Osteoporosis and Spinal Fractures: Recovery and Wellness
Rebuilding bone mass (bone mineral density, BMD) lost due to osteoporosis takes time. So does recovery from spine surgery to treat a spinal fracture. You may need to eat differently and change your exercise habits. These are important health building steps to recover and minimize the future risk of osteoporosis and spinal fracture.
The best treatment for osteoporosis is prevention. It is never too early to start. For good bone health, the Institute of Medicine recommends the following calcium intakes:
- 800 mg/day for children ages 3 to 8
- 1,300 mg/day for children and adolescents ages 9 to 17
- 1,000 to 1,500 mg/day for adults
The best food sources of calcium are dairy products and leafy green vegetables. Dairy products in the United States are also fortified with vitamin D. A daily intake of 800-1,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D is recommended for adults over the age of 50. If you're under 50, you should get 400-800 IU of vitamin D every day. Children also need to get enough vitamin D: building good bones is crucial to preventing osteoporosis later. Children (up to 19 years old) should get 400 IU of vitamin D daily.
Exercise is also important in preventing osteoporosis. The best exercises for strengthening bones are weight-bearing exercises such as walking, weight lifting, and low-impact aerobics.
Your doctor is your best source for information about your personal health. Be sure to talk to your doctor before beginning a nutritional supplement or exercise program.