Positive effects of physiotherapy on chronic pain and performance in osteoporosis

Osteoporos Int. 1998;8(3):215-21. doi: 10.1007/s001980050057.


The aim of this placebo-controlled, randomized, single-masked study was to establish the effects of a 10-week ambulatory exercise programme for osteoporotic patients on pain, use of analgesics, functional status, quality of life, balance and muscle strength. Fifty-three ambulatory postmenopausal women with at least one spinal crush fracture and pains within the last 3 years were randomized for physiotherapeutic training twice a week for 10 weeks or no training. The training included general training of balance and muscle strength, with stabilization of the lumbar spine. The participants were tested at baseline, week 5 and week 10 with a balance test, muscle strength test and questionnaires on pain, use of analgesics, functional status and quality of life. Twelve weeks after the supervised training had finished (week 22) they answered the same questionnaires. The study groups were comparable at baseline. The training group had a significant reduction in use of analgesics (p = 0.02) and pain level (p = 0.01) during the training period. Distribution of functional score improved; the improvement was reduced at week 22. Quality of life score improved significantly throughout the study (p = 0.0008), even after week 22. Balance improved non-significantly (p = 0.08). Quadriceps muscle strength improved significantly after 5 weeks (p = 0.04). Back extensor muscle strength improved almost significantly (p = 0.09). In conclusion, this training programme for osteoporotic patients improved balance and level of daily function and decreased experience of pain and use of analgesics. Quality of life was improved even beyond the active training period.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Analgesics / administration & dosage
  • Back Pain / rehabilitation*
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Fractures, Spontaneous / rehabilitation
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoporosis, Postmenopausal / rehabilitation*
  • Physical Therapy Modalities*
  • Postural Balance
  • Quality of Life
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Spinal Fractures / rehabilitation*


  • Analgesics