Osteoporosis, Falls, and Broken Bones

Falls Prevention Awareness Day is a great time to learn about the link between fall-related injuries and osteoporosis.

The good news is it is never too late to identify and treat osteoporosis or prevent falls to avoid broken bones.

Speak to your healthcare provider about how to reduce your risks for osteoporosis and falls, about getting a bone density test, and about medications, if necessary, to treat osteoporosis.

How are falls and osteoporosis linked?

  • 1 out of 5 falls among older adults causes serious injury such as a broken bone. If we can prevent falls, we can prevent broken bones of the hip, spine and wrist.
  • Vitamin D deficiency is a risk factor for both falls and broken bones. Daily vitamin D and calcium supplements are associated with reduced falls and fewer broken bones in older adults. Speak with your health care provider about how much vitamin D and calcium is right for you.
  • Regular physical activity and exercises that combine weight, muscle strengthening and balance helps reduce the risk of falls and actually improves the health of your bones.

Take action to prevent osteoporosis and falls

  • Eat a balanced diet rich in calcium.
  • Take vitamin D supplements
  • Get regular physical activity.
  • Don't smoke.
  • Limit your alcohol.
  • Check your home for safety.
  • Talk with your doctor about a screening test.

What is osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a disease that causes bones to become thin, weak, and more likely to break. Although you can break a bone in any part of your body, the most common broken bones associated with osteoporosis are the spine, wrist, and hip.

For more information

National Association of Chronic Disease Directors
NCOA - Center for Healthy Aging
National Osteoporosis Foundation