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Talk to your doctor about bone health and whether you need a bone mineral density (BMD) test – A BMD test tells you how strong your bones are. All women older than 65 should have a BMD test at least once. But women with certain risk factors for thinning bones, such as smoking, may need a BMD test sooner. If your bones aren't strong enough, your doctor can prescribe medicine to help make them stronger and harder to break.
Work with your doctor to develop a fitness plan – Regular physical activity makes your muscles stronger. This will help you maintain balance and keep from falling. Recent research from the Centers for Disease Control has shown that tai chi may be especially helpful for getting back your balance and keeping it.
Know your medicine – Find out about the possible side effects of medicines you use. Some medicines might affect your coordination or balance. If so, ask your doctor what you can do to reduce your chances of falling. Or, ask if a different medicine might be better for you.
Explore other publications and websites
Falls and Older Adults — This publication provides information on how to prevent falls and the risk factors associated with falling and being an older adult. Additional information is also provided on what to do if you happen to fall.
Guidelines for Preventing Falls (Copyright © American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons) — This publication explains how wearing shoes that fit properly can help prevent falls from occurring.
Once Is Enough: A Guide to Preventing Future Fractures — This fact sheet will help you better understand the relationship between fractures and osteoporosis, so you can take action now to strengthen and protect your bones. It also explains the osteoporosis evaluation procedure.
Preventing Falls and Related Fractures — This publication explains how osteoporosis can progress without symptoms and how falls are especially dangerous for those with low bone density.
Connect with other organizations
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
American Association of Retired Persons (AARP)
National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, CDC
National Institute on Aging, NIH, HHS
Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases National Resource Center, NIAMS, NIH, HHS
Content last updated August 12, 2010.
Resources last updated August 12, 2010.
A federal government website managed by the Office on Women's Health in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
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