Section 10
Muscular-Skeletal

Part 1
Bones


FRACTURE (Broken Bone)


SYMPTOMS—There may be extreme pain and tenderness in the injured area, a protruding bone, blood under the skin, or swelling. There may be tingling, numbness, weakness, or paralysis below the fracture.

A digit, or limb, may be at an abnormal angle or there may be pain at a specific place on a bone.

A major fracture can cause a loss of pulse below the fracture, weakness, and inability to bear weight.

CAUSES—A fracture is a crack or break in a bone. If the skin over the bone remains intact, it is a closed or simple fracture; if the bone breaks the skin, it is a compound fracture.

Accidents are not a common cause of broken bones, but the bone can also be weakened from osteoporosis, bone tumors, or metabolic disease. A weakened bone can break much more easily—even from a slip of the foot, a slight fall, or knocking against something.

Malnutrition can also be involved. There can be a deficiency of calcium and/or magnesium, or there may be an improper calcium/phosphorous ratio.

A vibrating tuning fork can be placed against the area; if it causes pain, there is a fracture. X rays will confirm whether it is a fracture or strain or sprain.

It is important that the bone be properly set, so it will not thenceforth be deformed, and not function as well.

Older people do not absorb calcium and other minerals as well. This begins at 40, increases at 50, and very much so beyond 60. It is believed that 200,000 hip fractures occur in people over 65 every year. Very often, this results from osteoporosis. The bone has somewhat hollowed out and the break more easily occurred.

Older people who take tranquilizers have 70% more hip fractures than other people their age.

When a break occurs, protein fibers form a bridgework between the two parts. Then calcium, phosphorous, and silica are deposited between the protein fibers.

(Oddly enough, although phosphorous is needed for good bone formation, you will find, below, that it is important that you avoid phosphorous foods if you want strong bones. This is due to the fact that phosphorous is the one mineral which is abundantly found in food. Yet too much of it in a meal locks into the calcium and removes it from the body.)

First aid includes covering any wound and immobilizing, or splinting, the broken part in the position it was found (so the problem will not worsen during transport). Take the person to a physician or the hospital, depending on the seriousness of the problem. Medical treatment involves placing the bones in their proper position and keeping them there while healing occurs.

TREATMENT—

• Obtain a nourishing diet. (See "Bones, Strengthening," just below.)

• Pineapple contains bromelain, an enzyme which acts to reduce swelling and inflammation. Eat half a fresh (not canned or processed) pineapple daily, until the fracture heals. Canned pineapple or pineapple juice may contain aluminum salts, pulled by the acid from the can by the very acid liquid.

• During healing, the diet should include enough calories in order to provide the energy necessary for new bone-cell formation.

• You may use clay poultices to alleviate bruising and swelling.

• Helpful herbs include comfrey and alfalfa. Also helpful are plantain and mistletoe.

• Also place comfrey over the site of the fracture, to speed healing and reduce pain and swelling.

• Too much calcium supplementation, during bone healing, can induce kidney stone formation during the immobile period while the cast is on. The problem is that the person is not active enough at that time.

—For detailed information on rebuilding the bones, see "Bones, Strengthening."

ENCOURAGEMENT—The grace of Christ and the law of God are inseparable. In Jesus, mercy and truth are met together. By His death and mediation, Jesus can forgive our sins and enable us to resist temptation and live clean, godly lives.


# BONES, STRENGTHENING


PREVENTIVE MEASURES—You cannot succeed in life without good bones. The bones most likely to be damaged by lack of care includes the jawbone, teeth, spine, hip, legs, and joints—all very important.

The objective is to achieve the highest possible bone mass before old age, and then to maintain it as long as possible. The following recommendations will help you fulfill these objectives:

The body requires calcium for many things, although bones are the most obvious need. For example, there has to be a certain amount of calcium in the blood all the time. But when, for one reason or another, the intake of certain minerals is not adequate, calcium is reabsorbed out of the bones in order to supply other needs elsewhere. (One of these needs is providing calcium to a growing fetus during pregnancy.) The bones become porous and "honeycombed," and so fragile that breaks can more easily occur.

A major cause is a lack of calcium intake over a period of years. Other causes include inability to absorb calcium as well, a calcium-phosphorous imbalance (too much phosphorous), lack of exercise, or lack of certain hormones.

Obtaining enough nutrients, through diet and supplements, is important to maintaining strong bones.

Calcium at 2,000 mg a day, magnesium at 1,000 mg per day, along with plant-derived colloidal minerals is needed.

Digestive aids may be needed to help absorb this and other minerals. Especially important is sufficient acid in the stomach. Either betaine HCl (hydrochloric acid supplement) or lemon juice can be taken.

Calcium and minerals are found abundantly in natural foods such as green leafy vegetables, carrot juice, and broccoli. The green leafy vegetables are generally the best sources. Along with them ranks sesame seeds. They are the best ratio of high calcium and low phosphorous of any food.

A dietary calcium/phosphorous ratio of 2:1 is ideal, yet can only be attained by taking calcium supplements. Here are some samples of this ratio of calcium to phosphorous in several foods: grain - 1:8; red meat - 1:12; organ meat (liver, kidney) - 1:44; fish - 1:12; carbonated drinks - 1:8.

People who eat meat and/or drink various colas and sodas obtain an immense amount of phosphorous.

Millet is rich in calcium and magnesium. Almonds are high in calcium. The grains, amaranth and quinoa, are rich in minerals.

Fruitarians (people who only eat fruit) do not get enough calcium or the magnesium needed to help the calcium be utilized.

Eat plenty of vegetables, raw and steamed.

Other foods high in calcium include brown rice, kale, turnip greens, pinto beans, spirulina, collard greens, and sesame seeds.

Those with dentures tend to find vegetables difficult to eat. This results in a magnesium and calcium deficiency. They should have vegetable soups, potassium broth, and raw vegetable juices daily.

Lack of hydrochloric acid can be a cause of poor calcium (and other mineral) absorption.

Vitamin D is necessary (400-1,000 IU daily) for calcium absorption and repair. You need a basic 400 IU daily. Sunlight will help you get part of what you need. (It is estimated that, on the average, only 10% of our daily requirement comes from sunlight; so other sources are also needed.) People over 65 may need 800 units daily.

In one study, the more sunlight that was obtained by the test group, the less likelihood of osteoporosis developing.

But excess doses of vitamin D, taken repeatedly, caused bone deterioration.

Potassium is needed for cell formation, and vitamin C is necessary for the maintenance and development of bones. Vitamin C is called "cell cement"; it not only fights infection, but also holds your body together!

Garlic, onions, and eggs contain sulfur, which is needed for healthy bones.

Manganese helps prevent osteoporosis (loss of bone mass). Rats on a low manganese diet developed porous bones.

Vitamin A helps increase the rate of bone growth. It is needed for proper digestion and assimilation of nutrients.

Vitamin B complex helps bone mass formation. B6 increases connective tissue strength in bones.

Vitamin K (found in alfalfa, greens, and other chlorophyll foods) is needed to help the body synthesize osteocalcin, a special protein matrix which attracts calcium to the bones.

Folic acid works to prevent the formation of toxic homocysteine from the essential amino acid, methionine. The presence of homocysteine is involved in producing osteoporosis. (Alcohol, tobacco, and oral contraceptives increase folic acid deficiency.)

Trace amounts of fluorides are also needed for bone development, but get it out of food—not from additives, fluoridated water, toothpaste, etc.

The use of sodium fluoride, once thought to help treat osteoporosis, is now known to do the opposite. While it does increase bone mass in the spine, the bone is inferior in quality. Woman receiving the compound were three times more likely to fracture an arm, leg, or hip than if they took a placebo. As little as 16 mg of sodium fluoride a day produces abnormal bone marrow cells. Adequate natural fluoride is in all food and water sources.

Calcium supplements include calcium carbonate, calcium lactate, calcium citrate, and calcium gluconate. All of these dissolve well, so they are absorbed adequately.

The mineral, calcium, has to be combined with another substance in order that it might be maintained in a stable compound (calcium lactate is calcium plus lactic acid). Calcium carbonate includes a somewhat higher percentage of elemental calcium than do the other forms, but all are beneficial. (Calcium carbonate not only has the highest amount of calcium per tablet, it is the least expensive form.) As with most other supplements, calcium in powder form is more economical than in tablets.

It is important that there be sufficient acid in the stomach, in order to absorb the calcium and other minerals from the food. An increasing lack of this acid, with age, is part of the reason why older people do not absorb minerals as well and have poor bone structure. If necessary, take supplemental hydrochloric acid (betaine HCl) or lemon juice before each meal.

Horsetail extract is a good source of silica, a vital mineral in the formation of bones. Horsetail, along with oat straw, are consistently recommended as the best supplemental sources for absorbable silica. Boron and silica, both needed for good bone formation, are found in horsetail and oat straw. When your friends come over to visit, invite them to have some savory oat straw tea with you!

Alfalfa, comfrey, and slippery elm also help build strong bones.

Seaweed (Nova Scotia dulse or Norwegian kelp) is an good source of many major minerals, and an outstanding source of the trace minerals.

Kelp, dulse, blue-green algae, hijiki, and kombu are rich in minerals. Wheat grass juice, green drink, and liquid chlorophyll are also.

A summary of minerals which are needed includes silicon, boron, zinc, manganese, and copper, along with calcium. (The body also needs phosphorous and magnesium, but too much of either one inhibits the body from absorbing calcium. These minerals tend to compete with calcium for absorption in the blood and bone marrow. In the case of magnesium, though, normal supplementation should not be a problem.)

The following substances remove calcium and other minerals from the food before it is digested or leach it from the bones: white-sugar products, chocolate, caffeine products, and alcohol. Each of these are harmful to the bones.

Vinegar and meat acids also diminish bone mass. This is because other dietetic acids are later changed to alkaline forms after they leave the stomach, but not vinegar or meat acid (purines, uric acid, etc.)

It is well-known among medical professionals that sugar, coffee, caffeine, a high-meat diet, and smoking produce osteoporosis and similar bone problems.

One study of middle-aged men and women with symptomatic osteoporosis were almost exclusively heavy smokers.

A high-sugar diet causes calcium to be excreted in the urine. Excess sodium does this also.

Chocolate contains oxalic acid and prevents the absorption of calcium.

Women who drink coffee and soft drinks are more likely to have osteoporosis.

Certain foods contain oxalic acid in moderate amounts (the cabbage family, which includes kale, collards, almonds, and asparagus), and some contain it in still larger amounts (chard and, especially, spinach), and some in extremely large amounts (rhubarb, poke). Avoid oxalic acid foods, if you want strong bones in your old age.

Some foods contain the calcium inhibitor, solanine. These include tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, bell peppers, and tobacco.

Whole grains contain phytin, a substance which tends to bind with calcium and prevent its absorption and use by the system. Some suggest that you take calcium supplements at different times than grains, to insure its absorption. Those who are in desperate need for additional calcium will want to take this advice. They can take calcium powder near bedtime, when it is best absorbed. Calcium also aids in sleeping, for it tends to relax the muscles.

High phosphorous foods tend to compete with calcium and also combine with it, locking it out. Such foods include soft drinks, high-protein animal foods, and yeast products.

Cola drinks are especially harmful in this respect. Cola drinks, frankly, are a terrible concoction: (1) They contain an acid which is stronger than vinegar. (2) The acidity is masked by an excessive amount of sugar, which itself leaches calcium from bones. (3) Cola drinks are basically phosphoric acid, or a strong acid in a phosphorous medium. Phosphorous locks directly onto calcium, and carries it out of the body, making it unavailable to the body. A tooth placed in a glass of cola drink will melt away entirely within a few hours.

White-flour products contain chlorine, which is harmful to the bones.

Do not use foods with preservatives, because of their phosphorous content.

Drugs, such as diuretics, inhibit calcium assimilation.

Do not eat meat or vinegar if you want strong, healthy, joints. A diet high in animal protein tends to causes the body to excrete increased amounts of protein. Beef, for example, contains 25 times as much phosphorous as calcium! A high-meat diet will invariably lead to calcium deficiencies.

A study conducted by The Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that vegetarian women had significantly less bone loss than women who eat meat.

Avoid large meals and overeating. Chew your food well, so it will be properly absorbed.

The amount of protein a man eats may influence the level of calcium in his body. Tests at Wisconsin University, confirmed by other studies, revealed that a high-protein diet causes calcium loss. Eskimos, on their high-protein diets, had lower bone mineral levels than Americans. In the 60-90 age bracket, bone loss in meat eaters was 35%; in vegetarians it was 18%.

Excessive fat intake reduces bone mass. On test animals, the daily loss of calcium on the high-fat diet was more than four times as much as on the low-fat diet.

The harder the fat was, before eating, the more calcium loss it caused.

Exercise strengthens the bones. It causes the body to strengthen the insides of the bones, by increasing the webbing connections within them. Exercise definitely increases bone density. The body must have regular weight-bearing exercise, such as walking. When this occurs, more minerals are laid down in the bones, to strengthen them—especially where you need it the most: the bones of the legs, hips, and spine. Conversely, a lack of exercise accelerates the loss of bone mass. It is believed that lack of activity in old age is a factor in the increased levels of bone loss in those years.

Daily exercise outdoors provides vitamin D and stimulates osteoblastic cells. Exercise increases muscle tone, strengthens muscles, prevents disuse atrophy and further demineralization of the bones.

NASA research experts say the best activity for maintaining bone mass is gravitational: walking or jogging. When you are not pushing against gravity very much (because you are sitting in a chair or lying in bed), you are tending to lose bony material. Try to walk at least 20 minutes a day out-of-doors.

"Strain changes" are important in building and maintaining bone mass. How often you do it is more important than the intensity when it is done. Try to maintain the bounce of earlier years: keep that spring in your step; put a little strain on your body and muscles every so often. Do this more moderately as you age, but keep it up.

Bed rest tends to cause a negative calcium balance. Bones placed in plaster casts develop localized osteoporosis, regardless of the diet, hormonal balance, etc. It is called "disuse osteoporosis." Exercise is vital to healthy bones.

Too much calcium supplementation, during bone healing (when in bed or confined to a chair while recovering from a fracture, etc.), can induce kidney stone formation during the immobile period while the cast is on. The problem is that the person is not active enough at that time.

Acidophilus in the large bowel is needed for the digestion of food. It is also needed to produce vitamins B6, B12, and folic acid, all of which are needed to make bone mass. Lactic acid foods, such as sauerkraut, are very helpful.

Supplementing your diet with two herbs, suma and dong quai, will help regulate hormonal imbalances. Suma contains sitosterol. This increases natural estrogen production without stimulating an oversupply. Flaxseed oil also helps the body produce needed hormones.

Avoid chilling. Rats exposed to cold stress developed bone mass which was less dense.

Distilled water is an excellent way to obtain pure water. But keep in mind that you must also be including proper minerals in your diet, including some kelp or dulse, to replace the minerals lost by drinking distilled water. (Distilled water is chemically hungry, and locks onto some minerals in your body when you drink it.)

Do not take estrogen drugs because, although it increases bone mass somewhat, it also places the user at high risk for cancer. Estrogen therapy initially increases bone formation, but eventually leads to decreased bone mass and lack of response to the parathyroid hormone. Taking estrogen also increases the risk of breast cancer, stroke, and myocardial infarction (heart attack).

If you take the thyroid hormone or an anticoagulant drug, increase the amount of calcium you take by 25-50%.

Older people who take tranquilizers have 70% more hip fractures.

—Also see "Fractures" and "Osteoporosis" for additional information on factors affecting bone formation and loss.

ENCOURAGEMENT—God's faithful ones are in the majority. They have all heaven on their side, in the battle to fulfill God's will for their lives and resist temptation to sin. Go to Jesus and surrender to Him, and He can give you all the help you need.


BROKEN RIB


SYMPTOMS—A sharp pain, which often starts a day or two after the blow to the rib.

CAUSES—Frequently the rib is not broken, but only has, what is known as, a green splint. This is a hairline crack. Yet it is still very painful!

TREATMENT—

• Apply some cold water to the bruised area, so it will not swell too much.

• When the water applications have been removed and the skin carefully dried, cut about six pieces of 1" or 2" adhesive tape. Each piece should be 8"-10" long.

• Check the ribs, making sure the ends are properly together.

• Center the first piece of tape over the break, stretch firmly and apply to the skin. Repeat with the second piece, but at a right angle to the first piece. Continue until you have a 12-point set of tape lines, radiating from the center where the break occurred.

• Try to leave this on for about a month, so it will heal well. A skin rash may develop, but it will be far less a problem than caring for the break.

—For detailed information on rebuilding the bones, see "Bones, Strengthening."

ENCOURAGEMENT—Come into the presence of God with praise for the blessings you have, and you will be helped all the more as you present your requests for help.


BONE SPUR (Heel Spur)


SYMPTOMS—Possible pain at a place where the bone seems to protrude out from the body more than it should.

CAUSES—A bone spur is a pointed growth on a bone. Occurring most frequently on the heel, the bone sticks out and occasionally strikes against something, causing pain. Or there may be ongoing pain at the site.

Bone spurs can cause the formation of tiny, painful, tumors at the end of some of the nerves in that area.

Those with problems with the heel are generally overweight or middle-aged. But they are also common in those who have tendonitis, neuritis, arthritis, or alkalosis.

If bone pain is felt at an unusual bumpy, protruding, place, x rays will confirm whether the problem is arthritis, fracture, bone spur, or possibly primary or metastic bone cancer.

TREATMENT—

• Give vitamin C to bowel tolerance, along with vitamin E and magnesium.

• Correct the calcium/phosphorous ratio by taking 2,000 mg of calcium a day.

• Research indicates that plant-derived colloidal minerals tend to reverse spurs and calcium deposits, without surgery, by remodeling the bones.

• Do not eat meat, coffee, sugar, and alcohol. These upset the mineral balance in the body and retard healing.

• Temporarily avoid citrus fruit.

• A 1-2 week raw food fast can be helpful.

• Rubbing the bottom of the feet with ice will help draw healing blood to the area. In the early morning, walk barefoot outside on the wet grass. Then come in and dry off; make sure your feet are warm afterward.

• If the shoes are not comfortable, this can make the pain feel worse. Wear rubber heels on your shoes, not leather. Adding heel cushions to your shoes may reduce pain.

• Avoid walking on hard surfaces.

• If you usually walk or jog for exercise, try cycling or swimming instead.

• It may be necessary to have the spur surgically removed, if it is too painful or irritating.

ENCOURAGEMENT—Do not be enticed by seeming advantages or the advice of friends, to do wrong. Cling to God and obey His Written Word, and you will have the help that He sees is best for you.


OSTEOPOROSIS (Brittle Bones)


SYMPTOMS—There is skeletal pain (especially in the hip and back), deformities (such as a hump in the upper back), a stooping and rounding of the shoulders, increased susceptibility to fractures, and a reduction in height. Do you find that your clothes are getting bigger?

Unfortunately, symptoms are frequently not very obvious until the bones are quite weak.

CAUSES—Osteoporosis is a reduction in the total mass of bone, so that the remaining bone is fragile or "brittle." This weakening continues to increase. The bones actually become thinner. Bone formation is slowed; bone reabsorption increases, causing this loss of bone mass.

About 25-30% of all white females in the U.S. reveal symptoms of this condition, especially after menopause. Older men, above 50, also have it, but to a lesser degree than women. Osteoporosis is rare in black men, but somewhat more common in black women.

White women in America tend to lose 30-40% of their bone mass between 55-70.

But younger women should be watchful; research indicates that osteoporosis often begins early in life rather than just after menopause. (However, bone loss definitely accelerates after that time, due to a drop in estrogen levels.)

People with larger and denser bones tend to have less trouble with osteoporosis later in life. They started out with more bony structure.

A major cause is a lack of calcium intake over a period of years. Other causes include inability to absorb calcium as well, a calcium-phosphorous imbalance (too much phosphorous), lack of exercise, or lack of certain hormones.

Still other factors include late puberty, early menopause (natural or artificially induced), chronic liver or kidney disease, and the long-term use of anticoagulants, corticosteroids, and antiseizure medications. Smoking is an excellent way to damage your bones.

Compression fractures in the vertebrae occur as bone loss advances. This causes a loss in height and crowds the nerves, resulting in pain. Nerve damage is possible. Older women often have a hump in the upper back as a result.

Osteoporosis can also result in loose teeth which fall out, because the jawbone has weakened.

There are two types of this disease:

Osteoporosis, Type I, is thought to be caused by hormonal changes, especially a loss of estrogen.

Osteoporosis, Type II, traces its cause to dietary factors (lack of calcium, vitamin D, etc.), poor absorption, and intake of foods which block absorption.

TREATMENT—

• Sleep on a firm bed to give support to the spine.

• Do not lift heavy objects. When you do lift, do it carefully and properly.

• Avoid fatigue.

• Look around your house and yard and make necessary changes so you will be less likely to fall (placement of lights, rugs, treads on stairways, etc.)

—See "Bones, Strengthening" for what to do to prevent this problem and to rebuild after it occurs. Also see osteomalacia under "Rickets," which is sometimes misdiagnosed as osteoporosis.

ENCOURAGEMENT—Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, and you will be greatly blessed. Live like Jesus, and you will be sunshine in the lives of others.


RICKETS (Osteomalacia)


SYMPTOMS—Early symptoms include nervousness, numbness in the extremities, leg cramps, and painful muscle spasms, as well as restlessness, irritability, and profuse sweating.

Later indications include knock-knees, bowed legs, narrow rib cage, protruding breastbone, or scoliosis (abnormal curvature of the spine). There may be delayed walking, tetany, bony beads along the ribs, and decaying teeth.

In adults, in addition to the above symptoms, aching joints and generalized weakness may also occur.

CAUSES—Rickets is caused by a deficiency of vitamin D in children. When it occurs in adults, it is called osteomalacia.

It can result either from not obtaining enough vitamin D in the food or from not getting enough sunlight.

When sunlight strikes the skin, oils there are irradiated, reabsorbed into the blood stream and carried to the liver, where it is stored and sent throughout the body to strengthen the bones. Without this vitamin, the body cannot absorb calcium and phosphorous.

The bones cannot retain calcium, so they become soft. This results in deformities when the bones are required to support weight. Yet weight gain and growth will usually be normal.

The adult form, osteomalacia, generally occurs during pregnancy or breast-feeding. But it may also be caused by a kidney disease or defect, calcium deficiency, a lack of vitamin D, or inability to utilize it. It can also occur in those who do not obtain enough sunshine or whose bodies are so low in fat that they cannot produce the bile needed to absorb the vitamin D in the food.

A deficiency of vitamin C can make the bones less able to retain bone-building minerals.

Osteomalacia is often misdiagnosed as osteoporosis (which see).

TREATMENT—

—See "Bones, Strengthening" for information on how to make the bones strong again.

ENCOURAGEMENT—You can safely choose for your close friends only those who love God. But, whatever your lot in life, determine that you will do all you can to help and encourage all with whom you come in contact.

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