Emotional wellbeing and osteoporosis 

Living with osteoporosis, with or without broken bones (fractures), can have an impact on your emotional health. But you're not alone and we're here to support you.

There's information and support available to help you and your family and friends live well with osteoporosis and broken bones. 


If you or someone you know needs help for mental health immediately, call 999.


Living with osteoporosis 

It's normal to feel concerned about how osteoporosis may affect your daily life. But you should be able to keep doing the activities and interests you enjoy and are important to you. 

Here are some resources to help you live well with the emotional impact of osteoporosis. 

Understanding your diagnosis

Being diagnosed with osteoporosis can bring on a lot of emotions. You may feel worried or scared. Or you may feel relieved. In this film, specialist nurses Julia and Sarah explain what it means if you've been told you have osteoporosis and what the future holds. They dispel myths and misunderstandings to help you understand what your diagnosis means for you. 

Lisa's story: a missed opportunity to spot the osteoporosis risk 

In this blog, Lisa tells her story about her experience of being diagnosed and living with osteoporosis. 


I received the results by post. It said I have osteoporosis. That's not what I was expecting at all. I remember standing there, thinking 'oh well, that explains things'. I didn't register what it actually meant. Lisa, Bristol

The emotional impact of osteoporosis 

In this film, Ezra Hewing, a therapist at Suffolk Mind, shares practice and immediate tools to use if you're feeling in distress right now. Lore Wolfson, ROS volunteer, also shares her personal story. 


Try a relaxation exercise

It may help to practise a relaxation or deep-breathing exercise. These can help if you're feeling anxious. Try the following for two to three minutes every day (adapted from patient.info

  1. Breathe deeply in through your nose and out through your mouth in a steady, slow rhythm. 
  2. Try to make the breath out twice as long as the breath in. It's helpful to count 'one, two' as you breathe in and 'one, two, three, four' as you breathe out. Don't hold your breath in-between. 
  3. Try to relax your neck and chest muscles and drop your shoulders. This will reduce the 'hunched' position that can happen when you're anxious. 
  4. Place a hand at the top of your tummy, just below your breastbone. This is where your diaphragm (the muscle below your lungs) is. If you give a little cough, you can feel your tummy push out. Let your hand rest there as you breathe, and feel your hand moving in and out. 
  5. Carry on breathing like this, rather than using just your upper chest muscles. 


Relationships and intimacy

Living with osteoporosis can affect personal relationships. In this audio discussion, we talk to Denise Knowles, a Psychosexual and Relationship Therapist, about how to access help and some of the positive ways issues can be resolved. Please note, discussions about intimacy. 

Exercise and osteoporosis 

Exercise can help to make you happier and build your confidence. Exercise is also important for our bone strength and is very unlikely to cause a broken bone. Find out more about exercise and physical activity for osteoporosis


Living with broken bones 

It's normal to feel anxious or vulnerable, especially if you've broken bones. We also know that fear of broken bones can limit what you feel able to do. But there are ways to manage the effects of broken bones. 

Here are some resources to help you live well with the emotional impact of broken bones. 

Daily living after fractures

If you've had a fracture, certain things in your daily life may become harder. Broken bones affect some people's day-to-day lives more than others, and each person's experience will be different. This fact sheet explains some of the problems people can have and practical ways to help manage them. 

Financial help after fractures

We understand finances can cause stress and anxiety if your broken bones make it hard for you to do everyday tasks, get around, or work. This fact sheet aims to help you understand the different types of financial support that may be available to you. 

Living with spinal fractures 

We explore the emotional and physical effects of living with spinal fractures and where to go for further information and support in this series of films

Clothing, body image and osteoporosis 

Body image is very important for all of us. It affects how we feel about ourselves and appear to others. Finding clothes that are both comfortable and stylish can be a challenge if you’ve had spinal fractures. This is because of the height loss, curved spine and widening around the tummy that these fractures can sometimes cause. This fact sheet aims to give practical suggestions for finding clothes to suit a changing body shape.

Managing persistent pain 

The pain of broken bones can be severe. It often comes on quickly and can last for around six to eight weeks while the bone is healing and then it gradually improves. Sometimes a healed bone may continue to cause pain. This fact sheet provides tried and tested ways of managing persistent pain caused by broken bones. 


Supporting a family member or friend with broken bones

Supporting someone with broken bones caused by osteoporosis can affect your emotional wellbeing. It’s important to look after yourself too.

Here are some resources to help you support a family member or friend with osteoporosis and broken bones.

Caring for someone with fractures

You may be helping a family member or friend with washing, dressing or eating. Or you may be taking them to appointments or keeping them company if they feel lonely or anxious. This fact sheet aims to provide information about some of the challenges carers may face.

Supporting a loved one with a hip fracture

In this film, we discuss the practical issues of supporting a loved one as they recover from a broken hip.

Real story: supporting a loved one with osteoporosis

In this blog, we speak to a member from Scotland, who has osteoporosis herself and played a crucial role in helping her husband recover from multiple fractures due to this condition. She shares her personal story and practical insights.


I quickly learned that I needed to do things for myself if I was going to help him, so I made time for that. It was also very useful for me to have friends of my own that I could talk to and who were very supportive. I believe that you are better able to look after a loved one if you are in a buoyant position yourself. Member, Scotland 

Support for you

Fact sheets, booklets and films 

We have a series of information films which have been developed together with people who have experience of osteoporosis and broken bones, and who understand what you might be going through.

We also have lots of fact sheets and booklets available to download and print. Our fact sheets and booklets cover topics including general bone health, drug treatments, scans and tests, risk factors and living with osteoporosis and broken bones.

#BoneMatters online information events

Every month, we hear from leading experts in osteoporosis and bone health about the subjects that matter to you. Watch the latest #BoneMatters and catch up with past events.

Support groups

Through our network of support groups, you can connect with people in your area going through the same thing as you. All our support groups are run by volunteers, some who are living with osteoporosis, and others closely touched by the condition. They organise a programme of informal meetings, talks and social events, for you and your loved ones. Find your local support group.


It can be helpful to talk through your questions and concerns if you or someone you know is living with osteoporosis and broken bones. Our free Helpline is open to everyone. All our Helpline nurses have specialist knowledge of osteoporosis and bone health. And because they’re supported by medical experts, you can be assured the information you get is always accurate.


I was very anxious just before my diagnosis appointment and after my diagnosis. The Helpline relieved my overwhelming anxieties considerably. The Helpline also helped me prepare questions for my first appointment with my specialist. Helpline caller


You’ll find more real-life stories on our blog, along with bone-healthy recipes, tips on how to live well with osteoporosis and much more. We’re adding new articles all the time, so check back regularly to keep up to date.


Share your story 

Whether you’re living with osteoporosis yourself, or know someone affected by the condition, we’d love to hear your story. Your stories bring osteoporosis to life and help us engage with people who don’t know about the condition or the charity. Find out how you can share your story.  


The following organisations and websites have information or services that you might find helpful. 


Action on Pain

Information and support for people affected by chronic pain.


0345 603 1593


Anxiety UK 

Information and support on all anxiety, stress and anxiety-based depression conditions.



Breathing Space (Scotland) 

Free phone and webchat service providing listening, information and advice for anyone feeling low, stressed or anxious.


0800 83 85 87


British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) 

Find out about counselling and psychotherapy and how it could help you. 



Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM)

Free helpline if you're feeling suicidal or are worried about someone who is.


0808 585 858 


Carers UK

Information and support if you're caring for a family member or friend.


0808 808 7777


Counselling Directory 

Search for counsellors and therapists in your area, online or by phone.



Hub of Hope

Find mental health support that's right for you. 



Lifeline (Northern Ireland) 

Free crisis response helpline for people experiencing distress or despair. 


0808 808 8000



Information and support if you're living with a mental health problem, or supporting someone who is. 




Information and support for your mental health. 



NHS - Every Mind Matters

Information on common mental health concerns, how to look after your mental wellbeing, and where to go for further support. Includes self-help CBT techniques and tips to help with anxiety and sleep. 



NHS - Five steps to mental wellbeing 

Trying these five things could help you feel more positive and able to get the most out of life. 



Pain Concern 

Information and support for people with pain or caring for someone who is. 


0300 123 0789


Richmond Fellowship 

Provides a range of mental health recovery services. 




Free helpline if you need someone to talk to. 


116 123



Emotional support and guidance to anyone affected by mental illness, as well as carers and families. 


0300 124 7900



Free text support service for anyone in the UK who is struggling to cope. 


Text 'Shout' to 85258

Help our specialist nurses continue to support those in need