Living with osteoporosis

Getting support

If you have any questions, your GP or nurse may be able to reassure you. You may also find it helpful to talk to a trained counsellor or psychologist, or to someone at a specialist helpline. Your GP surgery will have information on these.

Some people find it helpful to talk to others who have osteoporosis, either at a local support group or in an internet chat room.

Want to know more?

Recovering from a broken bone

Broken bones usually take six to eight weeks to recover. Having osteoporosis does not affect how long this takes. Recovery depends on the type of fracture you have. Some fractures heal easily, but others may require more intervention.

If you have a complicated wrist fracture or hip fracture, you may need an operation to make sure that the bone is set properly. Hip replacements are often needed after hip fractures and some people may lose mobility as a result of weakened bones.

Osteoporosis can cause a loss of height as a result of fractures in the spinal column. This means the spine is no longer able to support your body’s weight and it causes a hunched posture. This can be painful when it occurs, but it may also lead to chronic (long-term) pain. Your GP or nurse may be able to help with this.

During the healing process, you may need the help of a physiotherapist or occupational therapist so you can make as full a recovery as possible.

Read more information about physiotherapy.

    Coping with pain

    The experience of pain is unique to every individual, so what works for you may differ from what works for someone else. There are a number of different ways of managing pain, including:

    • drug treatment 
    • heat treatment, such as warm baths or hot packs 
    • cold treatment, such as cold packs or a TENS electrical device, which is thought to reduce pain by stimulating the nerves 
    • simple relaxation techniques, massage or hypnosis

    To manage your pain, it is possible to use more than one of these approaches at the same time (for example, using a drug treatment, heat pack and relaxation techniques).

    Want to know more?

    Working life and money

    You should be able to continue to work when you have osteoporosis. It’s very important that you remain physically active and have a fulfilled lifestyle. This will help keep your bones healthy and stop you from focusing too much on your potential health problems. However, if your work involves the risk of falling or breaking a bone, seek advice from your employer, doctor and the National Osteoporosis Society about how best to limit your risk of having an accident or injury that could lead to a bone break.

    If you cannot continue working, you may be eligible for disability and incapacity benefits. People over 65 who are severely disabled may qualify for a disability benefit called Attendance Allowance.

    Help for carers

    Carers may also be entitled to some benefit, depending on their involvement in caring for the person with osteoporosis.

    Want to know more?

    Comments are closed.