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Bisphosphonates are the most commonly prescribed medicine for osteoporosis patients. This medicine is taken for no more than three to five years in a stretch. A doctor typically takes a call after this time period to find out whether it is suitable for the patient to continue the medicine for a longer time based on the individual risk factors.
Bisphosphonates contain four main ingredients namely Relcast, Fosamax, Boniva and Atelvia. This medicine slows the rate of bone loss and reduces the risk of fracture. This being said, there are some potential side effects of Bisphosphonates as well:
- Problems in the jawbone: Consumption of Bisphosphonates can lead to a condition known as the osteonecrosis. This is a disease of the jawbone swelling, pain, and infection of the jawbone. The risk increases if a patient goes through an invasive surgery such as tooth extraction.
- Thigh bone fracture: Prolonged intake of Bisphosphonates is believed to be a rare kind of thigh fracture known as the atypical femoral fracture. This is very similar to a stress fracture that causes subtle pain and worsens with time.
- Stomach upset: Bisphosphonates intake can lead to oesophageal ulcers and sharp pain in the abdomen. It can also lead to mild fever lasting for a time period of 2-3 days along with upset stomach and body ache. This symptom mostly occurs when there is an irregularity in taking the medicine.
Choosing the right Bisphosphonates:
Drugs of the Bisphosphonates class are similar in nature. While some vary in terms of maintaining potency and bone density, the overall effectiveness of this drug is on the higher side. The common aim of this drug is to reduce the rate of fracture. The decision of choosing a drug over another depends on factors such as cost, preference, convenience and tenacity to stick to the exact dosage. Doctors often prescribe the monthly dosage at one go. The dosage can also be prescribed on a weekly basis depending on the patient’s convenience.
The effect of Bisphosphonates:
Consumption of intravenous Bisphosphonates is considered to be the best medicine for fracture prevention. It is, therefore, very unlikely that a patient with osteoporosis will see additional improvement once he has taken Bisphosphonates for more than three years. This is perhaps the reason why most doctors suggest stopping this medicine after a patient consumes this for more than 3 years. Some other factors that a doctor considers while making this decision include past history of fractures, the age of the patient and the present bone density. If however, the bone density gets worse, a doctor can always restart Bisphosphonates until further improvement is witnessed. This again depends on the patient’s medical condition at the time of check-up. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor and ask a free question.
Osteoporosis wreaks havoc in many senior citizens, especially women. This is a disorder that systematically weakens the bone and can fracture the spine and the hip. If not treated early, it poses a serious threat to mobility. While medicine is a prerequisite to treating this condition, exercise goes a long way in helping patients of osteoporosis. Regular exercise can improve balance and strengthen the muscle. This being said a doctor should be consulted for a fitness assessment and bone density test before going ahead with any exercise routine.
What is the right exercise for you?
Exercises are recommended depending on the degree of osteoporosis a person is suffering from. Some exercises may not be suitable for a person while some can greatly help. It is therefore suggested that a doctor or physiotherapist is consulted before starting any exercise. Here is a list of exercise that doctors often suggest:
- Strength training: Strength training aims at strengthening the spine and other muscles. It includes the usage of free weights and lifting own body weight. In case the exercise involves the usage of weight machines, utmost care should be taken to ensure that the spine does not get twisted. Resistance training, on the other hand, should be designed in such a way that it fits the tolerance and ability to cope up.
- Flexibility exercises: When the joints are allowed to go through the range of motion, it helps in muscle function. Stretching, for instance, should only be done when the muscle is warmed up. Care should be taken that stretching is done gently which is devoid of any bouncing. The spine should not be flexed. Any exercise that demands to bend towards the waist should also be avoided. An experienced physiotherapist should be able to suggest which stretching exercise is suitable for patients with osteoporosis.
- Aerobic training: Aerobic training necessarily means that the bone supports the body weight. This exercise helps the bone from mineral loss and is good for body balance strength and flexibility. Some aerobics that can be easily performed by patients with osteoporosis include dancing, stair climbing, cycling and walking. These exercises also help in blood circulation and cardiovascular diseases.
- Exercises you must avoid: High-impact body activity exercises such as jogging, jumping and running should be strictly avoided in order to avoid bone fracture and weaken muscle. Unlike exercises with controlled movements, these exercises can twist the spine and cause severe immobility in movement.
- Twisting: For patients with osteoporosis, an exercise that involves forward bending resulting the waist to come down should be avoided. Exercise such as this can cause compression fractures leading to restriction in physical movement for a temporary to longer duration. Any sort of bending and twisting, therefore, should be avoided.
From marathon runners to footballers, amongst athletes, 'pulling a hamstring' is the most common type of injury. The hamstring is a group of four muscles at the back of your thigh. When one of these muscles gets overloaded or begins to tear, it is known as a hamstring injury. While a hamstring injury is painful, it does not indicate the end of an athlete's career.
Minor hamstring injuries may heal by themselves. In cases where one of the muscles is torn, surgery is required to repair and reattach the muscles. Recovery time depends on the severity of the injury. Stretching and exercising the muscles of the leg are the most important parts of rehabilitation. The healing of a hamstring injury can be divided into four stages.
- Acute phase: The first five days after a hamstring injury is known as the acute phase of rehabilitation. The aim of treatment at this phase is to reduce inflammation and keep the other muscles from atrophy. For minor hamstring injuries resting the leg, using ice packs and keeping the leg elevated can accelerate the healing process. Once the pain and swelling has decreased, patients can use a cane or crutch to exercise the leg.
- Subacute phase: From the fifth day to the 3rd week after the injury, the focus of the treatment shifts from minimizing swelling to strengthening the leg and increasing the range of possible motions. At this time, an athlete can resume cardiovascular training. Swimming and other forms of aquatic training are said to be especially beneficial to the treatment of hamstring injuries.
- Remodeling phase: The remodeling phase continues upto 6 weeks after the injury. Strengthening the leg is the focus of this stage of treatment. Using ankle weights can be beneficial towards strengthening the leg muscles. It is important to be careful about the weight being used and to gradually increase this weight to avoid an added injury.
- Functional stage: This stage can last upto 6 months until the athlete can regain full function of his or her leg. As the athlete's gait gets back to normal, they may start jogging and short sprints. Gradually, more sport specific exercises may be added to the workout.
There is no fixed time when an athlete can return to active sports after a hamstring injury. While players with minor injuries may return to the field after 3 weeks, athletes with muscles tears may take upto 6 months to recover completely. Hamstring injuries tend to reoccur and hence before they can get back to active sports, an athlete must pass an isometric strength test and flexibility test. This ensures that there are no subtle after effects of the injury that can increase the risk of a repeat injury.