10 Major Symptoms of Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a serious medical condition, especially for people over 65, because it can turn relatively minor trauma into a dangerous injury. It’s caused by low bone mass and can make it difficult for new bone tissue to develop.

Because osteoporosis is so dangerous, it’s important to know some of its key symptoms, which include…

10. Loss of Height

Shrinking, or a loss of height, is one of the first symptoms of osteoporosis. While getting a little shorter might not seem that bad, it is actually a sign of decreasing bone mass.

Why Osteoporosis Causes Height Loss

With osteoporosis, bones become weaker and less dense over time. One of the key functions of our bones is supporting our bodies, but when bones weaken, they often compress, which leads to a loss of height.

A low bone density can cause painful symptoms, like the following…

9. Back Pain

Osteoporosis frequently causes back pain, and as the condition progresses, the pain intensity can increase, even during resting hours.

Why Osteoporosis Causes Back Pain

Back pain related to osteoporosis is usually due to a lowering of bone density. As osteoporosis progresses, even the weight of the torso can become too much for bones to bear, which ultimately can lead to back pain or injury.

In addition to back pain, people with osteoporosis can experience pain in other parts of the body…

8. Neck Pain

The neck supports the weight of the head and is constantly moving throughout the day. As osteoporosis sets in, neck pain can become more prominent.

Why Osteoporosis Causes Neck Pain

When the bones in the neck become less able to handle the stress of supporting the head, pain sets in. Again, this is likely due to a decrease in bone density.

The neck and the back aren’t the only areas that can see an uptick in pain from osteoporosis, though…

7. Sudden or Unexpected Pain

Osteoporosis can cause sudden or unexpected pain throughout the body. This can be a result of a fracture or simply the condition alone.

Why Osteoporosis Causes Sudden Pain

Our legs, hips, and arms are all potential sites for increased osteoporotic pains. These move the most and carry the most bone weight. Plus, as osteoporosis weakens bones, the bones become strained and feel an onset of pain. 

Osteoporosis can change our bones in ways that aren’t always painful, though… 

6. Stooped Posture

In severe osteoporosis cases, a person might develop a stooped posture. Though not necessarily painful, poor posture can still put a significant amount of strain on surrounding bones. It’s also closely related to our first osteoporosis symptom, height loss.

Why Osteoporosis Causes this Symptom

When back vertebrae begin to curve, someone with osteoporosis will likely start to either feel pain, develop a poor posture, or both. It’s not a fun symptom, but it’s almost inevitable.

Low bone mass can also lead to injuries, one of the most painful symptoms of osteoarthritis…

5. Frequent or Unexpected Broken Bones

People living with osteoporosis can expect an increase in how often they experience broken or fractured bones. This condition can turn even minor injuries into serious ones. 

Why Osteoporosis Causes Broken Bones

Our bones are very strong and can usually withstand a good amount of trauma, but osteoporosis lowers this strength and makes bones more susceptible to injury. Broken bones happen more frequently when a person’s bones are unable to create new bone tissue.

One of the less well-known symptoms of osteoporosis has to do with your breathing habits… 

4. Shortness of Breath

As mentioned earlier, osteoporosis can cause slouching and bad posture, both of which can make it more difficult for a person to breathe properly. So, it’s no surprise that shortness of breath is a serious sign of osteoporosis.

Why Osteoporosis Causes Shortness of Breath

As the bones in the chest start to compress down into each other, the chest cavity has less space for the lungs to expand. This means that as osteoporosis advances, patients often run out of breath. 

All of these changes in the body and bones is caused by… 

3. Low Bone Density 

Healthy bones are dense, which helps with structural integrity. We rely on the strength of our bones for everything from posture to withstanding injury. Osteoporosis lowers this density. 

Why Osteoporosis Causes this Symptom

Healthy bones constantly grow new bone tissue and replace old, dead bone tissue. With age, bodies frequently clear out old bone tissue faster than they can create new tissue. This, in turn, causes bones to become less dense and more vulnerable to fractures and injuries. 

As far as unexpected symptoms go, this next symptom might come as a shock… 

2. Receding Gums

Osteoporosis might constitute a trip to the dentist because believe it or not, it can result in a receding gum line. Because our teeth grow out of and rest in jawbones, gums are not immune to osteoporotic harm.

Why Osteoporosis Causes this Symptom

Osteoporosis lowers bone mass in the jaw just like it does in the rest of the body. This causes teeth to rapidly change positions in the jaw, which then exposes more of the tooth and causes the gum line to recede. So, if you experience this symptom, call your dentist right away.

As bones lose their strength, muscles also face trouble… 

1. Low Grip Strength

Osteoporosis is well-known for its effect on bones, but it also changes how muscles operate. 

Why Osteoporosis Causes Muscle Weakness

Muscles rely on bones to function properly. After all, many muscles pull on bones to create movement. But as bones get weaker, they can’t withstand much of this work, which in turn, can cause muscle weakness.

Thankfully, though, there are plenty of osteoporosis treatments available.

Final Thoughts 

Osteoporosis is a common health condition with a variety of treatment options. People with osteoporosis can try diets, nutritional supplements, exercise plans, and medications to help relieve osteoporosis symptoms. The first step in treatment is contacting your doctor.

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