A broken bone can have a serious impact on a person's life. It can cause disability, pain, or loss of independence. It can make it harder to do daily activities, such as walking, without help. This can make it harder to participate in social activities. It can also cause severe back pain and deformity.
Osteoporosis can occur in any bone, but is most common in the hip, wrist, and spine (also called vertebrae). Vertebrae are important because these bones help the body to stand and sit upright.
Osteoporosis in the vertebrae can cause serious problems for women. A fracture in this area can occur from day-to-day activities, like climbing stairs, lifting objects, or bending forward.
Symptoms of osteoporosis in the vertebrae include:
- Sloping shoulders
- Curve in the back
- Height loss
- Back pain
- Hunched posture
- Protruding abdomen.
For women, bone loss is fastest in the first few years after menopause, and it continues into the postmenopausal years. Osteoporosis can develop when bone resorption occurs too quickly or when bone replacement occurs too slowly. Osteoporosis is more likely to develop in women who did not reach optimal peak bone mass during their bone-building years.
Men in their 50s do not experience the same rapid loss of bone mass that women do in the years following menopause. By age 65 or 70, however, men and women lose bone mass at about the same rate, and the absorption of calcium, an essential nutrient for bone health throughout life, decreases in both sexes. Excessive bone loss causes bone to become fragile and more likely to fracture.