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Osteoporosis develops slowly over several years.
There are often no warning signs or symptoms until a minorÂ fall or a sudden impact causes a bone fracture.
Healthy bones should be able to withstand aÂ fall from standing height, so a bone that breaks in these circumstances is known as a fragility fracture.
The most common injuriesÂ in people with osteoporosis are:
Sometimes a cough or sneeze can cause a rib fracture or the partial collapse of one of the bones of the spine.
In older people,Â a fractured boneÂ can be serious and result in long-term disability. For example, a hip fracture may lead to long-term mobility problems.
Although a fracture is the first sign of osteoporosis,Â some older people developÂ the characteristic stooping (bent forward). It happens when the bones in the spineÂ have fractured, making it difficult to support the weight of the body.
OsteoporosisÂ isn't usuallyÂ painful until it causes a fracture.
Although not always painful, spinal fractures are the most common cause ofÂ long-term (chronic)Â pain associated with osteoporosis.Â
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