Many people with osteoporosis go on to enjoy full and rich lives.
Living with Postmenopausal Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis can be a life-altering condition that has a huge emotional toll. However, with the right mind-set, treatment and care, osteoporosis can be managed. If diagnosed with osteoporosis, here are some tips on how you can lead a strong and healthy life whilst managing pain and preventing fractures.
Tips on how to manage pain1
Experiencing varying degrees of pain as you recover from a broken bone is expected. Here are some tips on how you can try to manage the pain.
Speak to your doctor about the available treatment options
Practice relaxation techniques, which help to slow your breathing and calm your mind
Try physiotherapy or hydrotherapy to help with the pain
To cope with pain on a long-term basis
Take the pain relief medication as prescribed
Try hot or cold compressions to help ease the pain
Do some gentle exercises, prescribed by your doctor or physiotherapist, to help muscle tone and ease tension
Lift bulky or heavy items
Over-reach for items on high shelves
Over-stretch while doing daily chores such as vacuuming
You should not
Tips on how to recover from broken bones2
Eat a healthy, balanced diet
Take it slow, and rest well
Daily exercises, prescribed by your doctor
Tips on daily support for activities and fall prevention3
If you have osteoporosis or are recovering from a fracture, daily living activities may come with some difficulty and compromise. Here are some handy tips for you and your partner, which may help on an everyday basis.
- Clear your home of anything that may cause a fall. For instance, rugs, protruding furniture, cords and wires.
- Have handrails for extra support.
- Use double sided tape to keep rugs from slipping, or anti-slip rugs throughout the house, especially in the bathrooms.
- Install bright lights throughout the house.
- Get in and out of bed carefully; it’s usually best to first sit on the bed, lie down on your side, and then roll over. Reverse to get out of bed.
- Don’t bend to pick up a grandchild or pet. Sit on a chair, and encourage them to sit on your lap.
- Avoid reading in bed. Sit in a chair, use a pillow to rest your book and arms. A stool to support your legs is also a good idea.
- Don’t try to lift heavy mattresses to change the sheets; ask for help.
- Keep items that you use frequently in cupboards you can reach easily. This saves you from stooping low or reaching high.
- If you need a step stool, choose one that’s sturdy and which comes with a hand-rail.
- Clean spills up immediately, as this may cause you to slip and fall later on if you forget about it.
- Be careful if you have a front-load washing machine; bending down to take heavy loads out can be painful.
- Hanging clothes to dry can be challenging; ask for help if possible, or else invest in a sturdy drying rack that is easy to move around.
- Wear well-fitted shoes or slippers to help avoid tripping or slipping.
- If you need to carry your groceries, distribute the weight on each side.
- Invest in a grocery trolley, so you don’t have to carry heavy bags.
- Ask for help if you can’t reach items on top shelves in the supermarkets or grocery stores.
- Have grab bars installed in the shower, next to the toilet, and inside the tub.
- If possible, it’s better to avoid climbing in and out of a tub. But if you do have a bathtub, use rubber tub mats or adhesive strips to prevent falls when slippery.
- A shower organiser will help organise all your toiletries so you don’t have to bend down.
- Royal Osteoporosis Society. Managing pain. Available at: https://strwebstgmedia.blob.core.windows.net/media/buip4zxk/managing-persistent-pain-after-fractures-fact-sheet-november-2017.pdf Accessed: April 2020.
- Royal Osteoporosis Society. Recovering from a broken bone. Available at: https://theros.org.uk/information-and-support/living-with-osteoporosis/recovering-from-a-broken-bone/ Accessed: April 2020.
- Osteoporosis Canada. Living well with osteoporosis. Available at: https://www.osteoporosis.ca/wp-content/uploads/OC_Living_Well_March_2012.pdf Accessed: April 2020.