Exercise is an important part of managing osteoporosis. Your doctor may recommend physical therapy. Your physical therapist may teach you how to safely do weight-bearing exercises, which can slow bone loss. Exercising will help maintain your muscle strength, which is necessary to avoid falls. You may also learn exercises to help maintain flexibility and improve balance.
Hip protectors have been recommended to help prevent hip fractures from osteoporosis. They look like a girdle or underwear with pads on both hips. The pads may help reduce the force of a fall. But a summary of several studies concluded that hip protectors do not prevent hip fractures in people who live at home. And they may not be helpful for people in nursing homes or other institutions. One problem with studying hip protectors is that people do not like wearing them even if they might help protect the hips. Hip protectors are bulky under clothing. They can irritate the skin and are hard to fit properly.
Some women use alternative treatments to try to reduce their risk of osteoporosis. Soy products may help reduce the chance of broken bones due to osteoporosis. One large study showed that postmenopausal women who ate an average of 11 grams of soy protein a day had a lower risk of fracture. (As an example, 1 cup of soy milk contains 7 to 11 grams of soy protein.) There is not enough evidence to show if other natural products, such as black cohosh, work to reduce bone loss.