Symptoms of osteoporosis are mainly consequences of bone density loss. This process; the loss of bone density, is a slow gradual process. Hence, there are no early symptoms of osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is one of the “silent thieves” that progress without you noticing their existence. While you are reading this now, if you are above 25 then your bones are losing density already. How dense or thin your bones are depends on several factors, including your bone density at the age of 25 (your peak bone density age), your life style, your diet, where you are in the world, and your genes.
Regardless of all of these factors, osteoporosis has no symptoms until it’s already progressed enough to be a disease that needs treatment.
There are 3 symptoms of advanced osteoporosis:
1. Fractures (makes sense) in the wrist, hips, or the spine areas
2. Lower back pain
3. Muscle ache
Although these symptoms start to show mostly in elders, recently the ratio of young men and women with osteoporosis is increasing significantly. One example from life, when I went to see the osteoporosis doctor for the first time we were a group of 5 people. I was in the late thirties, 3 girls in their mid and late twenties, and an elder man. My doctor also confirmed to me that most of her patients are young people.
Back to the issue of osteoporosis symptoms:
One thing I’d like you to know before I go any further with more symptoms, is that you have two types of bone tissues in your body: trabecular (spongy and porous) and compact (thick and hard) tissues. Your rips, hip, wrist and spine are made mostly of the spongy tissues surrounded with a thin layer of the compact tissue, while the long ones are made mostly of thick hard tissues from the outside, and a spongy lining.
Why this piece of information is important? Because fractures in mostly spongy bones are 70% less painful than fractures in the hard bones. What does that mean?
It means that you could have fractures in your spine without knowing it. This type of compression fractures causes your vertebrae to take a new missed up shape that causes your spine to become 1) shorter, and 2) malformed. The net result is losing height and having a hump or any noticeable change in posture.
So, if you are losing height, or when you get comments from friends about your posture, see your doctor.
One more thing I started to relate with osteoporosis. When I was younger and exercising with heavy weights, when I go beyond a certain weight in the biceps curl I used to feel pain in the middle of my radius ulnar (the forearm bone).
Fractures deserve another post of its own, so I’ll leave it here for now.