A hip fracture is one of the more traumatic injuries a senior can suffer. For many, a hip fracture means a long stay in the hospital, followed by recovery at an assisted care facility. A hip fracture can also lead to permanent loss of mobility and result in complete dependence on others.
What Causes Broken Hips?
It’s important to understand what seemingly insignificant activities can potentially lead to accidents that cause hip fractures. Some of the more common causes are the following:
- Falling from a distance or onto a hard surface
- A car accident or an object hitting the hip area
- Being overweight or obese
- Osteoporosis or other degenerative bone diseases
- Sudden twisting movements
Symptoms of a Broken Hip
Some fairly telling symptoms of a broken bone include:
- Being unable to stand or walk
- Bruising and inflammation to the hip area
- Noticeable pain in the hip and groin area
- One leg is shorter than other leg
Risk Factors of a Broken Hip
- Difficult to move around: For many older adults it is difficult to recover from a hip fracture. Part of the reason is that the hip bone is large and plays a major role in any movement involving the lower body. Without the hip joints functioning at normal capacity, it’s impossible to lead a normal and active life. It is difficult to walk, to climb stairs, and to get up from a sitting position.
- Time to heal: Another issue that challenges seniors recovering from a hip fracture is that the whole process takes time. This lengthy recovery period can be exacerbated by an aging body. Older bones are frailer and older immune systems work less efficiently.
- Lead to other health problems: For many, a hip fracture will usher in other health problems as the body struggles to heal. When this is combined with existing health conditions such as diabetes or heart disease, recovery time can extend for months.
7 Natural Remedies That Are Effective in Treating Hip Fractures
Recently, researchers at the University of Sydney in New South Wales, Australia, investigated the effectiveness of lifestyle interventions in the management and recovery of a hip fracture. They conducted an extensive review of randomized controlled trials. Here are the eight natural remedies they deemed effective in the treatment of a hip fracture:
- Exercise: Exercise is important to help the hip joint recover. Traditionally, many seniors are told to perform isolated resistance training or to participate in home-based exercise programs. The researchers found, however, that supervised, long-term exercise training ushers in greater clinical benefits, including increased muscle strength, better joint function and improved mobility. Furthermore, performing exercises that improve balance can help reduce fears around falling and re-injuring a fractured hip.
- Supplements: Multi-nutrient supplements could improve long-term health outcomes after a hip fracture. Many seniors suffer from nutritional deficiencies and addressing these can make it easier for the body to heal and to withstand the stresses associated with a hospital stay.
- Vitamin D: Supplementing with vitamin D could improve immune function and aid in bone cell formation.
- Calcium: Supplementing with calcium could help strengthen new bone tissue.
- Nutritional counseling: Nutritional counseling and support could help improve one’s overall health and strengthen key systems within the body, such as the digestive system and the cardiovascular system. Working to improve the diet could shorten the length of time it takes to heal a hip fracture.
- Improving protein levels: Improving protein levels can help the body to heal from a fracture.
- Social interactions: Participating in social interactions can help reduce the negative feelings associated with a hip fracture. Positive thinking can help promote healing.
In a previous article, we discussed ways in which natural supplement combinations can reduce the risk of hip fractures in seniors. Accidents do happen, and some of them are unavoidable. But finding ways to prevent hip fractures—or even improve hip fracture healing time— is done by taking care of the body.
Sources for Today’s Article:
Macon, L., et al., “Broken Hip,” Healthline web site; http://www.healthline.com/health/hip-fracture-surgeries#Causes3, last accessed December 18, 2015.
“Hip Fracture Symptoms,” Mayo Clinic web site; http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hip-fracture/basics/symptoms/con-20021033, last accessed December 18, 2015.