Osteoporosis is defined as low bone mineral density caused by altered bone microstructure, ultimately predisposing patients to low-impact, fragility fractures .

Osteoporotic fractures lead to a significant decrease in quality of life, increasing morbidity, mortality, and disability. Over 50% of postmenopausal white women will have an osteoporotic-related fracture. Only 33% of senior women who have a hip fracture will be able to return to independence. In white men, the risk of an osteoporotic fracture is 20%, but the one-year mortality in men who have a hip fracture is twice that of women. Black males and females have less osteoporosis than their white counterparts, but those diagnosed with osteoporosis have similar fracture risks .

Early-stage symptoms are difficult to define.

Advanced-stage symptoms are:

  • Loss of height. Compressive fractures in spine may make you become shorter. This is one of the most obvious signs of osteoporosis.
  • Breakages from falling. Fractures are one of the most common signs of fragile bones. They may occur as a result of falling or from light movements such as walking off the kerbside. Some osteoporosis fractures may even be caused by heavy coughing or sneezing.
  • Pain in the back or neck. Osteoporosis may cause compressive fractures of the spine. These fractures may be very painful as shrunken vertebrae may compress the nerves protruding from the spinal column. The pain may vary from low sensitivity to exhausting pain.
  • Hunched posture or fracture. Compression of the vertebrae may cause slight twisting of the upper back. A curved back is referred to as kyphosis and may cause pain in the back and neck. This may even affect breathing due to extra pressure on air passages and reduced expansion of the lungs during inhalation.

Physiotherapy identifies the main cause of the problem and helps in selecting the right treatment methods. The treatment used depends largely on issues identified during your first consultation.