Osteoporosis in the Spine

Osteoporosis in the spine, wrist and hip is caused by the bone not maintaining its density as we age. Women are more at risk than men. Women of post menopausal age are at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis following a reduction in oestrogen. 

The shape of an elderly person most recognised by the images used on a traffic sign, that of a rounded upper back, it as a result of osteoporosis in the spine.  While the condition itself is not painful, fractures occurring at the spine can cause pain or discomfort. 

How to treat Osteoporosis

The first line of defence, depending on severity, is nutrition or medication. Calcium and Vitamin D rich foods are encouraged, such as dairy foods, cheese, milk, yoghurt. Also, sardines, mackerel, walnuts are all good sources of calcium. Other necessary nutrients are magnesium, phosphorus and boron. Out of all these nutrients, phosphorus and boron are usually plentiful in most people diets, in the quantities that a body requires. But Calcium and Magnesium are usually deficient. 

Nuts, seeds and root vegetables are good sources of calcium and magnesium. Being in sunshine for 10 mins. a day will supply the body with enough daily Vitamin D. Boron can be found in vegetables, apples, pears, tomatoes and prunes.

Exercise and Osteoporosis in the spine

Exercise with a form of resistance is excellent for building bone density. The more the muscle pulls on the bone, the more density it creates. Any core exercises to support the spine and exercise with the resistance band pulling at the muscle of the spine is excellent; such as spine twist with a band performed in the Strength & Balance classes.

Back extensions have been shown to be beneficial to spinal osteoporosis, as it reduces the amount of fractures occurring at the spine.

DO NOT exercise whilst lying on the spine and curl the body off the floor. This is stressful for the spine and may incur further fractures.


A good balance of nutrition and appropriate exercise will be benefirfial to both bone density and pain reduction.


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