You’ve probably heard of osteoporosis, a disease that affects bone health. You probably think of it as a potential problem for your spine and hips or perhaps your ribs or wrists, but do you know that osteoporosis and its precursor osteopenia can pose hazards to your feet as well? In fact, an unexplained foot fracture is often the first sign of trouble.
What is it?
Literally translated, osteoporosis means “porous bones.” The bones of people who have the disease lose their density and therefore become fragile and break easily. This may come in the form of a single break after a fall or an accident, or in the form of a stress fracture, a hairline break that occurs as the result of repeated stress to the same area over a long period.
How do you prevent it?
The best way to prevent osteoporosis is by talking to your doctor about making sure that you’re getting enough calcium, a mineral essential to bone health, and vitamin D, which aids in its absorption. You can find calcium in low-fat dairy foods such as milk and yogurt, in leafy green vegetables, and fish like sardines and anchovies that are eaten with their bones intact. Our bodies have the ability to absorb Vitamin D through sunlight, but most people in the U.S. are deficient, especially during the winter. Supplements are an appropriate choice for many people who are not getting adequate levels through food alone.
Exercise is critical as well. Go for a walk. Join the bowling league. Take a yoga or tai chi class. It doesn’t have to be hard…just get moving!
If you have a concern about osteoporosis or anything else related to your foot health, the best step to take is to schedule an appointment with a board-certified podiatrist like Dr. James M. McKee. With years of training and experience, foot doctors are the best-qualified professionals to take care of your feet, ankles, and lower legs. Call Podiatry Group of Annapolis at 410-224-4448 or contact us for an appointment at our Annapolis, MD office today.