Bone Health

According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, about 54 million Americans have osteoporosis or low bone density (meaning they’re at increased risk for osteoporosis).  

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. 

About one in two women and up to one in four men age 50 and older will break a bone due to osteoporosis. The Bone Health Program at Mary Free Bed can help people of all ages and abilities who want to prevent, control or manage this potentially dangerous disease. 

Patient walking with a walker and receiving guidance on fracture prevention.

What to expect

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. 

Together, we’ll help you develop an individualized treatment plan 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 help us create an integrated plan of care to optimize your bone health and ensure you can safely live the life you want.

It may include: 

  • 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 
  • Training on the activities of daily living 
  • Recommendations to maintain a safe home environment 
  • Medical treatment that may include prescriptions to manage pain and rebuild bone. 

Why treatment is important

Osteoporosis is the underlying cause of about two 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. 

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

  • Back pain 
  • Loss of height 
  • Stooped posture 

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

Nurse practitioner addressing bone health maintenance and osteoporosis management for aging adults.

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: 

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

If you recognize yourself in the lists above, talk to your doctor about osteoporosis and ask when you should have a bone density test.

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. 
Doctor conducting a comprehensive bone health evaluation with a patient.

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