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Osteoporosis is considered a silent disease because there are often no telltale symptoms until a fracture occurs. In the advanced stages of the disease, you may be alerted by pain or notice symptoms like loss of height. Talk to your doctor immediately if you are experiencing any pain, or have concerns about these symptoms.
A fracture is one of the most common signs of fragile bones caused by osteoporosis. Fractures can occur with a fall or even a minor movement such as stepping off a curb. Osteoporosis fractures can even be triggered by a strong sneeze or cough.
Osteoporosis can cause compression fractures of the spine. These can be very painful because the collapsed vertebrae may pinch the nerves that radiate out from the spinal cord. The pain symptoms can range from minor tenderness to debilitating pain.
The compression fractures in the spine can also cause a loss of height. This is one of the most noticeable symptoms of osteoporosis.
The compression of the vertebrae may also cause a slight curving of the upper back. A stooped back is known as kyphosis, or more commonly as dowager’s hump. Kyphosis can cause back and neck pain and even affect breathing due to extra pressure on the airway.
Osteoporosis symptoms can cause pain and discomfort. Most of the time they do not warrant a trip to the emergency room. You should see a doctor immediately if you are experiencing any debilitating pain, particularly of the back, neck, hip, or wrist. You may have a fractured bone that requires evaluation and treatment.
Written by: the Healthline Editorial Team
Published on: Sep 26, 2014
Medically reviewed on: Dec 01, 2016: Gregory Minnis, DBT
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