Osteoporosis is a disease in which the bones become weak, brittle or porous. This can lead to an increased risk of fractures and may result in chronic pain. The most common symptom is back pain, but osteoporosis can also cause hip fractures and other injuries that require hospitalization or surgery. Osteoporosis occurs when there is a significant decrease in bone mass density because the body breaks down old bone faster than it makes new bone.
Osteoporosis is a common condition among the elderly population that causes bones to become brittle and result in fractures due to little force being applied. People who are at greater risk for developing osteoporosis are women after menopause or people with anorexia nervosa because of lack of nutrients being consumed. Other risk factors include age (most common in women over 60), smoking (especially if you smoke more than 15 cigarettes per day), drinking too much alcohol (>2 drinks/day), having low body weight (<110 pounds at 5 feet tall), calcium deficiency, vitamin D deficiency, taking corticosteroids like prednisone for long periods of time (over 3 months).