Osteoporosis, which means porous bone, is a disease in which the density and quality of bone are reduced.

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In this assignment I have been asked to identify a disease and explain how exercise can help prevent it. I shall also be identifying what the disease conditions and symptoms consist of, who is at risk of contracting such disease, how and when people contract the disease and how exercise can benefit people with the disease.

The disease I have chosen for this assignment is Osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a degenerative bone disease that causes bone tissue to lose density and become weak (LES LABORATOIRES SERVIER., 2013). Osteoporosis is a hypokinetic condition (WWU, 2010). A disease brought on, at least in part, by insufficient movement and exercise. Hypokinesis has been identified as an independent risk factor for the origin and progression of several widespread chronic diseases, including coronary heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and lower back pain (Oxford reference, 2011).


Osteoporosis, which means porous bone, is a disease in which the density and quality of bone are reduced. As bones become more porous and fragile, the risk of fracture is greatly increased. The loss of bone occurs silently and progressively. Often there are no symptoms until the first fracture occurs (IOF 2013). These fractures most commonly occur in the spine, wrist and hips but can affect other bones such as the arm or pelvis.

             Figure 1 showing Bone with osteoporosis and bone without (menopausehealth.org, 2007)

 The condition of Osteoporosis

The condition of osteoporosis develops gradually over several years. It is probable that there will be no warning signs or symptoms until a minor fall or sudden impact causes a bone fracture. Healthy bones should be able to endure a fall from standing height, so a bone that breaks in these circumstances is known as a fragility fracture. The most common injuries in people with osteoporosis are wrist fractures, hip fractures and fractures of the spinal bones (vertebrae). A simple cough or a sneeze may cause the fracture of a rib or the partial collapse of one of the bones of the spine. A fractured bone in an older person can be serious, depending on where it occurs, and can lead to long-term disability. For example, a hip fracture may lead to long-term problems with movement. One visible sign of osteoporosis is the characteristic hunched (bent forward) position that develops in older people. It happens when the bones in the spine are fractured, making it challenging to support the weight of the body (NHS 2012).

The Symptoms of Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis usually doesn't cause pain unless a bone is broken as a result of the condition. Although not always painful, spinal fractures are the most common cause of chronic pain associated with osteoporosis.

Vilela & Nunez (2011)  state that Osteoporosis is a skeletal disorder resulting from an heterogeneous group of abnormal processes leading to low bone mass and bone microarchitectural disruption.  This can be jeopardizing for the bone structure integrity and increasing bone fragility and risk of fracture.

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The Osteoporotic Bone

A normal bone will have typical levels serum of calcium and phosphorus. The osteoporotic bone is normally mineralized with disruptions to its microstructure. Supportive bone loss and increased cortical porosity are properties of the osteoporotic bone as well. Low bone mass will result from increased bone resorption (WHO, 1994).



                        (Figure 2 Arthritis and Osteoporosis, the osteoporotic bone, 2013)

Who is at risk of having Osteoporosis?

 It is estimated that osteoporosis or low bone ...

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