Musculoskeletal Disorders in Elderly (Osteoporosis)



Osteoporosis is one of the most common disorders to be found in elderly populations. The literal meaning of osteoporosis is “porous bones”. This bone-weakening disorder has long been neglected in India. But now, with growing awareness, it is fast emerging as a public health problem of major concern among Indian populations.


  • Osteoporosis is a skeletal disorder characterized by compromised bone strength (bone density and bone quality) predisposing to an increased risk of fracture.1
  • Definition based on World Health Organization criteria (Table 7.1): of Geriatric Physiotherapy-CD.pdf

Risk Factors

Genetic factors

  • White/Asian > blacks
  • Family history
  • BMI < 19

Lifestyle factors

  • Poor physical function
  • Low muscle strength
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Smoking
  • Highly trained athletes
  • Lack of exposure to sunlight


  • Corticosteroids
  • Sedatives
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Heparin
  • Lithium

Nutritional factors

  • Low calcium intake
  • Poor nutrition

Endocrine disorders

  • Thyrotoxicosis
  • Hyperparathyroidism

Inflammatory disorders

  • Ankylosing Spondylitis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis

GIT disorders

  • Malabsorption
  • Chronic liver disease

Women at risk

  • Early menopause
  • Amenorrhoea
  • Estrogen deficiency


  • History of fracture
  • Recurrent falls
  • Frailty
  • Decreased cognition
  • High rates of dementia
  • Depression



2 thoughts on “Musculoskeletal Disorders in Elderly (Osteoporosis)

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