Anyone with osteoporosis fallen down and worri... - Bone Health

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Anyone with osteoporosis fallen down and worried that they could have damaged their spine\hip?

karmel
karmel

I was diagnosed with osteoporosis a couple of months ago and it has made me very anxious about falling over and breaking a bone. I have subsequently fallen over twice, flat on my face, while walking our dog. Been walking our dogs for over 10 years and have never tripped over before. It has really shaken me up, hurt my back and made me worry that I am now going to keep falling over. I am seeing a physio privately as I didn't know what I should and shouldn't be doing when I was in the gym although I do do balancing exercises. Just wondered about getting some Nordic poles and using them when I'm walking. I wanted to stop taking the prescribed AA and the Arrete D3 because they are giving me so many gut problems and just build up my bone strength. Any advice please?

22 Replies
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I was just talking to someone yesterday who told me she uses Nordic poles for balance while walking. You will also improve your upper body strength so it's a win win. Just be sure you get instruction on how to use them properly, and start off slowly - our instructor suggested 15 minutes three times a week at first.

karmel
karmel
in reply to HeronNS

Thank you very much for your advice, and glad you told me 15 mins x 3 a week. The Nordic walking group I want to join, will be starting back in Sept, so I am trying to find out as much as I can so I can try doing it on my own until then.

As it's the start of the holiday season, why not take advantage and slip off for excellent medical advice if you go to Europe? Diagnosed with osteoporosis in the UK, I was told there was notihing I need do. This seemed weird, I was going to Italy and asked the local tourist board to recommend a good centre for treating osteoporosis. There I found everywhere offered targeted exercise classes. Same when I went to Austria. So a little Googling, and half a day off from your holiday, could give you a whole new set of rules and instructions on managing osteoporosis. And private treatment abroad was relatively inexpensive.

karmel
karmel
in reply to veriterc

That sounds a fantastic idea but unfortunately not able to try it.

veriterc
veriterc
in reply to karmel

Why not see if your local NHS hospital has a hydro pool? Not as glamorous as the lovely ones in Europe, but still excellent if you have balance issues. You can walk and splash around at will - if you over-balance the water cushions any falls! These pools are few and far between, but don't forget the NHS means you can go to another area/county for this, and hospital transport will take you there.

karmel
karmel
in reply to veriterc

I haven't heard of any NHS hydro pools in my area. But the funny thing is there is a dogs' hydro-pool not too far from where we live All the dog owners that have taken their dogs there for rehabilitation have spoken very highly of the treatment.

veriterc
veriterc
in reply to karmel

Yes - when I owned dogs I often thought their medical care was far better than humans! Hydro pools are used in many stables, as well as being used for treating dogs. Vets have evidence-based data that says hydrotherapy is very effetive but the NHS is way behind Europe in using this to help recovery.

Hidden
Hidden
in reply to veriterc

veriterc - thank you. I'll be in Italy for 4 days and it will be one of my "need to do" events!

veriterc
veriterc
in reply to Hidden

This might give you an idea of what to epect aftercancers.com/hydrothera...

Hidden
Hidden
in reply to veriterc

veriterc - thank you. It is v helpful. I did Feldenkrais first after chemotherapy and then added aqua exercise. It was a good combo increasing my range of movement and strength through resistance exercise. I have a dog now and tend to just walk! But in Italy I shall do it again!

Hi. I got a pair of walking poles. However, I tend to only use one, I find that is enough. I think the dog would get a bit tangled up if you used two. One stays in the porch and the other in the back of the car, so one is always available. Walking poles are good because it is easy to adjust the height exactly. They have certainly made me more confident whilst walking the dog. Good luck.

In my experience you learn to live with being careful with your back and trying not to fall so that it becomes 2nd nature and not such a constant source of anxiety. In fact it might be anxiety making you clumsier than usual at present. Walking poles are good, as are balance exercises. I tend to use one pole when I hike for stability. For me hip hingeing instead of bending and core strength exercises have been key - if I fall my core muscles immediately clench and support my back. You have to be mindful of your own condition though and work out what works for you.

karmel
karmel
in reply to annelii

Yes, I think I have become very anxious about falling down since finding out I have osteoporosis. I now tend to keep looking down at the ground when walking the dog, to see if there is something I can trip over. Haven't heard of hip hingeing - I'll google that - thanks.

I wouldn't be using them when our dog is on the lead, I would only use them when he is off-lead. I can imagine that it could be very tricky using them with a dog on a lead. Very encouraging that it has made you more confident whilst walking your dog.

A gentle exercise class has kept me going. If you have a local osteoporosis support group they may run one. See the Royal Osteoporosis Society web site to find the support groups, and also suggestions for exercises on your own.

Hello Karmel,

When I was first diagnosed with osteoporosis I managed to carry on a very active life without damage and with the positive effect of being quite strong. However now ten years on I have spinal damage and have become 'concerned' not to fall or do anything to 'endanger myself' but I feel I have had many more 'near misses' and came to the conclusion I was over worrying!

Two things I now do first is wear my glasses more regularly, I'm mildly short sighted, I've also become better at regular sight checks. Second is to 'always' now have good footwear! Though I guess with dog walking you'll have always been better than me regarding shoes and boots!

It's hard not to worry, using one walking pole when dog walking did sound very helpful. Best of Luck

Posy White

Hi Posy-White, Thanks and yes it is very hard not to worry. I know it might sound a bit of silly question but how do you know when you have damaged your spine? and what do you go to A&E and get an x-ray? . Sorry so many questions. I hurt my back when I fell flat on my face a couple of days ago and I don't know if I have damaged my spine. From what I have read compression fractures can be silent.

Margaret Martin who is a physio, has an excellent website on osteoporosis and safe ways to exercise. It’s called the Melio Guide melioguide.com/

You may find a single hiking pole might be an option with dogs. My friend did Nordic walking, but she said wasn’t able walk her dogs at the same time - something to do with coordination.

I have balance & walking issues and use a Topro Olympos off-road rollator, which is made in Norway. I picked it up secondhand on eBay and it’s is brilliant, so much better than the cheap one I had previously. I feel very safe with it. They aren’t cheap, but I was lucky to get one at a reasonable price & I have to say it’s worth every penny!

Thanks for the link, you probably haven't seen my earlier post when I mentioned I wouldn't be using the Nordic poles when our dog was on the lead. I would only use them only when the dog was off-lead

Hidden
Hidden
in reply to karmel

karmel - this may sound very silly, I hope it's not irritating. Think of keeping your balance, feet remaining firmly on the earth except when you purposely lift and place them down in turn. Then your brain will focus on keeping your balance. Avoid thoughts of "not falling over" or your brain will fix on thoughts of falling over. It is not a helpful focus. Many people underestimate the power of what we say to ourselves and how it can affect our abilities. My dear sister had such a fear of falling over that it caused her as much harm as actually doing so. She was so rigid and tense moving about outside that it was painful and nervewracking to see and made her tired and unhappy.

karmel
karmel
in reply to Hidden

It happened while we were walking the dog, I didn't trip over anything, just fell flat on my face. I do wonder if it wasn't another side effect of Alendronic Acid I have stopped taking now, as I had so many side effects and I was feeling unwell and I am hoping that was the cause . But I do understand the fear of falling can take over.

Hidden
Hidden
in reply to karmel

karmel - I appreciate how scary it must have been to fall in those circumstances.

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