“To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funny bone.”


Around 3 million people in the UK have Osteoporosis. Its a problem that can lead to bones becoming fragile and may cause a bone to fracture more easily. It can then lead to pain and disability. Osteoporosis is when the mesh-like structure of bones weaken and become fragile. Fractures might occur anywhere, but they’re most common in the spine, hips, and wrists.






Just because you have Osteoporosis it doesn’t mean that your bones will break, but you will be at greater risk of a fracture. Osteoporosis doesn’t change the healing process either. Bones will heal in around 6-8 weeks if they’re aren’t any complications, just as in anyone else.

Hip fractures from osteoporosis are most prevalent in the 70 – 80 age group. They can heal resulting in no disability, but it does depend on how healthy the person was before the fracture.

Broken wrists in people with osteoporosis are often the first sign that someone has this. They are known as Colles’ fractures. They often occur in middle aged women who have put their hand out to protect themselves on falling.

Spinal fractures in osteoporosis are often referred to as compression fractures. Apart from in unusual cases, these spinal fractures don’t damage the spinal cord and don’t cause symptoms like paralysis. These are most likely to occur in the upper or lower back.



Spinal fractures can cause the vertebrae to become wedge-shaped. This may cause the individual to develop quite a rounded/stooped appearance in their spine.

So there can be knock-on effects to this in mobility, discomfort, finding suitable clothes, effects on adjacent body systems. Possibly problems with digestion, problems with breathing, possibly issues with stress incontinence. This is due to the lack of space for the body’s internal organs, and a change in position may not allow things to function properly.

PREVENTION

There is a need to take plenty of weight-bearing exercise, and eat a balanced and calcium-rich diet.

It isn’t just a female problem. Other risk factors might be:

Excessive alcohol.
People at risk of falling.
Genes and Ethnicity. Caucasian and Asian people are more likely to suffer.
Smoking.
Low Body Weight.
Previous Fractures.
Some medications may be predisposing.

If you think you may need help, seek advice.