Osteoporosis is a bone disease in which the density and quality of bone regeneration cannot keep up with the body. With osteoporosis the body may lose too much bone, make too little bone or both. Our bones are a living tissue that constantly break down and regenerate. With osteoporosis this natural cycle cannot keep up and the bones in the body ultimately become weak and brittle to the point where they may break from a fall or even from coughing and/or sneezing. As we age our bone cells begin to dissolve bone matrix and new bone cells deposit.
When looking at the bones of a person suffering from osteoporosis they appear to be “porous” and have holes/spaces in them compared to a healthy bone, which looks like a honeycomb. The loss of bone occurs silently, unnoticed and progressively until something more severe such as falling happens. Oftentimes there are no symptoms until a bone is fractured. Once a bone has been weakened some symptoms may occur such as: back pain, loss of height, stooped posture and fragile bones. The most common injuries occur at the hip, spine or wrist and the likelihood of these injuries occurring increase with age. People over the age of fifty are most susceptible to developing osteoporosis. Medications, a healthy diet, proper water intake, and strength training exercises can all help prevent bone loss or strengthen already weak bones.