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Vertebral Compression Fracture (cont.)

Prevention

The most important method of preventing vertebral compression fractures is to prevent osteoporosis.

  • Eat a well-balanced diet.
  • Regular exercise, including weight-bearing and strength-training exercise, has been shown to increase the strength of bone.
  • Stop smoking. Tobacco smoke has been shown to weaken bone.
  • All people at risk for osteoporosis should take calcium and vitamin D supplements.
  • In women past menopause, estrogen replacement therapy is likely indicated to prevent osteoporosis. Medications, such as alendronate (Fosamax) and risedronate (Actonel), have been shown to reduce the development of osteoporosis when taken along with appropriate doses of calcium and vitamin D. They have also shown benefit in decreasing the rate of bone loss in those who already have osteoporosis.
  • If you are on daily steroid therapy for another medical condition, discuss with your doctor methods of reducing the dosage of your steroid medication as possible because decreasing the doses reduces the chance of developing osteoporosis. In some medical conditions that require steroid therapy, other medications may be useful in reducing your steroid dosage.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/21/2013
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