Osteoporosis is a disease where decreased bone strength increases the risk of a broken bone. It is the most common reason for a broken bone among people who are old.Bones that commonly break include the back bones, the bones of the forearm, and the hip.Until a broken bone occurs there are typically no symptoms. Bones may weaken to such a degree that a break may occur with minor stress or spontaneously. Chronic pain and a decreased ability to carry out normal activities may occur following a broken bone.
In the frail elderly, activity to improve balance and confidence may be valuable in fall prevention. Studies have shown that individuals who practice tai chi have a 47% decrease in falls and 25% the hip fracture rate of those who do not  and that tai chi can be beneficial for retarding bone loss in weight-bearing bones in early postmenopausal women.Nearly 75% of all hip fractures occur in women and about 25% of hip fractures in people over 50 occurs in men. Hip fractures cause the most morbidity with reported mortality rates up to 20-24% in the first year after a hip fracture and greater risk of dying may persist for at least 5 years afterwards.