Eine älterer Frau steht in der Küche und bereitet eine Mahlzeit zu. Sie trägt eine Rückenorthese von Bauerfeind.

Osteoporosis or bone loss will quickly make your life an ordeal. Because of hormones, women are affected by this condition more often. Age also plays a role. Find out in this article which symptoms you should look out for, how you can assess your risk of developing osteoporosis, what treatment and medication there is, and how you can keep your bones strong with the right lifestyle.


The skeleton is the framework of the human body and it keeps renewing itself. However, with increasing age, the bone metabolism becomes unbalanced, causing bone mass to be broken down at a faster rate than it is produced, meaning the bones become more porous and less elastic. If bone density decreases excessively, this will often be osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a metabolic bone disorder which, if left untreated, can lead to fractures and therefore to pain and restrictions during everyday activities.

Healthy bone:


Osteoporotic bone:


But at what stage does mild bone loss turn into osteoporosis? Bone density is the deciding factor during this assessment. It can be measured with what is known as the T-score using X-ray images. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), bone loss is classified as osteoporosis when the T-score is at least 2.5 standard deviations below that of a healthy 30-year-old of the same sex.


How do I recognize osteoporosis? The scary answer is: you will probably not recognize it at all to begin with. This condition is deceptive because there is no pain and hardly any external symptoms during the initial stage. In the early stages of osteoporosis, patients often complain about a feeling of weakness in the back, which they cannot precisely locate. Pain is often dismissed as being “age-related”. Unfortunately, this is an erroneous assessment with serious consequences because it prevents the condition from being diagnosed in time. It is often only discovered once patients have developed persistent pain or even suffered broken bones. Once bone damage has occurred, it is very difficult to alleviate. Sufferers may face a lifetime of impaired mobility, significantly lowering their quality of life.


However, when it is recognized and treated early, osteoporosis and therefore serious bone loss can be counteracted effectively. For this reason, bone density measurement is recommended for people aged 50 and over to allow osteoporosis to be diagnosed early. This applies particularly to patients at risk. But how can you assess your risk of developing osteoporosis?

Notes on Data Protection: we’re pleased to offer you this osteoporosis risk test. The information you provide will only be used for your assessment and the calculation of the results. Your answers will not be stored permanently by Bauerfeind or used for other purposes. In particular, your data will not be shared with third parties. The result will be disclosed only to you. Once the test is concluded, your answers and the result will be deleted when you leave the page.

Our tip: get expert advice if you’re at risk of developing osteoporosis, from a physician or medical retailer for example. We’ll help you find a medical supply retailer near you.


Without early treatment, osteoporosis can cause your bones to become porous, unstable, and brittle. Even everyday movements, such as violent sneezing or heavy lifting, can be enough to cause a fracture. The vertebrae, the head of the femur and wrists are most susceptible to breaking. Fractured vertebral bodies can result, for example, in a loss of height and the formation of a hunched back. Even the first fracture has serious consequences because it exponentially increases the risk of subsequent breaks. The mental strain which an osteoporosis patient is subjected to after the first fracture mustn’t be underestimated either. Fearing further injuries, many of those affected avoid activity altogether and start to isolate completely.


The risk of developing osteoporosis increases with age. In Germany, about 6.3 million people over the age of 50 are affected. The vast majority of these are women because menopause results in increased bone loss. Older men, however, are also at increased risk. The degree of bone loss is often hereditary, too. Patients undergoing dialysis and people with a very unhealthy lifestyle in their younger years (little exercise, poor nutrition low in calcium but high in phosphate, smoking, excessive alcohol and caffeine consumption, obesity, etc.) are also particularly at risk of developing this condition.


The main way you can help prevent this condition is to make sure that you get enough calcium, the main component of bones. This mineral is found in dairy products, with lactose-free products containing equal amounts of calcium as those with lactose. Green vegetables, nuts, pulses, and calcium-rich mineral water also contain this mineral that is so important for bone development.


You should aim for at least 1,000 milligrams of calcium per day. Pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers and adolescents need higher doses of up to 1,500 milligrams daily. However, many Germans get less than they need. Particular caution is recommended when it comes to consuming substances that deplete calcium levels, such as fat, alcohol, and caffeine, as well as the excessive intake of salt and products high in phosphate (e.g. cola, sausage meat) or those containing oxalic acid (e.g. rhubarb, beetroot, spinach, chocolate, black tea, and peppermint tea).


Eine Frau fährt auf einem Fahrrad. Sie trägt währenddessen eine Rückenbandage von Bauerfeind.

Exercise helps the bones absorb calcium and strengthens the muscles. Even gentle activity as part of your everyday life, such as climbing the stairs more frequently or going on a long walk, can help. It’s also advisable to train muscles, balance, and coordination – this will increase confidence during walking and decrease the risk of falling. Exercise outdoors is particularly beneficial: exposure to sunlight causes your body to produce vitamin D, which transports calcium from the intestine to the bone tissue. So get out into the sunshine every now and then – your bones will be grateful. During the cold season, vitamin D supplements can be used as a top-up.



Falling often results in injuries or even broken bones, in older people in particular. Make sure you eliminate any hazards around your home. Remove trip hazards (e.g. rugs, loose cables, liquids on the floor), use handrails, and ensure secure footing when buying shoes. It may also be worth getting an eye test because many accidents at home are caused by poor sight.


Eine Frau mit Rückenorthese von Bauerfeind, der Spinova Osteo, betrachtet sich im Spiegel.

The goal of any osteoporosis treatment is to halt bone loss or to promote bone growth. This is basically done by increasing the intake of calcium and vitamin D as well as physical training. In cases of increased fracture risk, medication to support bone growth or to inhibit bone loss is also prescribed. If women develop osteoporosis because of menopause, hormones may be administered to maintain bone density. This decision must be made by a physician. Taking pain medication may also become necessary.


In addition to medication, orthopedic aids can make an important contribution to treatment. During advanced stages, patients may develop a hunched back that is characteristic for osteoporosis (also known as “dowager’s hump”). As a result of vertebral bodies collapsing, the back hunches forward and leads to an unstable posture. The consequence: an increased risk of falling and therefore broken bones.


A straightening back orthosis like the Spinova Osteo can be very beneficial. By correcting posture and counteracting the hunched back, it reduces pain, ensures increased stability as well as a decreased risk of falling, and helps with better mobility and improved breathing. Those affected can therefore lead a full and active life again despite the condition, which improves their quality of life. The important thing about this type of orthosis is that it must be worn regularly and for the long term – this is the only way treatment will be successful.


  • Orthoses help bridge the time during which bone density is increased using medication. This can take up to six months. During this time, there is still a risk of suffering from fractures. Especially if bone-preserving medication has been prescribed because of a diagnosis such as osteoporotic fractures, there is an acute risk of subsequent fractures.
  • Straightening orthoses provide mobilization. They promote an upright gait and provide a sturdy as well as confident feeling, thus encouraging those affected to be more active. Additional exercise activates the muscles which, in turn, promotes bone density.


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An orthosis can’t do anything about bone loss which is associated with osteoporosis. But it relieves the affected bones, counteracts incorrect postures, and stimulates the straightening muscles. In this way, it can significantly lower the risk of vertebral collapse as well as fractures and counteract subsequent damage, such as the impact on organs.

Osteoporosis doesn’t necessarily start in the spine so you don’t immediately have to wear an orthosis when you’re diagnosed. However, it’s advisable that you don’t just start when you’ve already noticed changes in posture or the first fractures. If your bones deteriorate in the area of the spine, you should get support from an orthosis.

Depending on severity and progress of the condition, various orthoses can be beneficial. A medical supply retail expert will be able to tell you which one is best for you. A medical retailer will recommend an appropriate model, determine the correct size, and adapt the orthosis to your body to guarantee the perfect fit. After all, only a perfectly adjusted orthosis will yield maximum success.

As the condition progresses, your physical state may also change. You should therefore have your orthosis checked regularly to see whether it needs to be adjusted or if it may even be beneficial to switch to a different model. Your local specialist will help you with this, too.