This potentially crippling disease occurs when your bones become weak and thin either due to loss of bone mass or underproduction of new bone in your body. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, Did you know that unexplained fractures in the foot can be the first sign of osteoporosis? one in two women and one in four men over the age of 50 will break a bone because of osteoporosis. In honor of National Osteoporosis Awareness month, we at New England Foot & Ankle Specialists would like to offer some tips on protecting your bones. With approximately a quarter of your body’s bones located in your feet (26 in each foot), taking care of them is extremely important to your health.
Your Feet are what You Eat
Calcium and vitamin D are the superheroes when it comes to protecting the health of your bones. Look for foods like cereals and juices that have been fortified with calcium and vitamin D and add more of these foods to your diet:
Dairy products, such as milk, cheese, and yogurt.
Green vegetables: bok choy, broccoli, kale, turnip greens
You can also add a tablespoon or two of nonfat milk powder to your recipes or consider taking a calcium supplement.
Improve Your Fitness Routine
Weight bearing exercises help strengthen bones. This can be as simple as walking or a sport such as tennis, or even leisure activities like dancing. What’s important is making exercise part of your daily routine. Other fitness activities that strengthen muscles are also helpful in that they support your bones and help protect them.
Pay Attention to Your Feet
Don’t ignore foot pain. Many times stress fractures may only hurt when you are doing an activity that puts pressure on them. If you have pain in any part of your foot or ankle, make an appointment to get it evaluated by one of our podiatrists, George A. Abboud, D.P.M., Brian D. Tedesco, D.P.M., Carl Conui, D.P.M., and Kimberly Thurmond, D.P.M. The foot doctor will get your medical history and examine your feet and ankles. If the podiatrists suspects osteoporosis, a bone densitometry test or x-rays can be ordered to confirm the diagnosis.
Diagnosing osteoporosis in its early stages will allow you to take steps now to prevent the disease from causing major disability in the future. If you have pain in your feet, contact our Reading office for an appointment.