The idiopathic, accelerated phase of bone loss associated with postmenopausal and surgically induced menopausal women is rapidly becoming a large public health problem due to the great expense involved in caring for those with vertebral, hip and distal radial fractures. The method of therapy with the least incidence of ill effects is physical exercise. This is a valid, appropriate alternative, but is, however, the most overlooked and unappreciated form of treatment. Studies have shown that bone mineral content can be increased, not just maintained as with the other forms of therapy. The question may then be asked: what about exercise therapy for women already clinically diagnosed? Would exercise increase their risk of fracture, and if not, what forms of exercise would be the most effective? Although osteoporosis prevention and treatment is a multifactorial process, it appears that extension exercises are one form of physical activity necessary to prevent further fracture once it has occurred. A review of the literature will address this conservative noninvasive approach to preventive and ongoing treatment of involutional osteoporosis.
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