Causes, Symptoms and How to Naturally Treat and Repair Broken Bones; What is a bone fracture?
The word “break” is commonly used by lay (non-professional) people.
Fractures can occur in any bone of the body.
Among health care professionals, especially bone specialists, such as orthopedic surgeons, “break” is a much less common term when talking about bones.
A crack (not only a break) in the bone is also known as a fracture. Fractures can occur in any bone in the body.
There are several different ways in which a bone can fracture; for example a clean break to the bone that does not damage surrounding tissue or tear through the skin is known as a closed fracture or a simple fracture.
On the other hand, one that damages surrounding skin or tissue is known as a compound fracture or an open fracture. Compound or open fractures are generally more serious than simple fractures, with a much higher risk of infection.
Most human bones are surprisingly strong and can generally stand up to fairly strong impacts or forces. However, if that force is too powerful, or there is something wrong with the bone, it can fracture.
The older we get the less force our bones can withstand. Approximately 50% of women and about 20% of men have a fracture after they are 50 years old (Source: National Health Service, UK).
Because children’s bones are more elastic, when they do have fractures they tend to be different. Children also have growth plates at the end of their bones – areas of growing bone – which may sometimes be damaged.
Types of bone fracture
- Avulsion fracture – a muscle or ligament pulls on the bone, fracturing it
- Comminuted fracture – the bone is shattered into many pieces
- Compression (crush) fracture– generally occurs in the spongy bone in the spine. For example, the front portion of a vertebra in the spine may collapse due to osteoporosis
- Fracture dislocation– a joint becomes dislocated, and one of the bones of the joint has a fracture
- Greenstick fracture– the bone partly fractures on one side but does not break completely because the rest of the bone can bend. More common among children, whose bones are softer and more elastic
- Hairline fracture– a partial fracture of the bone. Often this type of fracture is harder to detect
- Impacted fracture– when the bone is fractured, one fragment of bone goes into another
- Longitudinal fracture – the break is along the length of the bone
- Oblique fracture– A fracture that is diagonal to a bone’s long axis
- Pathological fracture– when an underlying disease or condition has already weakened the bone, resulting in a fracture (bone fracture caused by an underlying disease/condition that weakened the bone)
- Spiral fracture– A fracture where at least one part of the bone has been twisted
- Stress fracture– more common among athletes. A bone breaks because of repeated stresses and strains
- Torus (buckle) fracture– bone deforms but does not crack. More common in children. It is painful but stable
- Transverse fracture– a straight break right across a bone.
Causes, Symptoms and How to Naturally Treat and Repair Broken Bones
Symptoms of bone fractures
The signs and symptoms of a fracture vary according to which bone is affected, the patient’s age and general health, as well as the severity of the injury. However, they may include some of the following:
Symptoms of a bone fracture can vary wildly depending on the affected region and severity.
- Discolored skin around the affected area
- Angulation – the affected area may be bent at an unusual angle
- The patient is unable to put weight on the injured area
- The patient cannot move the affected area
- The affected bone or joint may have a grating sensation
- If it is an open fracture there may be bleeding.
When a large bone is affected, such as the pelvis or femur:
- The sufferer may look pale and clammy
- There may be dizziness (feeling faint)
- Feelings of sickness and nausea.
If possible, do not move a person with a broken bone until a health care professional is present and can assess the situation and, if required, apply a splint. Obviously, if the patient is in a dangerous place, such as in the middle of a busy road, one sometimes has to act before the emergency services arrive.
Causes of bone fractures
The majority of fractures are caused by a bad fall or automobile accident. Healthy bones are extremely tough and resilient and can withstand surprisingly powerful impacts. When people enter old age two factors make their risk of fractures greater; weaker bones and a greater risk of falling.
Children, who tend to have more physically active lifestyles than adults, are also prone to fractures.
People with underlying illnesses and conditions that may weaken their bones also have a higher risk of fractures. Examples include osteoporosis, infection, or a tumor. As mentioned earlier, this type of fracture is known as a pathological fracture.
Stress fractures, which result from repeated stresses and strains, commonly found among professional sports people, are also common causes of fractures.
First aid for bone fractures
Good first-aid care of fractures is always important. Moving the broken bones can increase pain and bleeding and can damage tissues around the injury. This can lead to complications in the repair and healing of the injury later on.
First aid for fractures is all about immobilising (limiting movement of) the injured area. Splints can be used for this. Control any external bleeding. Complicated breaks where a limb is very deformed may need to be realigned before splinting – only paramedics or medical staff should do this.
Fractures of the head or body such as skull, ribs and pelvis are all serious and should be managed by paramedics.
If you suspect a bone fracture, you should:
- Keep the person still – do not move them unless there is an immediate danger, especially if you suspect fracture of the skull, spine, ribs, pelvis or upper leg
- Attend to any bleeding wounds first. Stop the bleeding by pressing firmly on the site with a clean dressing. If a bone is protruding, apply pressure around the edges of the wound
- If bleeding is controlled, keep the wound covered with a clean dressing
- Never try to straighten broken bones
- For a limb fracture, provide support and comfort such as a pillow under the lower leg or forearm. However, do not cause further pain or unnecessary movement of the broken bone
- Apply a splint to support the limb. Splints do not have to be professionally manufactured. Items like wooden boards and folded magazines can work for some fractures. You should immobilise the limb above and below the fracture
- Use a sling to support an arm or collarbone fracture
- Raise the fractured area if possible and apply a cold pack to reduce swelling and pain
- Stop the person from eating or drinking anything until they are seen by a doctor, in case they will need surgery
- In an emergency, call triple zero (000) for an ambulance.
Causes, Symptoms and How to Naturally Treat and Repair Broken Bones
Diagnosis and natural treatment of bone fractures
Doctors can diagnose bone fractures with x-rays. They may also use CT scans (computed tomography) and MRI scans (magnetic resonance imaging).
Broken bones heal by themselves – the aim of medical treatment is to make sure the pieces of bone are lined up correctly. The bone needs to recover fully in strength, movement and sensitivity. Some complicated fractures may need surgery or surgical traction (or both).
Depending on where the fracture is and how severe, treatment may include:
- Splints – to stop movement of the broken limb
- Braces – to support the bone
- Plaster cast – to provide support and immobilise the bone
- Traction – a less common option
- Surgically inserted metal rods or plates – to hold the bone pieces together
- Pain relief.
Top Foods to Heal Broken Bones
High calcium foods – The major mineral in bones is calcium, so try to include foods high in this important mineral such as sea vegetables, green leafy vegetables, salmon, sardines with bones, and unsweetened cultured dairy like yogurt, kefir, and amasai.
Vitamin K foods – Kale, broccoli, spinach, and other greens are high in vitamin K1, and raw dairy products like cheese and kefir are high in vitamin K2 which is essential for blood clotting and bone formation.
Clean lean protein – The body cannot rebuild lost tissue without protein. Try to get at least 4-5 oz per meal of organic, lean protein such as wild-caught fish or grass-fed beef.
Vitamin C – Is essential for manufacturing collagen an essential component of skin and tissues. Increase your intake of vitamin C rich fruits and vegetables such as citrus fruits, bell peppers, strawberries, and tomatoes.
Zinc – The chemical reactions necessary to rebuild the bone requires zinc. To increase your intake of zinc, add beef, pumpkin seeds, and spinach to your diet.
Foods that Weaken Bones
Alcohol – Promotes bone loss and increases inflammation which does not promote healing.
Salt – Sodium removes calcium from the bones. Try to limit your salt intake to less than 1500 mg (less than ½ tsp) per day.
Sugar and refined grains – Sugar and refined grains promote bone loss and provide very few nutrients for wound healing.
Cola and other sugar sweetened beverages – The phosphorus content of cola can actually remove calcium from bones.
Caffeine – Caffeinated beverages contain compounds that can bind to calcium, preventing calcium from being absorbed and therefore limits healing.
Main 5 Broken Bones Natural Remedies
Heal broken bones faster using natural medicine:
#1 Calcium (500-600 mg 2x daily of calcium citrate)
Calcium is the primary mineral found in bones. Avoid taking with high iron foods.
#2 Magnesium (250-350 mg daily)
Magnesium is required for bone formation.
#3 Vitamin D3 (2000-5000 IU daily)
Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption.
#4 Omega-3 fats (1,000mg daily)
Essential fats are necessary for wound healing and for reducing inflammation caused by an acute injury.
#5 Green superfood powder (follow package instructions)
Look for a powder that contains nutrient-rich sea vegetables and essential minerals for bone rebuilding.
Natural Treatment for Broken Bones
Vibration therapy can accelerate healing of broken bones. Stand on a vibrational platform for 5-20 minutes 2x daily to improve osteoclast formation.
Essential Oils for Broken Bones
Putting essential oils topically over fractured area can speed healing. Essential oils such as cypress, fir, and helichrysum aid in bone repair. Apply oils topically 3x daily to area and also consider healing therapies such as aroma-touch.