Bone Health Special Interest Group

The primary purpose of the Bone Health SIG is to:

  • Develop and apply research and knowledge to
    • Promote, maintain, and preserve bone health through the life span
    • Reduce age-related bone loss
    • Reduce fracture risk
  • Manage and treat bone loss, osteoporosis and fractures
  • Expand understanding of bone and its unique response to mechanical loading and exercise
  • Increase public awareness of the role of physical therapy in the promotion of bone- healthy exercise and lifestyle and the management and treatment of bone loss and fracture
  • Develop guidelines for successful clinical practice.
  • Inform all physical therapy practice to incorporate knowledge of bone into everyday practice and exercise prescription, with emphasis on bone building exercise in youth and safe, non- compressive core and balance exercises for older adults.
There are many opportunities for participation, so please consider getting involved! To participate or learn more about current SIG activities and projects, contact the SIG chair.

Bone Health SIG News

posted: July 12, 2018

A Global Call to Action (CtA) on Fragility Fractures, an initiative led by the Fragility Fracture Network of the Bone and Joint Decade, has been published in Injury, the International Journal of the Care of the Injured. The Academy of Geriatric Physical Therapy is proud to be among the 80+ international organizations endorsing the CtA. The full text of publication is available here:

The global population is currently undergoing the greatest demographic shift in the history of humankind. A direct consequence of this “longevity miracle” – if left unchecked – will be an explosion in the incidence of chronic diseases afflicting older people. In the absence of systematic and system-wide interventions, this tsunami of need is poised to engulf health and social care systems throughout the world. Osteoporosis, falls and the fragility fractures that follow will be at the vanguard of this battle which is set to rage between quantity and quality of life.

By 2010, the global incidence of one of the most common and debilitating fragility fractures, hip fracture, was estimated to be 2.7 million cases per year. Conservative projections suggest that this will increase to 4.5 million cases per year by 2050. While all countries will be impacted, in absolute terms, Asia will bear the brunt of this growing burden of disease, with around half of hip fractures occurring in this region by the middle of the century. And the associated costs are staggering: in Europe in 2010, osteoporosis cost Euro 37 billion, while in the United States estimates for fracture costs for 2020 are US$22 billion.

If our health and social care systems are to withstand this assault, a robust strategy must be devised, and an army of health professionals amassed to deliver it. This strategy must transform how we currently treat and rehabilitate people who have sustained fragility fractures, in combination with preventing as many fractures from occurring as possible. The latter can be achieved in part by ensuring that health systems always respond to the first fracture to prevent second and subsequent fractures. In short, let the first fracture be the last.

A major step towards making this aspiration a reality has occurred today with publication of a Global Call to Action to improve the care of people with fragility fractures. Endorsed by 81 leading organizations from around the world, covering the fields of medicine and nursing for older people, orthopaedic surgery, osteoporosis and metabolic bone disease, physiotherapy, rehabilitation medicine and rheumatology, the case for transformation of the following aspects of care has been made:

  • The surgical and medical care provided to a person hospitalized with a hip fracture, a painful fracture of the spine and other major fragility fractures.
  • Prevention of second and subsequent fractures for people who have sustained their first fragility fracture.
  • Rehabilitation of people whose ability to function is impaired by hip fractures and other major fragility fractures, to restore their mobility and independence.

The Call to Action was conceived at an annual congress of the Fragility Fracture Network (FFN), when six leading organisations came together to determine how they could most effectively collaborate to improve fracture care globally. Lead author of the publication, Professor Karsten E. Dreinhöfer said “Fragility fractures can devastate the quality of life of people who suffer them and are pushing our already overstretched health systems to breaking point”.  Dreinhöfer added “As the first of the baby boomers are now into their seventies, we must take control of this problem immediately before it is too late”.

The Global Call to Action illustrates that for the first time, all the leading organisations in the world have recognized the need for collaboration on an entirely new scale. “The Academy of Geriatric Physical Therapy has a long history of promoting bone health to improve population health and we are proud to be among the charter group of global endorsers. The publication of this CtA along with the unprecedented level of consensus shared by societies across the world provides an opportunity to drive widespread implementation of best practice in the United States and globally,” Dr. Greg Hartley, President of the Academy of Geriatric Physical Therapy.

The Global Call to Action proposes specific priorities for people with fragility fractures and their advocacy organisations, individual health workers, healthcare professional organisations, governmental organisations and nations as such, insurers, health systems and healthcare practices, and the life sciences industry. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared the years 2020-2030 to be the “Decade of Healthy Aging” and later this year the United Nations (UN) will hold its Third High-level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases. The authors highlight the opportunity for WHO and UN to consider the recommendations made in the Global Call to Action as an enabler for their global initiatives.


Fragility Fracture Network Central Office

c/o MCI Schweiz AG

Schaffhauserstrasse 550

8052 Zürich



Key contacts:

Kate Mangione, PT, PhD, FAPTA

Member, Physio Special Interest Group

[email protected]

posted: June 11, 2018

posted: June 11, 2018

posted: March 27, 2018

Bone Health SIG 2018 Annual Report:





Bone Health SIG Member Resources

Why Start A Community Exercise Program

Please watch Sherri Betz, PT DPT, Chair of the BGSIG in this featured podcast.


Stand TallTM DVD

A new Stand TallTM DVD by Wendy Katzman, DSc, PT, OCS has been produced the UCSF Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Center. To order the video, contact [email protected]


What Are Evidence-Based Exercise Programs and Why Are They Important?

Download Here


BONE HEALTH REFERENCES -Updated February 2017

Download Here


Do It RIGHT! and Prevent Fractures!
The Bone-Healthy Way of Life and Exercise

American Bone Health would like to acknowledge the hard work and determination of the author Sherri Betz, PT, GCS, in bringing this important information to the public. We thank the models Jan and Lee Prawitz, Sue Walters and Joan White, who donated their time to show others how to keep their bones fracture free. We recognize and thank Nancy Abodeely, PT, OCS, for reviewing the final content to ensure we communicated safe and effective activities and exercises. American Bone Health is proud to have the endorsement of the Bone Health Special Interest Group of the Academy of Geriatric Physical Therapy, American Physical Therapy Association, for this work.


Sherri Betz presentation of the National Osteoporosis Foundation Webinar: Safe Pilates and Yoga for Bone Health now available.


Bone Health Publications

Contact us with contributions to this site as we build resource material and references on Bone Health and Osteoporosis. References will become part of a Resource Guide on Osteoporosis


Bone Health and Fracture Prevention for Older Adults

Adults who are physically active and do regular exercise have less likelihood of experiencing a fracture. The right exercises and good habits can maximize peak bone mass achieved in youth, maintain bone in adult hood, and reduce bone loss related to aging. Both muscle strengthening and weight-bearing exercise can build and maintain a healthy skeleton. Exercise can also preserve strength and stability to reduce falls and spinal stress that result in fractures. Exercise with hand or cuff weights, gym equipment, or elastic tubing stimulates bone and improves muscle strength. The effect on bone is local or specific to the site of the muscles doing the work. Weight bearing exercise is another way to improve bone density and stay fit. Brisk walking, step aerobics, stair climbing, and jumping are examples. Resistance exercise and weight bearing should be done regularly to provide lasting benefits. Exercises that improve muscle strength, core stability, balance and coordination will help prevent falls. Exercises to improve posture or strengthen the "core" protect against spine fractures resulting from stress on weakened bone. Proper posture and safe body mechanics during all activites will protect the spine against the compressive effects of bending and kyphosis, a rounded spine. Kyphosis is associated with a stooped appearance and loss of height. Fractures of the spine are greater in those with kyphosis regardless of whether there is a history of osteoporosis or fracture. The kyphosis can be reduced with exercises that strengthen and lengthen the spine. Postural supports and bracing are helpful for some individuals. If you have osteoporosis, are at high risk for a fall or fracture, or have a medical condition affecting your ability to exercise, do not start an exercise program without first consulting your physician and a physical therapist.


Bone Health Links of Interest

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