Safely Navigating Crowds
Osteoporosis weakens your bones, and makes you more likely to experience fractures, even from small injuries. Therefore, it is best to avoid crowds with osteoporosis where you can easily lose your balance and fall.
However, if you have to go to a mall or be in another crowded place, you should be careful and use some of the tips below:
Wear the Right Shoes, Avoid Slippery Floors
Your shoes should not only be comfortable, they should also provide you with good support and have thin, non-slip soles.
Do not wear slippers or running shoes with deep tread. Try to walk as much as possible on grass if the sidewalks are wet or slippery, and on carpet or plastic runners inside the mall. Be cautious on polished floors, as it is easy to fall on those.
Try to go to the mall or other crowded destination during off peak hours, avoiding busy times like after 4 pm when people finish work and go shopping.
If you really need to buy something from a mall or grocery store during peak hours, ask a friend, neighbour or family member if can get that item for you. Also look for stores that provide home delivery – the delivery fee is usually low, or even free.
Pay attention to the way you move to avoid injuries. Do not bend forward to grab something, as this move puts extra pressure on your spine; use your knees instead of bending at the waist level.
Do not twist your torso when looking around. When you lift your shopping bag, make sure you bend your knees and keep the back straight. Do not lift the bag above the shoulder level and don’t reach over your head to pick up something from a shelf – always ask a customer service representative to help you.
Use Assistive Devices
Assistive devices have been designed for you to help you move safely and independently. Consider using a cane or walker.
Walkers offer more support and stability than canes because the body’s weight is spread over a wider area. However, canes are easier to manage in small rooms or crowded places.
A physiotherapist can help you find the cane or walker that fits bests your needs and height, and can also teach you how to use the device properly.
Hip protectors had been found to reduce the number of hip fractures, especially in elderly or frail individuals.
Stay Strong and Healthy
Keep your body in the best possible shape, so you can better manage any situation, including crowded places. Try to exercise daily to keep your bones and muscles strong and your joints mobile.
Include some strength training with weights or elastic bands, some exercise to improve your posture, balance and coordination (i.e. yoga, tai chi), and some walking or light jogging.
Eat a healthy diet based on fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and fish, low fat dairy products like yogurt and cheese.
Avoid drinking excessive amounts of coffee and alcoholic beverages. Consider supplements: a multivitamin, multimineral formula, with extra vitamin D.