The term “osteoporosis” comes from the Greek words for “bone” and “porous.” It is a disease characterized by increasing bone loss which can lead to fractures, height loss and a hump-backed appearance. One in two women, and one in five men, over the age of 65 will suffer at least one bone fracture due to osteoporosis.
The most serious risk for people with osteoporosis is hip fracture following a fall. But osteoporotic bones are so weak that it doesn’t always require a fall to cause injury – even everyday activities can result in a fracture. Spinal compression fractures, for example, are the most common osteoporosis-related injury and can be triggered simply by bending over.
Osteoporosis is not curable, but it is preventable. You can maintain your bones’ health at any age by eating a balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D, exercising, not smoking, and limiting alcohol. Regular bone density testing can detect osteoporosis early, before you suffer a fracture.