Fracture Cascade – a domino effect of ailments

January 05, 2024  •  Leave a Comment

A “fracture cascade” refers to bones and ailments such as osteoporosis, where a person experiences multiple fractures in a sequence, often initiated by a single initial fracture. Falling is a major reason leading to such circumstances. When bones weaken due to poor nutrition, inactivity and age, osteopenia and osteoporosis can grow into serious medical conditions. Herein bones become less dense and more porous, which can make bones more prone to fractures. This “fracture cascade” highlights the possibility of a domino effect that can manifest in individuals with osteoporosis. Falling and landing on one’s hand, can cause fractures to the fingers, wrist, bones in the forearm (ulna and radius) and the bones that comprise the shoulder joint. Additionally, when someone falls, they may injure their knees, hip joints (head of the femur) as well as injuries to the spinal vertebrae. Having a physical exercise plan that not only increases bone strength, but helps to improve balance, and flexibility as well as strength of the muscles. Grip strength becomes more important as we age and sometimes need to grab on to solid structures to avoid falling. Weight training, yoga, tai chi and Pilates are all appropriate methods to achieve these goals.

Practicing exercises that challenge one’s balance is a key component to prevent falling, while increasing leg strength and flexibility to navigate falls.
These images show the various hand and wrist positioning that are common when people accidentally fall onto, while trying to mitigate falls.

A fracture cascade might occur from the following circumstances:

  1. Initial fracture – A person with osteoporosis experiences an initial fracture, often as a result of some level of impact, stress or trauma on particular weakened bone(s).
  2. Modified or influenced body mechanics – After the first fracture, body mechanics during physical movement may be influenced reducing mobility, pain and changes in gait.
  3. Increased risk of falling – Modified mechanics and reduced mobility leads to an increased risk of losing sense of balance, which is often elevated in individuals with osteoporosis.
  4. Future fractures – Minor physical trauma, stumbles or minor to major falls can lead to a ripple (cascade) effect of additional fractures in other bones throughout the body.
  5. Compromised Functionality: With each additional fracture, an individual’s freedom to move and function unimpaired can be at further jeopardy, making them even more prone to future falls and fractures.

This cycle of decline can contribute to compromised overall health and thereby quality of life for those with osteoporosis. Management strategies for osteoporosis should involve prevention through lifestyle modifications, dietary awareness (rich in calcium and vitamin D), weight-bearing exercises and activities. If necessary, there are pharmaceuticals intended to improve bone density and reduce fracture risk. However, almost all medications have side-effect that needed to be weighed against their benefits. It is highly important that individuals at risk with osteopenia/osteoporosis seek healthcare professionals as well as fitness and wellness advocates to pursue a comprehensive plan for bone health.

This graphic details various exercises to help increase strength, flexibility, and dexterity of the wrists, hands and fingers. One can practice these exercises as a form of preventive maintenance.

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I teach and offer lectures about holistic health, stress management, qigong, tai chi, baguazhang, meditation, phytotherapy (herbs), music for healing, self-massage, and Daoyin (yoga).

I look forward to further sharing more of my message by partnering with hospitals, wellness centers, VA centers, schools on all levels, businesses and individuals that see the value in building a stronger nation through building a healthier population. I also have hundreds of FREE education video classes, lectures and seminars available on my YouTube channel at:

https://www.youtube.com/c/MindandBodyExercises

www.MindAndBodyExercises.com

www.Amazon.com/author/jimmoltzan

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Jim Moltzan

407-234-0119


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