Summary: A consensus process was conducted to develop exercise recommendations for individuals with osteoporosis or vertebral fractures. A multicomponent exercise program that includes balance and resistance training is recommended.
Introduction: The aim was to develop consensus on exercise recommendations for older adults: (1) with osteoporosis and (2) with osteoporotic vertebral fracture(s).
Methods: The Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation method was used to evaluate the quality of evidence and develop recommendations. Outcomes important for decision making were nominated by an expert panel and patient advocates. They included falls, fractures, bone mineral density (BMD), and adverse events for individuals with osteoporosis/vertebral fractures, and pain, quality of life, and function for those with vertebral fracture. Meta-analyses evaluating the effects of exercise on the outcomes were reviewed. Observational studies or clinical trials were reviewed when meta-analyses were not available. Quality ratings were generated, and informed the recommendations.
Results: The outcome for which evidence is strongest is falls. Point estimates of the effects of exercise on falls, fractures, and BMD vary according to exercise type. There is not enough evidence to quantify the risks of exercise in those with osteoporosis or vertebral fracture. Few trials of exercise exist in those with vertebral fracture. The exercise recommendations for exercise in individuals with osteoporosis or osteoporotic vertebral fracture are conditional. The panel strongly recommends a multicomponent exercise program including resistance and balance training for individuals with osteoporosis or osteoporotic vertebral fracture. The panel recommends that older adults with osteoporosis or vertebral fracture do not engage in aerobic training to the exclusion of resistance or balance training.
Conclusions: The consensus of our international panel is that exercise is recommended for older adults with osteoporosis or vertebral fracture, but our recommendations are conditional.