Having osteoporosis does not mean you'll definitely have a fracture.
There are measures you can take to reduce your risk of a fall or break.
Making some simple changes at home can help reduce the risk of breaking a bone in a fall.
Check your home for hazards you may trip over, such as trailing wires. Make sure rugs and carpets are secure, and keep rubber mats by the sink and in the bath to prevent slipping.
Read more about preventing falls.
Healthy eating and exercise
Make sure you have a balanced diet that contains all the food groups to give your body the nutrition it needs.
Find out more about food for healthy bones.
Your GP or nurse may be able to answer any questions you have about living with osteoporosis and can reassure you if you're worried.
You may also find it helpful to talk to a trained counsellor or psychologist, or to someone at a specialist helpline. Your GP surgery will have information about these.
Some people find it helpful to talk to others with osteoporosis, either at a local support group or online.
Free osteoporosis helpline
The Royal Osteoporosis Society has a free telephone helpline run by nurses with specialist knowledge of osteoporosis and bone health.
Call 0808 800 0035. You can also email them at email@example.com.
Recovering from a broken bone
Broken bones can take weeks or months to heal. Having osteoporosis does not affect how long this takes. Recovery depends on the type of fracture you have. Some fractures heal easily, while others may need more intervention.
Hip replacements are often needed after hip fractures, and some people may lose mobility as a result of weakened bones.
Osteoporosis can cause a loss of height due to a broken bone in the spinal column. This means the spine is no longer able to support your body's weight, which causes a hunched posture.
This can be painful when it happens, but it can also lead to long-term pain. Your GP or nurse may be able to help with this.
During the healing process, you may need the help of a physiotherapist or occupational therapist so you can make as full a recovery as possible.
Coping with pain
Everyone experiences pain differently, so what works for you may differ from what works for someone else.
There are different ways to manage pain, including:
- heat treatment, such as warm baths or hot packs
- cold treatment, such as cold packs
- simple relaxation techniques
You can use more than one of these techniques at the same time to manage your pain – for example, you could combine medicine, a heat pack and relaxation techniques.
Working and money
You should be able to continue working if you have osteoporosis. It's very important that you remain physically active.
This will help keep your bones healthy.
However, if your work involves the risk of falling or breaking a bone, get advice from your employer, GP and the Royal Osteoporosis Society about how to limit your risk of having an accident or injury that could lead to a bone break.
There are various benefits available to people with an illness or disability. The social care and support guide has more information on:
Help for carers
You may also be entitled to certain benefits if you care for someone with osteoporosis.
Read more about benefits for carers.
- Social care and support guide
- GOV.UK: benefits and financial support if you're caring for someone
- Money Helper
Page last reviewed: 13 October 2022
Next review due: 13 October 2025