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...

The Link Between Diabetes and Nerve Pain

Diabetes is a condition that only affects your blood sugar, right? That’s not completely true, as it can also cause nerve pain in your extremities. Keep reading to learn more about how diabetes affects your nerves as well as your blood sugar.

When to Consider Spinal Cord Stimulation

Your life can be turned upside down by back pain, especially when you can’t find a treatment that brings relief. But don’t lose hope. Spinal cord stimulation can help. Learn when your pain might warrant spinal cord stimulation to ease the discomfort.

When a Nerve Block is Right for You

Back pain is something you want to avoid. However, if it strikes, you want relief fast. Nerve blocks can stop the pain at the source. Keep reading to find out if a nerve block might be right for you.