Posture Exercises


When a person develops kyphosis, the posture becomes stooped or hunched. The back also becomes stiff and difficult to straighten. Figure 1 shows that bending forward compresses (squeezes) the front of the spine. This makes it more likely to break a bone in the spine. The figure also shows that leaning or bending backward separates the spine and reduces the chance of a broken bone.

Note the area of “strain” (in Figure 1) may cause muscle discomfort. This figure shows that a person with osteoporosis can gently lean back to comfortably stretch out and strengthen the back.

Try the following two exercises to keep your spine more limber and flexible. This will help you to hold your back straight. These exercises can also make your bones stronger.

Head Presses



  • To reduce tightness in your spine and the muscles of your neck and upper back.

  • To help get your head lined up over your shoulders rather than stooped forward.


  • Sit with your middle and lower back well-supported in a chair.

  • Move your head straight back as far as possible.

  • Keep your chin level with the floor and look straight ahead. Do not tilt your chin or forehead.

  • Hold your head back in this position for 3 or 4 seconds.

  • Then relax back into your normal posture for a second or two.

  • Now repeat 5 times. Do this exercise several times a day.

Standing Back Bends



  • To stretch your spine and muscles for greater flexibility and movement.

  • Directions:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your buttocks against a counter or heavy table that won’t move.

  • Place your hands at your waist. Pinch your shoulder blades back as if you are trying to squeeze a pencil between them. Then lean back slightly but stay comfortable.

  • Your head should stay in its normal position. The underneath part of the chin should be level with the ground. Your eyes should be looking straight ahead.

  • Hold for a slow count of 5.

  • Then relax back into your normal posture.

  • Now repeat 5 times.

  • Repeat several times daily.

NOF thanks Richard Baldwin, P.T., for contributing to this article. Mr. Baldwin is owner and director of Downeast Rehabilitation Associates in Rockport, ME. He is the osteoporosis support group leader of the NOF Coastal Support Group and an NOF health professional member.


Emotional Aspects of Osteoporosis

When you first learn that you have osteoporosis, you may become anxious. Especially if the diagnosis stems from a broken bone that resulted from a minor accident or no accident at all. This might make you afraid to continue your daily activities, but it's important to manage your anxiety and find ways to continue doing what makes you happy.

Steps to Estimate Your Calcium Intake

We've created a chart to help you estimate the amount of calcium you get from food on a typical day. It will also help you figure out how much more calcium you need to get each day from other food sources or supplements.

Just for Men

Although women are at greater risk, men get osteoporosis too. If you think you can’t get osteoporosis because you’re a man, think again. As our population ages, even more men will get the disease.