.
- Exercise: Exercise helps to maintain muscle strength and can slow bone loss. It also improves your balance and coordination. Exercises such as walking increase bone density in your body. Some other exercises include climbing stairs, jogging, dancing, swimming, and weight training. Balance training can be used to decrease falls and the risk of hip fractures as balance tends to reduce with age.
- Reduce smoking and drinking: You can maintain your bone density by avoiding excessive use of alcohol and by reducing smoking. Too much alcohol can impair your balance and increase the risk of falls.
- Check your eyes: Get your eyes tested every year if you have any eye disorders or diabetes.
- Watch your medications: Certain medications can have side effects, such as weakness or dizziness and can make you more prone to falls. Please consult with your doctor regarding the medications you take.
- Hip protectors: These are designed in order to decrease the impact of a fall and prevent hip fractures in older people. The device has padding and plastic shields to help absorb the shock of the fall and divert the impact away from vulnerable areas of the hip.
As you grow older, your bones may become weak due to hormonal loss, genetic factors, lack of exercise or nutrition. However, you can maintain your bone health with good nutrition and appropriate activity levels. You can also take osteoporosis medications if required.