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Osteoporosis is a very common condition that can affect your overall health and longevity. About 54 million Americans have osteoporosis or low bone density (placing them at increased risk for osteoporosis), according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation. About one in two women and up to one in four men age 50 and older will break a bone due to osteoporosis, studies show.

Osteoporosis means “porous bone.” When bones lose their density, they weaken, making them more likely to break. This progressive condition can cause lasting pain and reduced quality of life.

The Bone Health Program at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital can help people of all ages and abilities who want to prevent, control or manage this potentially dangerous disease.



Comprehensive Services

Our multidisciplinary team of experts includes physicians who specialize in physical medicine and rehabilitation, physical therapists, occupational therapists and registered dietitians trained in the management of osteoporosis and related conditions, such as osteopenia.

An individualized treatment plan is developed following a thorough bone health evaluation, including:

  • Comprehensive history and physical examination
  • Bone density screening
  • Nutrition screening
  • Balance, strength and fitness assessments
  • Fall-risk assessment, including an optional home-safety assessment

These diagnostic methods will allow your team to recommend an integrated plan of care to optimize your bone health and ensure you can safely live the life you want:

  • Therapy and education to address strength, posture and body mechanics
  • Evidence-based home exercises shown to improve bone density
  • Nutritional education to help restore bone health and improve overall wellness
  • Activities of daily living training
  • Recommendations to maintain a safe home environment
  • Medical treatment that may include prescriptions to manage pain and rebuild bone

Bone Health Fast Facts

Osteoporosis is the underlying cause of about 2 million fractures every year. People with the condition can break a bone in a fall or even from small movements, such as bumping into furniture.

Half of all women and two in five men will develop osteoporosis during their lifetime.

  • A man older than 50 is more likely to break a bone due to osteoporosis than he is to get prostate cancer.
  • A woman’s risk of breaking a hip due to osteoporosis is equal to her combined risk of breast, ovarian and uterine cancer.

Osteoporosis is a common condition, but almost 80 percent of older Americans who suffer broken bones have not been tested.

Risk factors:

  • Aging
  • Female (postmenopausal)
  • Family history
  • Thin, small or petite body frame
  • Health conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, overactive thyroid gland
  • History of a broken bone (fracture)
  • Use of certain medicines, such as corticosteroids or anticonvulsants
  • History of falls

Risks you may be able to change:

  • Woman with estrogen deficiency
  • Too little intake of calcium, vitamin D and other nutrients
  • Too little weight-bearing, muscle-strengthening and balance exercise
  • Smoking or past history of smoking
  • Three or more alcoholic drinks per day
  • Excessive intake of coffee, cola or other caffeinated beverages


If any of the risk factors listed above pertain to you, talk to your doctor about osteoporosis and ask when you should have a bone density test.

If your bones have been weakened by osteoporosis, you may experience:

  • Back pain
  • Loss of height
  • Stooped posture

What you can do to protect your bones

  • Get enough calcium and vitamin D, and eat a well-balanced diet
  • Engage in regular exercise
  • Eat foods that are good for bone health, such as fruits and vegetables