Osteoporosis goes unnoticed until a bone fracture occurs, usually in the spine, wrist,
On April 25, my trip to LA took an unexpected turn. I put excessive pressure on my upper back lugging suitcases. Resulting in thoracic compression fractures at T7 and T10. Now I am in the fifth week of my 6-8 week healing journey.
Compression fractures are not fun. Healing from them is a game of patience. Resting. Bracing my thoracic spine. While the bones knit themselves back together. I also get to look at the underlying cause of the fracture: my osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a bone disease that increases the risk of bone fractures.
In the U.S, osteoporosis affects 44 million women and men over the age of 50. If you are 55 or older, you are more likely than not to be part of this public health epidemic. Why did I not know that that I had osteoporosis? Because I was not paying attention!
Osteoporosis goes unnoticed until a bone fracture occurs, usually in the spine, wrist, or hip. Loss of height and hunched or stooped posture can also be signs of osteoporosis.
The internet has a wealth of information about treating and preventing osteoporosis.
I did not know that I had osteoporosis on April 25. In fact, I assumed that I was immune from bone density loss because of my very healthy movement practice. A bone density test would have told me otherwise. But my last bone density test was 9 years ago! No Bueno!
Now my journey is two-fold.
First, to heal from my thoracic compression fractures. Resting. Wearing my amazing Frieda Kahlo thoracic brace. listening to my body. No bending, twisting, or lifting. And practicing other movement that is intelligent for my current condition.
Second, and even more challenging, is to reverse my osteoporosis. The internet has a wealth of information about treating and preventing osteoporosis. If you think you might have osteoporosis, I encourage you to do your own research and make your own plan.
Get a DEXA scan and test your Vitamin D levels regularly.
Here is my plan:
- Get a DEXA scan and test my Vitamin D levels regularly.
- Continue to exercise. Focusing on resistance training, weight-bearing and balancing moves, and strengthening my back extensors.
- Continue to eat a plant-based diet. Including kale, broccoli, brussel sprouts, swiss chard, sauerkraut, blueberries, prunes, and other foods that help.
- Take vitamin supplements to support bone health. Calcium Citrate, Vitamin D3, and MK-7.
- Explore bio-identical hormone therapy, whole body vibration, essential oils, Reiki, and bone breathwork.
- Get more sun and sleep with my cat and enjoy her bone healing purrs.
- Trust and believe in the capacity of my body to heal itself, given the right environment.
- I have decided not to take biophosphonates because of the side-effects. This is a personal decision that will vary from one individual to another.
The likelihood of compression fractures increases as we age. If you haven’t already done so, test your bone density and vitamin D levels. And make a plan to treat or prevent osteoporosis.
Reference: Levy, Jillian. “Osteoporosis Treatment 7 Natural Ways to Boost Bone Density.” Dr. Axe, 27 July 2018, draxe.com/osteoporosis-treatment/.