Patient Information Resources

Alpine Physical Therapy
Three Locations
In North, South, and Downtown Missoula
Missoula, MT 59804
Ph: 406-251-2323
Fax: 406-251-2999

Child Orthopedics
Pain Management
Spine - Cervical
Spine - General
Spine - Lumbar
Spine - Thoracic

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My mother had osteoporosis in her later years. She often complained about getting shorter. Is there a connection?

Yes. If the spine is affected by osteoporosis, the vertebrae become fragile from a loss of bone density. This in turn causes each vertebra to become slightly shorter. The combined loss of height in the vertebrae can account for the decrease in a person's stature.

Another explanation is that the affected vertebrae can be compressed merely from the weight of the body or from minor trauma. This is called a compression fracture. Such a fracture can result in loss of height as well as the "humpback" appearance sometimes seen in those with osteoporosis.


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