Understanding the Risks of Developing Osteoporosis

If you don’t have osteoporosis, chances are you don’t think much about it. However, anyone can develop this condition — which causes bones to become brittle — and your chances of getting it can increase with age. 

In this blog, Kenneth Varley, MD, of Southern Pain Specialists in Birmingham, Alabama, discusses the risk factors for developing osteoporosis and how you can help keep your bones strong.

What is osteoporosis?

An age-related disease, osteoporosis involves the progressive degeneration of your bones. Most people stop acquiring new bone mass around age 30, and from that point on, your body may lose more bone mass than it produces.

If your body keeps losing bone mass faster than it can remodel bone tissue, you may develop osteoporosis, or low bone density, which will make your bones brittle and prone to fractures.

Effects of osteoporosis on the body

Osteoporosis develops gradually, and many people miss the early signs — such as weakening grip strength and progressively stooped posture — because of the gradual nature of the condition. However, if osteoporosis continues, it can lead to many complications, such as:

Risk factors for developing osteoporosis

Age is the primary risk factor for developing osteoporosis, as it’s a degenerative condition that progresses with age. However, many other factors can influence your risk for developing osteoporosis, including: 

Biological sex

Females are much more likely to develop osteoporosis than men. 


White and Asian people tend to have a higher risk for developing osteoporosis than people of other races. 

Body size

People with petite frames may have a higher risk for developing osteoporosis, because they have less bone mass overall. 

Family history

If you have immediate family members with osteoporosis, you’re more likely to get it than someone who doesn’t have a family history of the condition.

Lack of exercise

Sedentary living is known to contribute to developing osteoporosis.

Nutrient deficiencies

Low calcium and vitamin D intake can contribute to weak bones.

Alcohol and tobacco use

Excessive consumption can increase your risk for developing osteoporosis.

Certain medications and medical conditions

Ask your doctor if your medication or condition can increase your risk for developing osteoporosis.

Hormonal imbalances

Osteoporosis occurs more in people who have low levels of certain hormones, such as the sex hormones.

Reduce your risk for developing osteoporosis

Some of the above risk factors aren’t modifiable, such as your family history and race. However, several osteoporosis risk factors are modifiable, and you can mitigate your risk by focusing on them. 

Here are a few practices you can implement to help reduce your chances of developing osteoporosis: 

To learn more about your bone health and osteoporosis, book an appointment online or over the phone with Southern Pain Specialists today.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Bad Habits That Are Making Your Sciatica Worse

Do you often have shooting pain down one leg? It could be sciatica, and you could be making it worse without knowing it. Keep reading to learn about lifestyle habits that can aggravate your sciatic nerve pain.

When Is Viscosupplementation Right for Knee Pain?

When your knees hurt — especially from osteoarthritis — everyday tasks seem impossible. What can you do to get rid of the pain? Keep reading to learn when viscosupplementation can help your chronic knee pain.

What Dietary Supplements Help Neuropathy?

Peripheral neuropathy has debilitating effects on your extremities. However, you don’t have to continue to live with this condition without some relief. Keep reading to learn how dietary supplements help you battle your neuropathy.

Menopause and Osteoporosis: How Are They Linked?

Osteoporosis is a serious condition that leads to consequences like broken bones. But did you know you’re at higher risk for this disease as a menopausal woman? Read on to learn how osteoporosis is linked to menopause and what you can do about it.

Can Injections Help My Low Back Pain?

Low back pain is a common ailment, but it doesn’t make your life easy. Pain that sticks around day in and day out can be tough to get rid of, but a spinal injection could help. Keep reading to learn how injections can treat your chronic back pain.