Of course, everyone needs a little downtime. But a bone fracture may give you a lot more downtime than you want. Fortunately, there are several ways you may speed up the process of bone healing. With one or more of these remedies and a little luck, you may get back to your regular routine before you know it. So, let’s take a look at the best self-help and professional remedies that may speed up your bone healing.
Self-help remedies to speed up bone healing
Healing a broken bone takes time. Your timeline for full recovery depends on several factors, such as your age, overall health, degree of rest and immobilization, nutrition, and blood flow to the bone. By applying some of the following self-help remedies, you might be able to speed up your bone healing.2
Because supplements often carry nutrients that may augment your diet, they may have a positive impact on the time it takes to heal your broken bone.
Bones are largely composed of protein. Therefore, taking protein supplements may help your bone rebuild and heal. Especially for people with a protein deficiency, protein supplements may be the difference between the desirable formation of a solid callus rather than a rubbery callus around the fracture.2
Besides protein, bones are composed of minerals. The most important minerals are calcium, silicon, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc. Consuming supplements with these minerals may heal your bones faster because they may speed up the callus formation and increase the production of bone protein.2
Finally, the intake of certain vitamin supplements may be essential for rebuilding your broken bone. Vitamins promote most of the cellular processes and reactions that occur in bones. Therefore, vitamins C, D, and K play vital roles in the fracture healing process, and vitamin B is essential for the production of cellular energy.2
Do exercise, don’t smoke
Once your doctor clears you to put your body weight on the area or limb that was broken, you’re ready for some exercise. Exercise improves blood flow to the injured site. Besides that, exercise helps to rebuild the muscles around the injury, and ultimately speed up the process of bone healing. Always follow your doctor’s instructions regarding rest and physical movement to avoid any problems in healing.2
Smoking during the healing process may impair blood flow to the injury site and delay bone healing. Sometimes, smoking may even lead to a stage where the bone doesn’t heal at all; this is referred to as a nonunion fracture.2
Professional ways to speed up bone healing
Having second thoughts about these self-help remedies? Luckily for you, there are several professional ways in which you may speed up the process of bone healing.
Physical therapy is often recommended at the final stage of your road to full recovery. Physical therapy helps you in lots of ways, but most importantly it helps you:3
- Reduce stiffness
- Strengthen weakened muscles
- Improve your range of motion
- Reduce pain
- Improve the function of your body affected by the fracture
All of these benefits can be a result of the exercises you will perform with a physiotherapist.
Bone stimulators such as EXOGEN
Some fractures are frustratingly slow to heal on their own. EXOGEN Ultrasound Bone Healing System is an FDA-approved option that helps promote faster bone healing. This system uses safe, low-intensity ultrasound waves to amplify the natural bone healing process.
In clinical trials, EXOGEN’s Ultrasound Bone Healing System accelerated the time to heal bone fractures by 38%4,5 and promoted bone healing in 86% of nonunion fractures6 that had failed to heal for at least a year after the injury.7*
Daily treatment with EXOGEN amplifies your natural bone healing by three actions:†
- Stimulation: sends ultrasound waves through skin and soft tissue to the site of the fracture
- Activation: ultrasound waves activate cell receptors critical for the cellular processes of bone repair8
- Upregulation: ultrasound waves increase the expression of genes and proteins essential for bone repair9-14
With treatments that take just 20 minutes a day, EXOGEN provides a safe treatment that facilitates faster healing of certain bone fractures,* and helps restore healing to fractures that have failed to heal. Just use the small, lightweight and easy to use device on a daily basis. This is essential for EXOGEN to work properly. The device automatically records each treatment, so you can track your daily progress.
Want to know more about our product? Read more about how EXOGEN´s bone stimulator works here, and find out if it’s right for you!
*No major complications or adverse effects were reported during these trials
†In vitro performance may not be indicative of performance in humans.
- Sfeir C, Ho L, Doll BA, Azari K, Hollinger JO. Fracture repair. In: Lieberman JR, Friedlaender GE, eds. Bone Regeneration and Repair. Humana Press. 2005;22-41. https://doi.org/10.1385/1-59259-863-3:021.
- Silva JC. Bone fracture repair: procedures, risks, and healing time. Last updated July 10, 2018. medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322419.php.
- Fractures (broken bones). Last updated October 2012. https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases--conditions/fractures-broken-bones.
- Heckman JD, Ryaby JP, McCabe J, Frey J, Kilcoyne RF. Acceleration of tibial fracture-healing by non-invasive, low-intensity pulsed ultrasound.◦J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1994;76(1):26-34. doi: 10.2106/00004623-199401000-00004.
- Kristiansen TK, Ryaby JP, McCabe J, Frey JJ, Roe LR. Accelerated healing of distal radial fractures with the use of specific, low-intensity ultrasound. A multicenter, prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.◦J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1997;79(7):961-73. doi: 10.2106/00004623-199707000-00002.
- Nolte PA, van der Krans A, Patka P, Janssen IM, Ryaby JP, Albers GH. Low-intensity pulsed ultrasound in the treatment of nonunions. J Trauma. 2001;51(4):693-703. doi: 10.1097/00005373-200110000-00012.
- Zura R, Della Rocca GJ, Mehta S, et al. Treatment of chronic (>1 year) fracture nonunion: heal rate in a cohort of 767 patients treated with low-intensity pulsed ultrasound (LIPUS). Injury. 2015;46(10):2036-41. doi: 10.1016/j.injury.2015.05.042.
- Tang CH, Yang RS, Huang TH, et al. Ultrasound stimulates cyclooxygenase-2 expression and increases bone formation through integrin, focal adhesion kinase, phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, and Akt pathway in osteoblasts. Mol Pharmacol 2006;69(6):2047-57.
- Naruse K, Sekiya H, Harada Y, et al. Prolonged endochondral bone healing in senescence is shortened by low-intensity pulsed ultrasound in a manner dependent on COX-2. Ultrasound Med Biol. 2010;36(7):1098-108.
- Lai CH, Chen SC, Chiu LH, et al. Effects of low-intensity pulsed ultrasound, dexamethasone/TGF-ß1 and/or BMP-2 on the transcriptional expression of genes in human mesenchymal stem cells: chondrogenic vs. osteogenic differentiation. Ultrasound Med Biol. 2010;36(6):1022-33.
- Leung KS, Cheung WH, Zhang C, Lee KM, Lo HK. Low intensity pulsed ultrasound stimulates osteogenic activity of human periosteal cells. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2004;(418):253-9.
- Coords M, Breitbart E, Paglia D, et al. The effects of low-intensity pulsed ultrasound upon diabetic fracture healing. J Orthop Res. 2011;29(2):181-8.
- Sant’Anna EF, Leven RM, Virdi AS, Sumner DR. Effect of low intensity pulsed ultrasound and BMP-2 on rat bone marrow stromal cell gene expression. J Orthop Res. 2005;23(3):646-52.
- Schofer MD, Block JE, Aigner J, Schmelz A. Improved healing response in delayed unions of the tibia with low-intensity pulsed ultrasound: results of a randomized sham-controlled trial. BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2010;11(1):229. doi: 10.1186/1471-2474-11-229.