Along with bone-strengthening medications, preventing falls is a crucial component of fracture prevention in people with osteoporosis. There are a number of simple steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of falling.

  • First, make sure that your floors are clear of any obstacles such as area rugs or extension cords.
  • Hallways, stairwells, and bathrooms should be well lit (especially at night).
  • Avoid walking in stocking feet and have hand rails installed along both sides of staircases to make stairs safer.
  • Grab bars in showers and bathtubs are highly recommended.

Be sure that your eyeglasses or contact lens prescriptions are up to date. Review your medications with your doctor; some medications can increase the risk of falls by impairing balance and alertness. In some cases, lightly padded hip protectors may be recommended; these can reduce the risk of a hip fracture in the case of a fall.

Another way to reduce the risk of falls is to improve your muscle strength through resistance training and your balance through yoga or tai chi exercises. Check with a physical therapist or certified trainer to get recommendations that are appropriate and safe for you.

Publication Review By: Lee H. Riley III, M.D., and Suzanne M. Jan de Beur, M.D.

Published: 18 Nov 2011

Last Modified: 05 Feb 2015