Osteoporosis and/or osteopenia in athletes is associated with: the age of onset of training; duration; intensity; the volume of training; the sport concerned (e.g. lightweight rowers, synchronised swimmers, ballet dancers, gymnastics, marathon runners); diet; stress (psychological as well as physical stress); not excluding additional risk factors such as genetics; medications; other diseases which cause bone loss. The loss is mainly of trabecular bone which is found in the vertebrae (bones in your back) and the neck of the femur in your hip.
Exercise plays a very important role both in the formation of bone and the maintenance of bone throughout the life cycle. Bones require normal levels of sex hormones, adequate calories particularly protein. Bones also require the daily recommended amounts of calcium, Vitamin D, and regular weight-bearing exercise.