Complementary options to reduce falls in osteoporosis patients

According to Drs. Julie Lin and Joseph Lane from the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, “Nonmedical management of osteoporotic patients has a critical role in a comprehensive treatment plan.”

Here are the highlights from their Medscape article complemented by other sources.

Exercise programs to improve balance and strength

  • Tai chi and physical therapy programs improve balance and build strength.
  • The results from the Sydney Tai Chi Trial are summarized here.

Calcium and vitamin D

  • These are “critical supplements.”
  • Vitamin D deficiency is “epidemic.”
  • Both must be taken to get the benefits.

Fall prevention

  • Modify your surroundings to reduce risk.
  • Minimize clutter.
  • Alter slippery surfaces.
  • Install grab bars and other supports in tubs and near toilets.
  • has more recommendations.
  • Review medicines that might increase the risk of falling.
  • High-risk drugs include sedatives, heart medicines, analgesics, and antidepressants.

The bottom line?
The authors conclude that combining these treatments with drugs, orthoses (braces), and kyphoplasty (surgical procedure) can have a significant role in minimizing fracture risk.

12/29/07 11:02 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.