Connect with others who understand.

sign up log in
About MyOsteoTeam

Osteoporosis Symptoms

Updated on February 02, 2020

Article written by
Kelly Crumrin

Osteoporosis is a silent disease as it develops. There is no pain, nor are there other symptoms as bone breaks down and becomes more fragile. For most people, a fracture is the first symptom of osteoporosis.

Treatments can help build bone mineral density and prevent fractures.

Types of Osteoporosis Symptoms

Fractures

Fractures are the most dangerous consequence of osteoporosis. Hip, spine, and wrist fractures are most common. Some people with osteoporosis experience shoulder, upper arm, forearm, or rib fractures. Osteoporosis raises the risk for all types of fractures. Bones also tend to heal more slowly in those with osteoporosis. Once a person with osteoporosis has experienced one fracture, they have a significantly increased risk of additional fractures.

Pain

Osteoporosis itself does not cause pain. However, osteoporotic fractures can cause severe chronic pain. Pain related to osteoporotic fractures is most common in the neck or back. Some people with osteoporosis experience sciatica – pain that shoots down the leg – due to a nerve in the back being pinched by the collapse of fractured vertebrae.

Deformity and Mobility

In the spine, weakened vertebrae can begin to collapse, leading to loss of height, a stooped posture, and sometimes a rounded hump in the upper back known as kyphosis. Spine and hip fractures can lead to mobility problems that interfere with daily activities, making it harder for someone with osteoporosis to be independent.

General Symptoms

Some people with osteoporosis report depression, anxiety, and trouble sleeping, which are common in all chronic illnesses.

Osteoporosis can result in losing teeth due to bone loss in the jawbone.

Serious Complications of Osteoporosis

Hip fractures are a very serious complication of osteoporosis. Hip fractures require surgery and can be life-threatening. When a hip is fractured, blood clots can break off and enter the bloodstream, where they may travel to the arteries of lungs and cause potentially fatal blockages known as pulmonary emboli. After a hip fracture, recovery often requires remaining immobile for weeks or months while you heal. During this time, you will lose more muscle and bone mass due to lack of exercise. Immobility also increases your risk for developing pneumonia and urinary tract infections. Some people never recover full mobility after a hip fracture. The risk of death increases in the year after a hip fracture.

Condition Guide

Resources

External resources

MyOsteoTeam resources

FAQs

What symptoms lead to a diagnosis of osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis cannot be diagnosed based on symptoms alone, but a fracture after age 50 will cause a doctor to suspect osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is diagnosed based on the results of bone mineral density scans. Read more about how osteoporosis is diagnosed.

Should I be screened for osteoporosis?
According to guidelines set by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, all women over 65 should receive a bone mineral density scan to screen for osteoporosis. The frequency of repeat screenings should depend on an individual’s risk factors for osteoporosis. The task force does not recommend preventative screenings for men.

At what age do most people first experience osteoporosis symptoms?
A fracture is often the first symptom of osteoporosis. Most osteoporotic fractures are diagnosed in people over 50, in women after menopause. The risk for fractures increases with age.

What are the early signs of osteoporosis?
Most people are not aware they have osteoporosis until their first fracture occurs. Some people notice they are getting shorter, or that their posture is changing as the spine begins to curve.

Do men and women experience osteoporosis differently?
Although women are twice as likely to develop osteoporosis as men, men often have worse outcomes from osteoporotic fractures than women do. For instance, a man’s risk for dying after experiencing a hip fracture is twice that of a woman.

Kelly leads the creation of content that educates and empowers people with chronic illnesses. Learn more about her here.

A MyOsteoTeam Member said:

Osteoporosis does cause me pain

On a daily basis

posted 7 days ago

hug

Recent articles

Osteoporosis and fatigue causes and tips for management
Article written by Laurie Berger If you live with fatigue and osteoporosis, your fatigue may be...

Osteoporosis and Fatigue: Causes and Tips for Management

Article written by Laurie Berger If you live with fatigue and osteoporosis, your fatigue may be...
Coronavirus
Article written by Kelly Crumrin According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention...

Canceling Is Kindness: Keeping Safe From COVID-19 With Osteoporosis

Article written by Kelly Crumrin According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention...
Mht infographic symptoms myosteoteam
There's so much more to osteoporosis than meets the eye. Below the surface, living with osteo can...

Osteoporosis: What People Don't See (Infographic)

There's so much more to osteoporosis than meets the eye. Below the surface, living with osteo can...
Mht af justdiagnosed olderwoman
We all respond differently to information about our health. After learning you have osteoporosis,...

You’ve Just Been Diagnosed With Osteoporosis. Now What?

We all respond differently to information about our health. After learning you have osteoporosis,...
Setting intentions for 2020 with osteoporosis
Eat healthier. Exercise more. Learn a new skill. Pay off a credit card. Many of us have made...

Setting Intentions for 2020 With Osteoporosis

Eat healthier. Exercise more. Learn a new skill. Pay off a credit card. Many of us have made...
Osteo logo
Maximize MyOsteoTeam by sharing a little bit about yourself. This article will help you get...

Getting Started on MyOsteoTeam

Maximize MyOsteoTeam by sharing a little bit about yourself. This article will help you get...
Your answers  the worst osteoporosis advice
We asked and you answered! We posted this question: What bits of "advice" do you wish people...

Your Answers: The Worst Osteoporosis Advice (Infographic)

We asked and you answered! We posted this question: What bits of "advice" do you wish people...
Osteoporosis and chronic stress
Article written by Laurie Berger Living with osteoporosis can be stressful. Fractures, worries...

Osteoporosis and Chronic Stress

Article written by Laurie Berger Living with osteoporosis can be stressful. Fractures, worries...
Mht ad whitelies v1
Have you ever told a white lie to be kind, to protect the feelings of others, or maybe to simply...

Telling White Lies

Have you ever told a white lie to be kind, to protect the feelings of others, or maybe to simply...
Sayingnoaf
Yes. No. I mean – maybe? Well, okay. Have you ever wanted to be able to say "no" without feeling...

Are You Afraid to Say No?

Yes. No. I mean – maybe? Well, okay. Have you ever wanted to be able to say "no" without feeling...
MyOsteoTeam My osteoporosis Team

Two Ways to Get Started with MyOsteoTeam

Become a Member

Connect with others who are living with osteoporosis. Get members only access to emotional support, advice, treatment insights, and more.

sign up

Become a Subscriber

Get the latest articles about osteoporosis sent to your inbox.

Not now, thanks

Privacy policy
MyOsteoTeam My osteoporosis Team

Thank you for signing up.

close