This Winter Get Bundled Up, Not Bandaged Up

Osteoporosis makes common winter slips even more dangerous

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) The tail-end of 2010 so far has turned out to be blustery with snow and sleet, and that means slips and falls.

Those blunders are painful on their own, but add osteoporosis to the mix, and the consequences of even minor falls and scapes become more serious, leading to possible fractures and breaks.

Osteoporosis refers to the thinning of bone tissue and significant loss of bone density. It is the leading type of bone disease, affecting 28 million Americans. To ward against the disease, individuals should get at least 1,200 milligrams of calcium along with around 1,000 units of vitamin D a day. These may be taken as supplements. Weight-bearing exercise also help build bone density.

Once symptoms such as bone pain, fractures, height loss, back and neck pain or kyphosis (spinal curve) present themselves, damage has already occurred. Risk factors include family history of the disease, heavy consumption of alcohol, smoking, amenorrhea (the term for when women stop menstruating) and a diet low in calcium.

To protect yourself from falls this winter, wear shoes with deep treads, and remember: Slow and steady is key when tackling steps and slippery sidewalks. For added protection, try a calcium supplement with some milk-based hot cocoa.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
December 17, 2010
Last Updated:
December 20, 2010