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Tag: Fracture

Keep Calm & Waddle On: Act like a penguin on the ice

Keep Calm & Waddle On: Act like a penguin on the ice

Walking on icy streets and sidewalks during the winter is treacherous. Wrist fractures, hip fractures, and strains and sprains are more common than ever during the winter. If you want some good strategies for preventing falls on the ice, walk like a penguin. Keep your arms apart, your feet spread slightly, and take short, even

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The Pitfalls & Promise of Pilates

The Pitfalls & Promise of Pilates

Janet had to sit down when she read the report from her DEXA scan.

Impression: OSTEOPENIA in the right hip and lumbar spine.

Can’t be. She spent more time pounding the pavement than most women.

Good diet – check.

Calcium and vitamin D supplements – check.

Regular weight bearing exercise – check.

Janet had few risk factors: she didn’t take steroid medication; she didn’t smoke and despite all her dieting, she wasn’t underweight.

No wonder she was flabbergasted by the diagnosis.

Janet had been doing everything she could imagine to keep her bones strong, but clearly something was missing. More and more older people were turning to Pilates and yoga for exercise because they seemed gentle and safe. Why not?

Yoga made her sore, but it was a new kind of exercise, so maybe, she thought, she just needed to get used to it. She already had neck and back pain, so what the heck? If a little was good, more would be better. Resolute, she added a few more classes.

By the end of a fortnight, Janet couldn’t sleep – she could barely walk. The pain was relentless. Her doctor confirmed the really bad news: she had several compression fractures in her spine. Smart as she was, Janet did not know how to protect and strengthen her bones during yoga or Pilates. Don’t be like Janet. Though these exercise forms can be gentle, knowing how to modify them when you have bone loss is critical.

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Sprain vs. Fracture

FOOSH – or “fall on an outstretched hand,” something I experienced first hand in October while mountain biking. I have fallen before while biking (many times), onto my hand, but this was different. The impact was greater and the landing was on rock, not dirt. I have sprained my wrist before in similar falls, but no fractures. This time my wrist motion was quickly limited, however, my sense of denial was stronger. I ignored the pain and limited motion and continued to ride. I went to work the next day and treated patients. Finally after poking around on my wrist I gave in (and after lectures form colleagues) and called a physician. Diagnosis: Fracture of the left triquetral bone (2nd most common fracture of the carpal bones) and immobilization for 6 weeks. So much for that first cross race that I registered for.

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