Learning Objectives

Bone Mass

  • Identify the pathophysiology and epidemiology of osteoporosis and low bone mass.
  • Explain bone biology and its relationship to osteoporosis and fragility fractures.
  • Identify the modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors associated with osteoporosis and low bone mass.
  • Understand and explain differences between the various diagnostic and screening processes used for osteoporosis and low bone mass, and how the results are used in clinical decision making.
  • Explain how peak bone density, the female athlete triad, and epigenetics relate to osteoporosis and low bone mass.
  • Describe the association and prevalence of osteoporosis and low bone mass in men.


  • Identify the most common fragility fractures and their impact on individuals.
  • Explain the biomechanics of vertebral compression fractures, their clinical signs and symptoms, and how they are managed, both surgically and non-surgically.
  • Discuss fracture prevention and home safety tips with patients.


  • Identify the most common pharmacological interventions and their possible adverse side effects.                      
  • Describe the newly released APTA Clinical Practice Guideline “Physical Therapist Management of Patients with Suspected or Confirmed Osteoporosis”, and understand how to select appropriate, evidence-based physical therapy evaluation and interventions specific to this population.


  • Understand how to create and organize safe and effective group exercise classes for the optimum learning of the individual participants.
  • Demonstrate exercises that can be immediately implemented in your plan of care.
  • Be able to explain the necessary precautions in the practice of yoga and Pilates.
  • Promote wellbeing and whole-body approaches into each therapy session using imagery, mindfulness, and the Feldenkrais Method.
  • Understand how low-magnitude vibration platforms may affect bone loss.


  • Identify the role of physical therapy in nutrition counseling.
  • Discuss the key nutrients needed to support skeletal health as well as the emerging role of the microbiome in osteoporosis.
  • Understand and provide food-based/functional nutrition recommendations to the physical therapy client with osteoporosis and low bone mass.
  • Explain the “calcium paradox” and understand the use of supplements in the treatment and prevention of osteoporosis and low bone mass.