Osteoporosis is a skeleton disease characterized by low bone mineral density and deterioration of bone tissue, resulting in an increased risk of fragility fracture. Osteoporotic fractures can be caused by a minimal trauma. After this type of fracture, patients normally lose their functional capacity, and exercise might help.
The objective of this review is to evaluate if, in adults with a history of osteoporotic vertebral fracture, exercise interventions of at least 4 weeks can reduce the risk of another fragility fracture versus no intervention or placebo. Secondary objectives were to evaluate the effect of exercise to prevent incident falls; reduce pain; and improve physical performance, muscle function, and bone mineral density.
Nine studies with a total of 749 participants were analysed. They differed in frequency, intensity, and duration of interventions, as well as in the follow-up periods. The majority of published data refers to healthy older adults and, thus, may not be appropriate for individuals with vertebral fractures; types of exercises and their intensity may need to be modified.
In summary, the studies produced moderate quality evidence that exercise probably improves physical performance in individuals with vertebral fracture. No other conclusions can be made regarding the benefits of exercise on incident fragility fractures, falls, adverse events, and other patient-reported outcome measures like pain and quality of life for individuals with a history of vertebral fracture.
Comment by María Soriano Micò