Muscle weakness and osteoporosis - learn why it's a dangerous combination
by Meghan Griech, PT, DPT, cert MDT, CKTP
This article takes 6 minutes to read
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Osteoporosis is a condition in which bones become weak and brittle, making them more susceptible to fractures. It is often referred to as “the silent disease” because most people are unaware that they have it until they suffer an injury or fracture. Imbalance and muscle weakness can be particularly dangerous for individuals with osteoporosis, increasing their risk of falls and fractures. In this blog post, we will explore why imbalance and muscle weakness are more dangerous when you have osteoporosis and what can be done to prevent falls.
Imbalance and muscle weakness can increase the risk of falls and fractures.
As we age, we tend to lose muscle mass and strength, which can affect our balance and increase the risk of falls. When this is combined with osteoporosis, the risk of fractures can be significant. Falls are the most common cause of fractures in individuals with osteoporosis, and a fall can result in serious injuries, such as a broken hip, wrist, or spine.
Why is imbalance and muscle weakness more dangerous when you have osteoporosis?
When bones are weak and brittle due to osteoporosis, they are more likely to fracture in the event of a fall. A simple trip or stumble can result in a serious injury. Additionally, individuals with osteoporosis may not be able to recover from a fall as easily as those without and may result in long-term disability or a loss of independence.
What can be done to prevent falls?
There are several steps that individuals with osteoporosis can take to prevent falls and reduce the risk of fractures:
1. Exercise regularly: Weight-bearing exercises such as walking, hiking, and weight lifting can help to improve bone density and muscle strength. These exercises can help to improve balance and reduce the risk of falls.
2. Improve balance: Balance exercises such as yoga, tai chi, and Pilates can help to improve balance and reduce the risk of falls. These exercises can also help to improve flexibility and reduce stiffness.
3. Remove hazards from the home: Clutter, loose rugs, and other tripping hazards can increase the risk of falls. It is important to remove these hazards and ensure that the home is well-lit and easy to navigate.
4. Take precautions when outdoors: Wear sturdy, non-slip shoes when outdoors, and be cautious when walking on uneven or slippery surfaces.
5. Speak with your healthcare provider: Your healthcare provider can provide guidance on ways to prevent falls and reduce the risk of fractures. They may recommend specific exercises, supplements, or medications to improve bone health.
Imbalance and muscle weakness can be particularly dangerous for individuals with osteoporosis. Falls can result in serious injuries, and fractures can take longer to heal and result in long-term disability. However, by taking steps to improve bone health, muscle strength, and balance, individuals with osteoporosis can reduce their risk of falls and fractures, maintain their independence, and enjoy a high quality of life.
*Disclaimer: All information in this article is intended for instruction and informational purposes. The author(s) are not responsible for any harm or injury that may result. This information is used to supplement not replace any advice you were provided from your doctor or another medical health professional. No guarantees of specific results are expressly made or implied with this article.