A physical exam is usually next. The main parts of the physical exam to determine if you have osteoporosis are a thorough inspection and, if necessary, functional tests. During the inspection, particular attention is paid to the posture (widow’s hump) and skin folds on the back (fir tree phenomenon) as well as to tension in the back muscles. Measurement of body weight and height are simple but indispensable components. Usual functional examinations are mainly limited to coordinative skills to determine an increased risk of falling, such as getting out of a chair without assistance, standing on one leg or walking in a line.
Of course, positive results can usually only be expected here in older patients who already suffer from osteoporosis. Nevertheless, these relatively simple examinations should not be dispensed with, even for younger patients who may only come for a preventive examination. Only then will you usually initiate further diagnostic equipment (cartoon: T. Thiessen, doctor’s Latin in plain language).