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Osteoporosis is a disease that means you have less bone mass and strength. Bone is living tissue that is constantly being broken down and replaced. Osteoporosis occurs when the creation of new bone doesn’t keep up with the loss of old bone. It weakens the bones and you have a greater risk of unexpected bone fractures. It is usually not discovered until the weakened bones cause painful fractures. The fractures occur in the hip, wrist and spine.

Signs & Symptoms

There typically are no symptoms in the early stages of bone loss. But once your bones have been weakened by osteoporosis, you might have signs and symptoms that include:

  • Back pain
  • Loss of height over time
  • Change in posture (stooping or bending forward)
  • Bone fractures
  • Shortness of breath


Your bone density can be measured by a machine that uses low levels of X-rays to determine how solid the bones of the spine, hip or wrist are. In most cases, only a few bones are checked — usually in the hip and spine.