The role of physiotherapy in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis Academic Article uri icon


  • Osteoporosis is an increasing public health problem that causes loss of life and reduced quality of life in sufferers. Strategies to improve bone density and reduce the likelihood of falls are important in the prevention of osteoporosis. Physiotherapists have a role to play in this condition through exercise prescription, therapeutic modalities, specific techniques and education. Appropriate treatment goals can be established following a thorough assessment of signs and symptoms, risk factors for osteoporosis and functional status. Levels of bone density measured from dual energy X-ray absorptiometry can help guide patient management. Since the aim is to maximize peak bone mass in children and adolescents, participation in a variety of high-impact activities should be encouraged. In the middle adult years, small increases in bone mass may be achieved by structured weight-training and weight-bearing exercise. In the older adult years, particularly if osteopenia or osteoporosis is present, the aim is to conserve bone mass, reduce the risk of falls, promote extended posture, reduce pain, and improve mobility and function.

publication date

  • November 2000