TORONTO, Sept. 19, 2013 /CNW/ - All across Canada this week, Osteoporosis Canada is hosting community events to raise awareness among Canadians about the seriousness of a broken bone. Not all broken bones are what they seem; sometimes, there are underlying causes that could lead to more broken bones if the individual is not properly assessed and treated.
"It is not normal when a broken bone is caused by something as simple as a slip or fall from standing height, or making a bed or even a cough or a sneeze. This type of broken bone is called a fragility fracture and can be a warning sign of osteoporosis," states Dr Famida Jiwa, CEO and President of Osteoporosis Canada.
Dianne Nolin is in her 60s and is living with osteoporosis. Even though Dianne had broken three bones in her spine, was in constant pain and had a number of other risk factors for osteoporosis and broken bones, such as early menopause and smoking, it wasn't until her doctor detected a loss of height that Dianne was finally diagnosed with osteoporosis. Once diagnosed, Dianne could make the necessary changes to maintain her bone health and get back to active living, with some precautions. Dianne says, "Although falls are one of the main causes of broken bones, my fractures were all from lifting something the wrong way (even the end of the mattress to change the sheets) or stretching too high to reach something. Stand tall and straight, use your knees, not your spine!"
Osteoporosis weakens bones, causing them to break more easily than normal. The challenge is that a broken bone from osteoporosis often goes undetected and therefore untreated, leaving the individual at risk of more broken bones. This is the post-fracture care gap that needs to be addressed.
Broken bones from osteoporosis usually occur in the wrist, spine, hip and shoulder and are very common, more common than heart attack, stroke and breast cancer combined. At least one in three women and one in five men will suffer a fracture from osteoporosis in their lifetime. Fractures have a devastating effect on Canadians. They can lead to hospitalization, institutionalization, depression, difficulty with activities of daily living, fear of falling, fear of another broken bone, isolation and loss of mobility and independence. Fractures can even lead to death. 28% of women and 37% of men who have had a hip fracture will die of complications within the following year.
In highlighting the importance of broken bones, Osteoporosis Canada wants all Canadians to know that:
- It is not normal to break a bone from a minor fall.
- If you do, you may be at high risk of breaking another bone.
- A broken bone may be the first sign that you have osteoporosis.
- There are effective treatments to reduce the risk of broken bones.
About Osteoporosis Canada
Osteoporosis Canada (OC) is the only national charitable organization dedicated to serving Canadians who have, or are at risk of, osteoporosis and osteoporotic fractures. In keeping with its vision of a Canada without osteoporotic fractures, OC works to educate, empower and support individuals and communities in the risk reduction and treatment of osteoporosis. For more information on Osteoporosis Canada visit www.osteoporosis.ca or call 1-800-463-6842.
SOURCE: Osteoporosis Canada
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