Most people who suffer from bone fractures have the misconception that healing their injuries requires spending months in a cast or having a lengthy bed rest to recover from surgery. Though this is basically true, there are some ways which you can speed up the process of healing bone fractures. Not everyone knows that nutrition plays a crucial role in the speedy recovery of bone injuries. Basically, all fractures will undergo the same process. Healing bone fractures involve complicated processes like cell and tissue differentiation and proliferation. There are also other factors involved like the inflammatory cytokines, bone breakdowns (osteoclasts) and bone-building (osteoblasts) hormones, antioxidants, and many other nutrients.
Fractures are normally caused by high physical trauma applied on the bones. These types of traumas are often caused by vehicular accidents, falling, slipping, and sports accidents. There are also types of fractures that can result from the continuous application of force on the bones. The most common examples are athletes who constantly need to train and participate on their respective games. Pathological factors and diseases like osteoporosis can also cause fractures. In osteoporosis, calcium-deficiency causes the bones structure to weaken, making them easily breakable.
Symptoms of Fractures:
• Inability to put pressure or weight on the injured area
• Bruises due to internal bleeding
• Skin discoloration due to hematoma or blood clotting
Prevention of Bone Fractures:
The chances of having bones fractures can be prevented by strengthening the structure of bones. This is the reason why eating a balanced diet and taking in other nutritional supplements can help a lot. People who are constantly exposed to activities that are highly hazardous should practice more cautions and wear protective gears if possible.
Healing Bone Fractures
There are four steps to speed up the process of healing bone fractures and the first one is to provide the body with proper sources of energy. Though fracture healing is an entirely internal process, the body will require more sources of energy at this stage. Increasing the calorie intake helps a lot for the speedy healing of bone fractures. The calorie demand is also dependent on the type and number of fractures a person has. For example, a person who has fracture in the long bones or with multiple fractures may need 6,000 calories a day as compared to the average person who only require 2,500 a day for his normal functioning. The second step is to moderate the intake of protein. Bones can be compared to sponges which are made out of living proteins embedded with mineral crystals. In healing bone fractures, the body automatically collects protein blocks in order to create a new bone matrix.
The third step is to increase the intake of anti-inflammatory nutrients. Antioxidants are the ones responsible in repairing oxidative damage. Once a fracture happens, a huge amount of free radicals is created by the damaged tissues. These are the ones which cause the inflammation in bone injuries. By taking in more antioxidants such as lycopene, alpha-lipoic acid, and vitamins C and E, the destructive effect of these radicals are suppressed, thus speeding up the process of healing bone fractures. The last step is boosting the mineral intake. Some examples of essential minerals which can help are copper, calcium, zinc, and silicon. Copper improves the production of bone collagen which is highly needed in the healing process while calcium strengthens the structure of the new bones. Zinc is important in cell proliferation and formation of new bones whereas silicon plays a huge role in the synthesis of collagen.
How the Methods of Healing Works
The process of healing fractures is composed of three steps. The first is the inflammation phase wherein clean-up cells are released to clean the damaged area and prevent infection. These cells then start to differentiate dead from healthy tissues and then work its way in forming new bone tissues. The second stage is the reparative stage. In this phase, the proteins from the new bone tissues start to consolidate to form what is called the soft callus. After a while, this develops into a hard callus and creates the temporary bone weave. The last stage is the remodeling phase wherein the bone weaves starts to develop into young bones. Increasing your nutritional intake can support these bone structuring stages while helping your bone to heal faster as well.
When to Visit Your Doctor
Note that these nutritional pointers must only serve as guide in speeding the process of bone healing. However, the patient must always consult his or her doctor in order to make sure everything is going right with his fractures.