There are many misconceptions about broken bones. Unless you are an anatomy and physiology major or a trained medical professional, you may not even realize that they are in fact myths. However, these myths can end up costing you time, money and creating a whole lot of pain for you.
Myth: Bones Don’t Change Once You Are Done Growing
False. Much like the rest of the body, the bones continue to change throughout your life. There is no magic shut-off date for bone growth. In fact, while the bones stop you from growing taller, they do still continue to grow as they are a living part of your being. Bones can become thicker or thinner, depending on your diet, any medical conditions and the overall health of your osteoblasts (bone cells) production. As we do age, many of us may experience a thinning of the bones caused by osteoporosis. Bone thinning can be reversed by including weight-bearing exercises like jogging and walking. Exercise will trigger osteoblast production, combating bone thinning due to arthritis.
Myth: A Fracture is Nothing Like a Broken Bone
Actually, they are the same thing. A fracture and a broken bone simply are significant injuries to a bone, where there is a separation of said bone. A fracture can result in a cleanly broken bone or it can separate only a portion of the bone. The bone is not in a solid piece and is separating from itself. It’s also quite painful.
Myth: You Know When You Have a Broken Bone
No, you may not always know the moment you have a broken bone. Some fractures in bone take a while to develop and can have little to no pain associated with it until the bone changes alignment or enough injury to the area creates a larger fracture. This is the case with stress fractures. Smaller injuries that are not painful can add up to a larger fracture over time. Many athletes suffer from stress fractures because of the repetitive use of injured bones. If the bone is not given time to properly heal and the area is constantly re-injured, a stress fracture will form and then will patients notice pain. Most wear-and-tear injuries will eventually cause pain, indicating a need for repair or support.
While bones can heal on their own when given proper rest and time, if you suspect that you have a broken bone or fracture, it is best to consult a physician. Pain is always an indication within the body that something is amiss, so don’t ignore it. If you have an injury that does not respond to rest and ice, and the pain becomes increasingly intolerable, you may have a more serious injury that will require medical attention. Don’t self-diagnosis and risk the health of your bones. Consult a physician as soon as possible!