Spinal compression fractures can be quite painful and are often associated with osteoporosis. A person can even have a compression fracture without even realizing it. In this article, we will define spinal compression fractures, discuss their causes and symptoms, and how to differentiate them from other causes of back pain. Lastly, we will talk about some options at your disposal for treating compression fractures in the spine.
What is a “Compression” Fracture?
A spinal compression fracture occurs when a vertebrae compresses, and loses height – typically due to a weakness in the bone, repetitive jarring, or sudden trauma. Most compression fractures are caused by osteoporosis. Compression fractures can cause a lot of pain, but some patients may have one without even realizing it. Symptoms vary greatly by patient. Here are a few potential signs that could indicate a compression fracture in the spine:
- Loss of height
- Back pain that gets worse when walking or standing
- Loss of mobility (not being able to bend or twist your back)
How to Treat a Spinal Compression Fracture
Before a physician can recommend a course of treatment for a spinal compression fracture they must take into account the patient’s age, medical history, and possibly order additional tests. Compression fractures can be treating using a variety of methods. If it is a mild fracture, your doctor may recommend a combination of rest, pain medications, and bracing. Injection therapy (cortisone injections or PRP injections) may also be used to mitigate pain. When these methods fail, a surgical procedure may be required.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms we outlined above, you may have a compression fracture in your spine. Your best plan of action is to make an appointment with a spine pain management physician who can guide you through your options for treatment. Contact Advanced Spine & Pain Clinics of Minnesota today to make an appointment with one of our experienced pain doctors.
Matthew Thorson, MD
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