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What is Osteoporosis?

It is a condition in which bones become weak and brittle.

What causes osteoporosis?

There is no specific cause for osteoporosis. Several risk factors have been identified:

  • Increasing age
  • Being a female
  • A family history of osteoporosis
  • Having previously had bone fractures after minor falls
  • Height loss of 3cm or more as you have aged
  • Being under- or overweight (your risk of osteoporosis is increased if you have a thin build or are obese)
  • Low intake of calcium
  • Low vitamin D levels
  • Lack of weight-bearing physical activity
  • Being a smoker
  • Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol
  • Other medical conditions, such as thyroid problems, coeliac disease, rheumatoid arthritis or chronic (ongoing) liver or kidney disease
  • Taking certain medicines, such as corticosteroids

Can physiotherapy help people with osteoporosis?

Yes. Physiotherapist-directed treatment programs can help prevent osteoporosis if you’re at risk of developing the condition. It is also an effective key part of the treatment plan for people already diagnosed with osteoporosis.

What signs would show that I have osteoporosis?

  • Back pain resulting from compressed fracture of the spinal vertebra

  • Gradual loss of height

  • Stooped posture

  • Bone fracture that occurs much more easily than expected

What are the common injuries people with osteoporosis have?

  • Wrist fractures

  • Hip fractures

  • Fractures of the spinal vertebrae

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