Broken bones hurt, no matter what your age or physical fitness, but seniors tend to be affected even worse. Not only are they more prone to break bones, it can also take longer for them to heal. Preventing broken bones is great, but what should you do if you’ve already broken a bone? First, go to the hospital and have it taken care of by a professional. There’s a few first aid suggestions you can try, but this is only to help until you get to a doctor. Once you’re out of the hospital, though, what should you do?
Follow Your Doctor’s Orders
Whatever your doctor tells you, follow those directions. Those instructions should trump anything you hear from friends or read online, even here. The last thing you want is for a broken bone not to heal correctly, which is called a non-union. This is especially true if you’re a senior, where non-unions can become more likely.
If your doctor tells you to do something or to not do something, stick to that.
This can cause a great deal of pain to the affected area and can last for years. So, if your doctor tells you to do something or to not do something, stick to that. While the rest of these tips may be good for most people, if it contradicts something your doctor tells you personally, go with them. They know you best. We won’t be offended, we promise. Your health is more important.
Take It Easy
Once you’re home, the best thing you can do to aid your recovery is to take it easy. Resting is important to the healing process of a broken or fractured bone for a number of reasons. While a cast will hold the bone in place so that it heals properly, you’ll still want to limit movement to prevent the fracture from being displaced or counteracting any healing that has happened.
A fall can rebreak a bone or break other bones.
Relaxing can also prevent you from reinjuring that bone from use when you shouldn’t, especially if it’s in your leg and you fall — which can rebreak a bone or break other bones. Take the next few weeks and focus on getting better. Simplify as much as you can for yourself, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Avoid NSAIDs for Pain Relief
Broken bones hurt. They hurt when they get broken, and they usually hurt as they heal. Looking for some way to mitigate the pain is only natural. You’ll want to watch what type of painkiller you take, though, because one popular type can actually slow the process down. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have been linked with slowing the healing process for bones. Critical studies have also found that NSAIDs may interfere with bone cells and should be treated as a risk factor in bone healing. So, what exactly are NSAIDs?
NSAIDs may interfere with bone cells and should be treated as a risk factor in bone healing.
We’ve discussed them before, but NSAIDs are common, over-the-counter painkillers like ibuprofen (like Advil or Motrin) or aspirin. Instead of taking NSAIDs to help with pain, try acetaminophen, which isn’t linked to bone healing slowing.
As if you didn’t need another reason to stop smoking. Not only can smoking be detrimental to your health, it can slow the healing process for broken bones. This is actually fairly well established by science to the extent that systematic reviews have been completed that support these findings. That review found that 13 of 17 studies were able to conclude that smoking negatively influenced bone healing, to the extent that it increased the chances of delayed union (slower healing), non-union, and complications.
Another study found that smokers took 62 percent longer to heal broken bones.
Another study found that smokers took 62 percent longer to heal broken bones. If the average healing time for a bone takes six to eight weeks, a smoker can take as much as roughly 10 to 13 weeks! Smoking is a negative influence on your skeletal system in general, so it’s no surprise that it would make your bones heal slower and less effectively.
Eat a Bone-Healthy Diet
Our diet is surprisingly central to our health; after all, it’s the fuel we put in our bodies. It only makes sense that the foods you eat can also influence how your bones heal. In general, eating a healthier, well-balanced diet is a good idea for promoting bone health and quick fracture healing.
These bone-healthy nutrients and minerals are protein, calcium, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Iron, and Potassium.
There are a few nutrients that are extra beneficial to healing bones. These nutrients and minerals are protein, calcium, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Iron, and Potassium. Coincidentally, the Mediterranean diet fulfills many of these needs, but almost any healthy diet will be rich in these nutrients. While these foods won’t heal your bone immediately, they give your body the nutrients it needs to heal properly.
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Having a broken bone stinks. They can hurt, put you out of commission, and take a while to heal. While it may be tempting to become impatient, it’s essential to follow your doctor’s orders and the suggestions in this article so that you not only heal quicker, but properly. Ultimately, that’s what matters most.