Falls and fragility fractures

Falls and fragility fractures

What is a fragility fracture?

Fragile bones are more likely to break. This is known as a fragility fracture. They happen when you fall over doing normal activities, such as making the bed.

Hip, arm, back and wrist fractures are the most common type. If you break a bone when you fall from a height of about six feet or less, it may be a sign that your bones are weak. Physiotherapist Marbella

What causes fragility fractures?


People who have a fragility fracture often have weak bones due to osteoporosis.  After the age of 35, bone loss slowly increases making bones weaker.

This is part of the natural ageing process.  Bone loss is faster in women for several years following the menopause. So older people, especially women, are more at risk.

If one of your parents broke a hip, you may be more likely to develop osteoporosis and fragile bones. Other risk factors include smoking, drinking more than three units of alcohol a day and not being active.

Getting older does not have to mean you are more likely to fall. If you are concerned about falling, see your GP who can refer you to health professionals, including physios, who can help.

How can physiotherapy help?

Well-designed exercise programmes involving strength, balance and functional exercises reduce falls when delivered in both group and home-based settings.

Physiotherapists are well placed to support people with complex health problems to engage in an individualised programme that is adapted to the right intensity, includes supervision if required, and is enjoyable.

A physiotherapist can help you improve your balance to reduce the risk of falling. This can help to make you feel more confident about going out and about.

Physios can also help you strengthen your bones. Bone is a living tissue that can be improved through some types of exercise. A physio can advise you on activities to suit your needs.

What will happen when I see a physiotherapist?

When you see a physio, they will assess you and give you advice. They may give you a physical treatment or refer you to a strength and balance class. Physiotherapist Marbella

Everything you tell the physio will be completely confidential. So that your physio can have a good look at how you move, they may need you to remove some clothes. It’s a good idea to dress comfortably and wear suitable underwear.