Learn how to speed the bone fracture healing time — simply and naturally

A bone fracture can be a defining moment in a woman’s life — the break itself is an isolated incident, while the healing process can take weeks, months, or even years depending on the injury. After you’ve fractured a bone, all your systems are called upon to repair the injury. Cells and tissues proliferate, hormones are released, antioxidants and amino acids are brought into play, and all this happens while the body carries out its usual everyday duties. Needless to say, it takes a lot of energy and sometimes a lot of time to heal a fracture. Very few of us who have broken bones have been told we can make our bones heal faster — at most, the advice we’re given is to limit the use of the injured bone or limb (not easy to do if the fracture is in your spine!). Women are always surprised when I tell them that there are a number of natural methods they can use to reduce their healing time and get back on the move sooner rather than later. The human body is amazing in its ability to heal itself. Taking a closer look at how our bodies heal bone reveals excellent opportunities to support that process naturally. You can make a significant difference in your recovery time — and at the same time, in your overall health — by working with nature. Let’s take a look at five simple steps you can take to speed bone fracture healing.

1 Add a quality multivitamin and mineral supplement
70% mineral content — calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, silicon, zinc, and others. Fracture healing requires a robust, readily bioavailable supply of all these minerals to be drawn to the site. Many of us under-consume minerals on an everyday basis, and when an unfortunate fracture occurs, the body must ―rob Peter to pay Paul.‖ (Check the table of 20 key bone nutrients to evaluate your personal mineral intake.) Specific key minerals that enhance fracture healing include the following:
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Zinc Copper Calcium Phosphorus Silicon

While protein and minerals serve as the building blocks for bone healing, vitamins are the catalysts for myriad biochemical reactions that are equally important. In fracture healing, we can clearly identify vitamins like C, D, and K as integral to laying down minerals in new bone.

A 2006 Swedish study found that hip fracture patients given complex multinutrient supplementation had only a 15% rate of complications. and alpha-lipoic acid — may be of benefit. the body is called upon to gather together all the protein building-blocks needed to synthesize new structural bone protein matrix. lycopene. for example. Protein malnutrition or under-nutrition leads to a ―rubbery‖ callus. and glutamine. as compared to a 70% complications rate among the non-supplemented group. add more plant-based protein to your diet. Following fracture. and these can overwhelm the body’s natural antioxidant defense mechanisms. All of these steps will help to offset the increased free-radical production that occurs when a bone is fractured. Specific amino acids of importance include lysine. and minimize further bone loss in the area as the fracture heals — by as much as half. antioxidants — including vitamins E and C. #2 Check your protein intake Nearly half of your bone is comprised of protein. and bone renewal. that can add to this much-needed vitamin and mineral support. lentils. the rupturing of the tissues generates a tremendous amount of freeradicals. is known to enhance calcium absorption. arginine. Protein supplementation aids healing and bone conservation by increasing insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I). adding even modest extra protein to the diet can help reduce complications. a polypeptide hormone that exerts a positive effect on skeletal integrity. Lysine. immune response. #3 Increase anti-inflammatory nutrients Whenever a fracture occurs. other legumes. shorten the healing phase. or add an omega-3 supplement to your diet like the one we offer in our Personal Program for Better Bones. In such cases. cystine. Studies suggest antioxidants accelerate fracture healing by suppressing the inflammatory and destructive effects of free radicals on whole-body systems. When a fracture occurs. proline. #4 Avoid aspirin and ibuprofen . glycine. Including more foods like soy. almonds. and quinoa will increase your protein intake without creating a more acidic environment in your body the way excess animalbased protein can. increase the amount of calcium absorbed into the bone matrix. compared to the more structurally sound calluses of those with adequate or high protein intake. Resolve to eat a cup of berries a day. To keep up with the demands of your healing bone. and aid in the regeneration of tissue. muscle strength. investigate new recipes that include leafy greens like kale and chard. Protein is made of amino acids.Find a high-quality supplement like the one we offer in our Personal Program for Better Bones.

and cyclooxygenase enzymes (COX-1 and COX-2) play important roles in fracture repair. Naprosyn) are all among the NSAID’s to avoid when healing damaged bone and cartilage. as well as the elbow and shoulder joints. To avoid stress on the broken bone. indomethacin. But certain ways of blocking pain can interfere with your healing. amplifying the pain-relief benefits. Cells damaged from the trauma of fracture release large amounts of inflammatory prostaglandins at the site of fracture. meloxicam (Mobic). As it turns out. nabumetone (Relafen). of course — is frequently aspirin or ibuprofen. These nutrients. in the case of a broken forearm. exercises that focus on joint loading and range of motion can be employed to accelerate healing and assure return of function post fracture. as well as omega-3 fatty acids. Fracture healing also requires good circulation and an adequate flow of nutrient-replenishing blood to the fracture site — both of which are enhanced by exercise. In clinical use at the Center for Better Bones. The ensuing inflammation causes pain. And there is scientific evidence that the same holds true for bone under repair. Natural pain-relief alternatives. In general. edema. Aspirin. Healing bone — your body knows the way . and the initial inflammatory immune response is crucial to fracture healing. and pain in fracture patients.One of the first things we reach for with an injury — after the ice. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (COX-1 and COX-2 inhibitors) like aspirin and ibuprofen can delay fracture healing. reduce inflammation without inhibiting the COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes. ibuprofen. For example. etodolac (Lodine). and the natural tendency is to want to block this painful reaction. prostaglandin-induced inflammation is an essential component of the fracture healing process. and mechanical properties. In severe cases. has a synergistic effect with vitamin C. Enzymes such as bromelain and trypsin (available in the combination formula called Wobenzym) have also been found helpful in reducing inflammation. Consult a physical therapist about exercise that’s best for you. Biomechanical stimulation enhances bone fracture repair and regeneration. One alternative to help reduce the pain of fracture is acetaminophen (which is found in Tylenol). quercetin. and naproxen (Anaprox. #5 Exercise While it makes perfect sense that increasing your nutrient intake would help healing bone. and is also required to restore the fractured bone’s structural strength. Yet it is. we have found that the well-studied bioflavonoid. organization. recommended exercises would involve movements of the fingers and hand. exercise would be unlikely to pop into your mind as a means to accelerate fracture healing. bone tissue responds to patterns of loading by increasing matrix synthesis and by altering matrix composition. narcotics such as codeine can be given along with the acetaminophen. These inflammatory prostaglandins are a natural and essential part of initial tissue repair. used in doses of 2–3 grams per day.

Teenagers tend to be the most active age group.womentowomen.An unfortunate fall or accident resulting in broken or fractured bone can certainly slow you down. Fractures can occur in people of any age. and their bones are more prone to breaking following the period of rapid growth during adolescence.com/bonehealth/speedbonefracturehealing.this is because hormonal changes during the . There’s never been a better time to fall into optimal bone health! http://www. Because your bones serve as a vitamin and mineral reservoir for your body. In the older age group women suffer more fractures than men . but two groups of people tend to sustain most fractures . Support your body with a natural approach that will have you moving again in no time. In the elderly age group a combination of Osteoporosis (decreased bone density) and increased incidence of falls means that the number of broken bones increases with age. with boys sustaining fractures more than girls. which increases their risk of injury. but it can also be a wake-up call in many ways.aspx Bone Fracture Healing Explained How Your Broken Bones Heal       Introduction 1 Broken Bones Explained 2 Inflammation Stage 3 Soft Callus Formation Stage 4 Hard Callus Formation Stage 5 Bone Remodelling Stage There are over one million fractures (broken bones) each year in the UK alone. In children a broken forearm is the most common fracture. This approach will work with your body’s built-in mechanisms for healing while also improving your overall bone health.the elderly and the childhood age groups. healthy bones mean better overall health.

new bone has filled the fracture. problems that slow the healing process can occur.menopause increase the incidence of Osteoporosis. This stage begins the day you fracture the bone and lasts about 2 to 3 weeks.com/injuries/bone_fracture/2_bone_science.physioroom. The most common fractures are the hip and wrist. the site of the fracture stiffens and new bone begins to form (see figure). Stage 2: Soft callus Between 2 and 3 weeks after the injury. correcting any deformities that may remain as a result of the injury. This guide explains exactly what bone is and the four main stages of bone healing. the pain and swelling will decrease. At this point. the fracture site remodels itself. Stage 4: Bone remodeling Beginning about 8 to 1 2 weeks after the injury. The healing process is generally the same for all fractures. If the fracture is severe. new bone forms and fills in the fractured area. The new bone cannot be seen on x-rays. This final stage of fracture healing can last up to several years. This bony bridge can be seen on xrays. This stage usually lasts until 4 to 8 weeks after the injury. the new bone begins to bridge the fracture. are common injuries that orthopaedists treat. through a series of stages. http://www. By 8 to 12 weeks after the injury. Stage 3: Hard callus Between 4 and 8 weeks. By understanding bone healing better you can feel more in control of the rehabilitation process and help your fracture to heal. or broken bones.php Problems That Can Occur During Fracture Healing Fractures. How does a fracture heal? Stage 1: Inflammation Bleeding from the fractured bone and surrounding tissue causes the fractured area to swell. .

can cause many problems. it will be shorter than the other thigh bone. Growth abnormalities: A fracture in the open physis. Problems Fractures heal without problems in most people. the bone will grow at an abnormal angle. making one leg shorter than the other. These problems and complications do not often occur. fracture problems are almost always a result of a severe injury. Infection: Open fractures can become infected when the jagged bone ends are exposed to the air where they have torn through the skin. Compartment syndrome: Severe swelling after a fracture can put so much pressure on the blood vessels that not enough blood can get to the muscles around the fracture. or growth plate. Nonunion: A fracture that fails to heal in a reasonable amount of time is called a nonunion. Delayed union: A fracture that takes longer to heal than expected is a delayed union. When they do occur. children are able to heal and remodel their fractures much faster than adults. in a child.The rate of healing and the ability to remodel a fractured bone vary tremendously for each person and depend on your age. and the bone involved. Neurovascular injury: Some fractures are so severe that the arteries and nerves around the injury site are damaged. stops growing prematurely.D. If one side of a bone stops growing before the other side. This means that one side of a bone or the whole bone stops growing before it naturally would. which can lead to long-term disability. orthopaedists have methods for managing them. Georgia . Malunion: A fracture that does not heal in a normal alignment is called a malunion. Post-traumatic arthritis: Fractures that extend into the joints (intra-articular fractures) or fractures that cause the bones to meet at an abnormal angle in the joint can cause premature arthritis of a joint. If the whole bone. Two of these problems are premature partial or complete closure of the physis. For example. the kind of fracture. The decreased blood supply can cause the muscles around the fracture to die. M. your health. Atlanta. Compartment syndrome usually occurs only after a severe injury. when they occur. such as a thigh bone. Richard Johnston III. However.