So often, my readers’ experiences highlight many of the most important issues in bone health. Recently, I received an email from a concerned daughter about her mother’s fracture healing:
“My mother, age 90, complained of back pain in November. She was mobile enough to go to her doctor. The pain increased. The doctor took an x-ray for pneumonia but discovered a fracture at the T11. She did not fall or do anything we are aware of to have caused this fracture. She has no history of fractures.
"The doctor said it would take two or more months to heal. So far my mother has mostly been in pain and in bed. But on occasion she seems to be able to get up and sit in a chair without a lot of pain.” — Rosemary
Suffering a fracture is a major concern for older women — and also a strong reminder to their daughters, family and friends that it’s never too early to take an active role to improve their own bone health.
In fact, many of the simple steps for overall bone health can also make a significant difference in your fracture recovery time:
• Get enough of key nutrients with a multivitamin and mineral supplement. Your bones are about 70% mineral content by weight, and specific key nutrients — zinc, copper, calcium, phosphorus and silicon — are critical to fracture healing. For elderly women, fracture healing is going to take longer so it is important to supplement with all 20 key bone nutrients.
• Increase protein. Adding 20 grams extra protein to your diet can help reduce complications of a fracture, shorten the healing phase, and minimize further bone loss in the area as the fracture heals — by as much as half. As you get older, you may not feel like eating as much, so try special high protein drinks, such as whey protein powder shakes.
• Reduce inflammation naturally. Rather than reaching for aspirin or ibuprofen, reduce inflammation and relieve pain with 2-3 grams of water-soluble quercetin dehydrate a day, combined with vitamin C in the form of buffered ascorbate.
• Increase circulation. Good circulation and the flow of nutrient-replenishing blood to the fracture site help with healing. If you are able, talk with a physical therapist about the best exercise options. For elderly women who cannot exercise, gentle massage and touch therapy are good options. A warm sesame oil massage can produce special healing effects.
• Enjoy an alkaline diet. Soups and stews high in vegetables and root crops are easy to digest and can be protein-enhanced with meat or lentils.
• Keep uplifted. Create a healing environment. Surround yourself with interesting and uplifting movies, magazines, spiritual readings, books on tape and happy friends.
I want to reassure you fracture healing can take place at any age with the right support for your body. For more information, see “How to speed fracture healing.”
You can try Dr. Brown’s comprehensive supplements in her at-home bone health program, developed with Women to Women. Get her exclusive formulations along with her detailed lifestyle and diet guidance, plus telephone support whenever you need it. Learn more about the Personal Program for Better Bones.
We created the Better Bones blog as our forum to express opinions and educate the public about natural means of supporting and improving bone health and overall wellness. As part of this forum, we sometimes discuss medical issues and medications, and their effects on bone health in general. However, we cannot advise readers about specific medical issues in this forum. If you wish to obtain advice from Susan E. Brown, PhD, about your specific bone health and nutritional concerns, please visit our Consultations page. Other specific medical questions should be referred to your healthcare provider.