The Bone Health Care Team
By knowing who in the healthcare system is part of your bone health team, you will be better able to maintain your bone health. Note: the health professionals listed below may not all be available in all communities.
- Physician: Your primary medical resource. Together you can develop a strategy to maximize your chances of improving your bone health. Your physician is responsible for referring you to other members of the healthcare team, if necessary.
- Nurse Practitioner: Provides health education and registered nursing care in public health units and through home visits. Nurse practitioners often act as the first level of contact and screening for those with osteoporosis.
- Bone Mineral Density Technologist: Responsible for testing your bone mineral density. If you are on medication for your osteoporosis, you should have bone mineral density tests at regular intervals (one to three years) to measure the effectiveness of the medication
- Clinical Nurse Specialist: Works in the hospital, acting as advocate for the patient and liaison between the patient and physicians.
- Pharmacist: Can discuss your medications and how to get the most out of them. They can tell you about possible side effects. Try to get all your prescriptions filled at the same pharmacy, as the pharmacist will check your records to make sure that there are no significant drug interactions between different medications you are taking that may have injurious results.
- Dietitian: Will work with you to put together a diet to help maintain bone, recover lost bone mass and to aid in the treatment of the disease.
- Physiotherapist: Will help you develop an exercise program focusing on posture, muscle strength, endurance and stamina, balance and fall prevention, as well as stretching and flexibility.
- Occupational Therapist: Will assess you in order to develop ways of handling activities of daily living that work best for you. This assessment may include equipment or home adaptations to assist in maintaining your independence. Can also help you accept and adapt to necessary changes in your lifestyle.
- Rheumatologist: Treats certain auto-immune diseases and musculoskeletal disorders.
- Endocrinologist: Can assist in the diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis.
- Gerontologist/Geriatrician: Studies physical, mental and social changes in older people.
More about Living Well with Osteoporosis:
Information on Falls and Daily Living
Information on Fractures and Resources