How many of you have played with the walking sticks of your grandparents?
How many of you remember seeing your grandparents walk straight?
Have you ever wondered, what is the reason behind the excruciating pain that many elderly people have to suffer?
When I was 10 years old, my grandmother’s stick was one of my favorite toys. I used to run around the home holding the stick like a gun and many times used to mock the way she used to walk, she used to limp with completely bent posture resting her weight on the walking stick and every time she moved her leg she used to moan in pain. She was suffering from the two old-age problems that almost all elderly people suffer from:Old age vision loss and hip fracture.
A large percentage of elder people in India suffer from agonizing hip pains. It becomes difficult for them to walk or to sit for a long duration. They go through a lot of physical and mental stress and most of the times they have to stay bed ridden for weeks.
If you are curious about the cause of this problem then this article will help you understand it. The most common cause of hip pain in old age is hip fracture.
Let’s put a glance on hip fracture and how omega 3 fatty acids will help reduce the risk of hip fracture in old age.
What is a Hip Fracture?
Hip fracture is an injury which largely affects the elderly, and it can be life threatening if proper medical attention is not given. Generally people above the age of 65 years are affected with hip fracture but the risk increases by many folds when one crosses 80.
General Cause of Hip Fractures in Elderly
The bones become very fragile due to the decrease in the calcium level in old age. Many elderly people also fall prey to osteoporosis, in which the bones become so delicate that even a small impact can cause a fracture. Although, mostly this happens only in old age, the minor symptoms can be noticed quite early in the mid ages in form of joint and bone pains.
It is suggested that you should not neglect these symptoms and start taking steps to counter it by leaving a healthy life and maintaining a habit of doing light aerobics exercises, which has been found very beneficial for joint pains. Apart from exercises, after crossing 35 years of age, people should also start taking calcium supplements for a better bone health.
Once you suffer hip fracture, there is no other alternative than Surgery which is followed by many sessions of physical therapy. The surgery can be very painful at time and the physical therapy goes on for long duration. The saddest part is that mostly a bit of pain is left even after finishing the session.
Though, there are no permanent cures for this problem, It can be evaded by the consumption of certain fatty acids.
Omega 3 and 6 Reduces Chances of Hip Fracture
Medical research has revealed that higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the blood can reduce the risk of hip fractures in postmenopausal women.
In this research, scientists analysed the RBC’s in blood samples taken from two groups, women with and without a history of a broken hip. The records and blood sample were taken from the Women’s Health Initiative, a national prospective study of postmenopausal women. This study enlisted participants between 1993 and 1998 and observed them for 15 years.
Half of the sample size where women who had suffered from hip fracture before August, 2008, and the other half participants were age-matched control group who had never suffered hip fracture.
Along with omega-3 fatty acids, researchers also studied omega-6 fatty acids, which are generally plentiful in the Western diet.
Study found that EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) from the fatty fish oil and ALA (alpha-linoleic acid) from sources like flaxseed and nuts had a significant role in lowering the risk of hip fracture.
Professor of endocrinology and also the senior author of the study, Rebecca Jackson, believe that inflammation is directly associated with a risk of bone loss and fractures, and the omega-3 fatty acids helps in reducing inflammation.
Sources of Omega3 Fatty Acids:
Following are some of the top sources of fatty acids:
1) Fats: Though fats are generally seen as a taboo by the health conscious people, it is not always bad. Trans-fat and saturated fats are bad while on the other hand polyunsaturated fats on the other hand are good for health as they are reach in omega 3, omega 6 and omega 9.
2) Fish: Fish is a high protein rich diet. Fresh water fishes like salmon, mackerel and sardines are good sources omega 3. Omega 3 can be consumed in the form of fish oil capsules too because of its high absorption ratio and fast effect.
3) Nuts: Nuts have many health benefits as they are rich in proteins and fibre. They are also rich in omega 3, 6 and 9. Peanuts, almonds, hazel nuts and pistachio are recommended for an omega 3 rich diet.
4) Oils: various oils like flaxseed oil, canola oil, cotton seed oil and soybean oil have high fatty acid content. Flaxseed oil has been found to be exceptionally effective against inflation. Doctors’ prescribe flax-seed oil capsules because of its many health benefits.
Now that you have a good idea about hip fracture and how to evade it, try to suffice your body with enough omega-3 fatty acids. Also share this important information with your family, relatives and friends.
For any queries or inputs, please write in the comments section below.
Photo Courtesy: orthopaedics.com