Your bones and muscles form the core of your body. Anything you accomplish in sports is built on the foundation of your musculoskeletal strength. You probably focus on muscle strength as part of your conditioning routine — but what about bone strength?
At the Center for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, Dr. Michael L. Blackwell and his team of sports medicine experts see new and existing patients from offices in Tomball and Kingwood, Texas.
Dr. Blackwell helps you put together a plan to improve your bone strength, preventing injuries in the short term and deterioration in the long run.
Check in on calcium
The mineral calcium is critical to bone density and strength. Without enough calcium, your bones could become brittle and more prone to injury. Calcium also helps regulate your hormones, and it’s necessary for full nerve function.
Calcium levels can be a particular area of concern for endurance athletes due to the loss of dermal calcium during sustained physical activity, such as training sessions and events.
Make sure you’re getting enough calcium, especially before exercise or exertion. You can get calcium through your diet when you choose foods and beverages like milk and cheese, collard greens, or fortified fruit juices or soy milk. You may also be able to benefit from calcium supplements.
Boost your vitamin D
Vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency could harm your current and long-term bone health. While you naturally absorb vitamin D through your skin when exposed to sunlight or ultraviolet (UV) light, you might not get enough for ideal bone strength, especially when the weather gets cloudy.
You can supplement your vitamin D intake with dietary options like fortified milk or soy milk, fatty fish and cod-liver oil, and even by eating mushrooms grown in UV lighting. Dr. Blackwell can also recommend vitamin D supplements, if needed.
Pay attention to protein intake
Your body needs protein to regenerate and build stronger bones and tissues. When you put your body through the kinds of regular strains that athletes do, getting plenty of dietary protein is essential to maintaining musculoskeletal health.
The energy you use in practice or competition can deplete your reserves. Without sufficient energy availability, your bone health and density might not be optimal.
Talk to Dr. Blackwell about concrete steps you can take to maintain healthy baseline energy availability levels for better bone health, including eating lean meats, nuts, and other good sources of protein.
Get injuries treated promptly
Breaks and hairline fractures are a risk in most athletic activities, no matter how hard you work on building up your bone strength. If you suffer a musculoskeletal injury, getting the right treatment promptly may be key to maintaining your bone integrity over time.
For treatment of existing injuries, and prevention of injuries and deterioration in your bones going forward, get in touch with Dr. Blackwell and the team at the Center for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine.
You can schedule an appointment by calling now, or book with the online tool.