Fractures and falls with osteoporosis
- Avoiding fractures is important if you have osteoporosis.
- Many fractures are caused by falls, and you can reduce your risk of falling.
- There are effective medicines to reduce the risk of fractures and repeat fractures.
Avoiding fractures is the main concern for those with osteoporosis. Once you have had one fracture, a second or third is more likely. Yet many people do not know they have osteoporosis until they have a fracture.
A proper assessment from your doctor can help you find out if you are at a high risk of fracture and can take into account all the risk factors that apply to you.
Most importantly, your doctor can prescribe you a medicine to reduce that risk. Your doctor can also recommend other add-on measures to your osteoporosis medicine therapy to optimise your bone health, for example, quitting smoking, getting enough calcium or vitamin D, starting an exercise program or checking your risk of falls.
Learn more about diet and exercise for osteoporosis.
Falls are a common cause of fracture and can be prevented
Many fractures are caused by falls – people aged 65 years and older are most likely to be affected. Falls can cause serious injury and damage self-confidence and independence.
Preventing falls is an important way to reduce your chance of fractures. Your doctor, physiotherapist, or occupational therapist can advise on ways to reduce your risk of falls that could cause fractures. These can include:
- exercises to improve muscle strength
- 'fall-proofing' your house (eg, securing loose floor rugs, and electrical or phone cords, or using a non-slip mat for the bath or shower, checking poor lighting)
- checking your vision
- ensuring the medicines you take are not affecting your balance
- checking your strength and whether a walking aid would help you.