Understanding Osteoporosis -- Symptoms

Medically Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, MS, DO on July 30, 2021
1 min read

If you’re over 50, and you fall and break something, consider it a warning sign. A break at your age may be the first sign of weak bones from osteoporosis.

Each year, 1.5 million older Americans get a broken bone, or "fracture," because of the disease. Half of all women over 50, and a quarter of all men, will have an osteoporosis-related fracture sometime over the remainder of their lives.

People often aren’t aware that they have osteoporosis until they have a fracture. But there are occasionally symptoms of the disorder. They could include:

  • Backache
  • A gradual loss of height and an accompanying stooped posture
  • Fractures of the spine, wrist, or hip
  • You develop a backache or sudden severe back pain, without obvious injury.
  •  You break a bone after a relatively mild trauma.

They may recommend a bone density test to see if your injury could be due to osteoporosis.

Show Sources


National Osteoporosis Foundation.

National Institutes of Health.

NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases National Resource Center.

Department of Health and Human Services: "Bone Health and Osteoporosis: A Report of the Surgeon General, 2004."

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

International Osteoporosis Foundation: “Had a Wrist Fracture? Over 50? Get Tested for Osteoporosis.”

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