A compression fracture occurs when the vertebrae in your spine collapse or are compressed. This is often due to trauma or excessive force but can also occur due to osteoporosis. Compression fractures can impact your height and posture, in addition to a number of unwanted symptoms. Common symptoms include pain, limited mobility, and spinal deformity. Prompt treatment is key as it can manage your pain and prevent further complications. How are compression fractures treated? Below, you will find common treatment methods and when you should contact a professional for help.
How Are Compression Fractures Treated?
There are a number of different treatment options for compression fractures. The type of treatment depends on the cause, your current symptoms, and your medical history. Common treatments include pain medication, bed rest or limited mobility, a back brace, and physical therapy. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary. However, your medical provider will likely try conservative treatment methods first.
If your compression fracture is related to osteoporosis, your medical provider will focus on treating your osteoporosis. This includes medicines, such as calcium and vitamin D. Physical therapy and exercise may also be recommended. Each patient is uniquely different, and the treatment method is customized to meet your unique health needs. It is critical to work closely with your doctor to address your symptoms and prevent further issues.
Symptoms Of A Compression Fracture
There are several symptoms that indicate that you have a compression fracture. You may not notice anything early on as there are few symptoms. However, a compression fracture can be detected on an X-ray in the early stages. Once the compression fracture further develops, there are a number of symptoms. These include back pain, a decrease in your height, limited mobility in your spine, and a stooped-over posture. In addition, patients often report numbness, tingling, muscle weakness, and issues walking.
In severe cases, some people experience issues with their bowels or bladder due to nerve damage. Compression fractures require treatment, so it is critical to contact Dr. Yashar at Yashar Neurosurgery as soon as you experience any symptoms. He can provide you with an accurate diagnosis and create a customized treatment plan based on your unique needs.
Diagnosis of A Compression Fracture
If you experience any of the symptoms mentioned and go to the doctor, you will likely get an X-ray. A compression fracture can be detected on an X-ray. In addition, a physical exam is also used to diagnose the condition. Additional testing may be necessary as some patients also need a CT scan or MRI. If the doctor suspects that your compression fracture is due to osteoporosis, they may also do a bone density scan. An accurate diagnosis is critical to ensuring you get on the right treatment plan.
Injuries that impact your spine can be debilitating. Staying healthy and focusing on prevention is key. Consider the following prevention tips to keep your spine healthy and in good shape for the long run.
- Improve Bone Health: Keep your bones healthy by eating a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D, regularly exercising, and maintaining a healthy weight.
- Avoid Unhealthy Lifestyle Habits: Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol excessively as they negatively impact your bone health.
- Prevent Falls: Remove tripping hazards, use handrails, and ensure proper lighting in your home to avoid falls, as they are a common cause of compression fractures.
- Exercise: Regular exercise can improve your bone health and strengthen your back
- Bone Health: Attend your regular checkups and regularly assess your bone health to reduce your risk for osteoporosis
- Proper Lift Technique: When lifting things, use proper body mechanics and maintain your posture to protect your spine