Osteoporosis is a condition that weakens bones, making them fragile and more likely to break. It develops slowly over several years and is often only diagnosed when a minor fall or sudden impact causes a bone fracture. The most common injuries in people with osteoporosis are: wrist fractures hip fractures fractures of the spinal bones (vertebrae) However, they can also occur in other bones, such as in the arm or pelvis. Sometimes a cough or sneeze can cause a rib fracture or the partial collapse of one of the bones of the spine. Osteoporosis isn't usually painful until a fracture occurs, but spinal fractures are a common cause of long-term (chronic) pain. Although a fracture is the first sign of osteoporosis, some older people develop the characteristic stooped (bent forward) posture. It happens when the bones in the spine have fractured, making it difficult to support the weight of the body.