Some signs you have osteoporosis can include:
- Back pain, caused by a fractured or collapsed vertebra
- Gradual loss of height
- Being stooped
- A bone fracture that occurs much more easily than expected
Healthy bones should be able to withstand a fall from standing height, so a bone that breaks in these circumstances is known as a 'fragility fracture'.
The most common injuries in people with osteoporosis are:
- wrist fractures
- hip fractures
- fractures of the spinal bones (vertebrae).
A simple cough or a sneeze may cause the fracture of a rib or the partial collapse of one of the bones of the spine.
A fractured bone can be serious, especially in an older person, depending on where it occurs, and can lead to long-term disability. For example, a hip fracture may lead to long-term problems with mobility.
Osteoporosis usually doesn't cause pain unless a bone is broken as a result of the condition. Although not always painful, spinal fractures are the most common cause of chronic pain associated with osteoporosis.
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Last reviewed: September 2017