Osteoporosis and its Impact

As we age, it becomes increasingly crucial to prioritise our bone health. Osteoporosis, literally meaning ‘porous bones,’ is a condition that demands attention, particularly among the elderly. Characterised by bone thinning, weakness, and fragility, even the slightest impact or fall can lead to fractures, resulting in chronic pain, disability, loss of independence, and, in severe cases, premature death. 

Grasping the Numbers

In Australia, approximately 3.8% of the population reported having osteoporosis or osteopenia. Prevalence increases significantly with age, with women being more susceptible than men, particularly those aged 75 and over.

Identifying Risk Factors

Several factors can contribute to the development of osteoporosis, including increasing age, family history, low vitamin D and calcium levels, low body weight, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, physical inactivity, long-term corticosteroid use, and reduced oestrogen levels.

Diagnosing Osteoporosis

Early diagnosis is crucial. Bone mineral density is most commonly assessed using specialised low-dose X-rays called DXA scans. Results help categorise bone health – from normal to osteopenic to osteoporotic.

Empowering Through Prevention

While osteoporosis is preventable, proactive measures are key. Primary prevention involves ensuring an adequate intake of calcium and vitamin D, engaging in weight-bearing and resistance exercises, maintaining a healthy lifestyle by avoiding smoking and limiting alcohol, and implementing fall reduction strategies.

Impact of Osteoporosis on Quality of Life

Osteoporosis can significantly affect quality of life. Fractures due to weak bones can impair daily activities, affecting mobility, personal care tasks, and overall well-being. Those with osteoporosis are more likely to report fair to poor health, experience psychological distress, and endure bodily pain.

Falls and Osteoporosis

Falls, a common concern among the elderly, can contribute to the issue of osteoporosis. In 2018, almost a third of fall-related cases were attributed to low bone mineral density. 

Trends Over Time

Between 2003 and 2018, the rate of falls related to low bone mineral density increased by 16%, emphasising the need for continued awareness and preventive measures.


Understanding osteoporosis is important in maintaining a high quality of life in our later years. Regular check-ups, a bone-friendly lifestyle, and timely interventions can safeguard against the impactful consequences of porous bones. 

Our dedicated Physiotherapists at LeapCare are here to support you on this journey to optimal bone health, so please get in contact today if you would like to make an appointment. 


Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care (2023). Osteoporosis and Minimal Trauma Fractures 

Disclaimer: The content presented on this blog is meant solely for educational and informational purposes. It is not a replacement for professional advice or treatment. For any queries related to a medical condition, always consult with a qualified professional. Never neglect professional medical advice or postpone seeking it based on information obtained from this blog.

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