Osteoporosis (OP) refers to low bone mineral density and leaves with you with an increased risk of bone fracture.


· Affects 1 in 4 women aged over 75

· A hip fracture is the most common site for traumatic fracture

· An estimated 924,000 Australians have osteoporosis


Diagnosis of osteoporosis is performed used a DEXA scan (Dual energy x-ray absorptiometry) which looks at the bone mineral density in the spine and hips. Results are generated as a ‘T-Score’ and then compared to that of a health young adult. A score of less than 2.5 indicates osteoporosis.

Risk Factors:

· Female aged 50 or over

· Family History

· Prolonged corticosteroid use

· Smoking

· High alcohol intake

· A diet low in calcium

· Low body weight

· Sedentary lifestyle

· Low vitamin D

Physiotherapy Management:

Engaging in regular weight-bearing exercise is incredibly important in the management of osteoporosis. Physiotherapists can help design resistance-based programs aimed towards improving strength, balance and ultimately bone density.

When exercising, you create stress to the bone matrix which results in the bone adapting to cope with that higher load. In contrast, a sedentary lifestyle leads to reduced muscle mass and therefore less stress on the bone itself.

The research shows that regular weight-bearing or resistance-based exercise can promote bone health. As previously stated, exercise needs to stress the bone to change the bone matrix and therefore individuals should complete exercises which are challenging or new. This may include increasing weights or regular program review every 4-6 weeks.

In addition to physiotherapy and exercise, modification to diet and behaviour (i.e., smoking and alcohol intake) can help in management of osteoporosis.

If you live with osteoporosis or are concerned about your bone density, be sure to chat to one of our physiotherapists about what’s right for you.

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