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Compression Fractures

What are compression fractures?

Compression fractures are tiny fractures or cracks in the vertebrae, the bones that make up the spinal column. These fractures typically occur in the thick, rounded part on the front of each vertebra, called the vertebral body. As a result of these fractures, the spine weakens and collapses, leading to postural changes. Individuals may develop a forward curvature of the spine, known as kyphosis, giving them a hunched-over appearance.
While compression fractures can occur in any part of the spine, they are more common in the middle (thoracic) region, particularly in the lower thoracic area. Osteoporosis is a leading cause of these fractures, as the bones become weakened and susceptible to injury.
At NeuroSpine Plus, we understand the impact that compression fractures can have on your daily life. Our team of professionals is dedicated to providing comprehensive care and personalized treatment options to alleviate your symptoms and improve your quality of life. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you overcome the challenges associated with compression fractures.


What are the symptoms of compression fractures?

Compression fractures can manifest with a range of symptoms, varying in intensity from mild to severe. While some individuals may not experience any symptoms at all, the fracture may be discovered incidentally through an X-ray for an unrelated condition. However, many people suffer from debilitating pain that makes standing or walking difficult. Symptoms include:

  • Back pain The pain can develop suddenly and persist for an extended period (chronic back pain). It typically originates anywhere between the shoulders and the lower back. Pain tends to subside when lying down but worsens with standing or walking.
  • Reduced mobility or flexibility in the spine Twisting or bending over may become challenging.
  • Hunched-over appearance Some people may develop a curved upper back, often referred to as a "dowager's hump" or hunchback.
  • Loss of height As the vertebrae compress and the back curves, individuals may experience a noticeable decrease in height.
  • Pinched nerves and nerve damage Tingling, numbness in the back, and difficulty walking may occur.
  • Bladder or bowel control problems These symptoms are associated with severe, untreated fractures.

When seeking information on compression fractures, it is crucial to consult a medical professional for an accurate diagnosis. If you or someone you know is experiencing any of these symptoms, consider reaching out to NeuroSpine Plus for expert guidance and comprehensive care.

What are the causes of compression fractures?

Compression fractures are often linked to osteoporosis. As we age, our bones naturally lose their strength and density, leading to flattened and narrower vertebrae in the spine. Weakened bones are more susceptible to fractures.

In cases of moderate osteoporosis, a compression fracture can result from a fall or an accident. However, individuals with severe osteoporosis may experience bone fractures during routine activities like getting out of a car, sneezing, coughing, or sudden twisting movements.

Younger individuals without osteoporosis typically experience compression fractures due to trauma, such as a car accident, or as a result of cancer. Cancerous tumors can metastasize to the spine, weakening the vertebrae and causing them to fracture.

What are the treatments for compression fractures?

Compression fracture treatment is focused on achieving pain relief, stabilizing the spinal bones, and preventing future fractures. The approach to treatment may vary depending on the severity of the fracture and the individual's overall health. The following methods are commonly used:

  • Pain Relief Medication

    Your healthcare provider may suggest over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for pain management. In some cases, they may prescribe muscle relaxants or other prescription medications. It is important to carefully follow your provider’s instructions when taking these medications.

  • Braces

    A specialized back brace can provide support to the vertebrae and reduce spinal movement, thereby alleviating pain. By limiting motion, the brace helps in the healing process.

  • Medications to Strengthen Bones

    Certain medications called bisphosphonates can help slow down the rate of bone loss, stabilize the bones, and prevent future fractures. Examples of these drugs include ibandronic acid (Boniva®) and alendronic acid (Fosamax®). These medications aim to improve bone density and strength.

  • Surgical intervention

    At NeuroSpine Plus, we offer several minimally invasive procedures that effectively relieve pain, enhance stability, and improve mobility, including:



At NeuroSpine Plus, our team of experts is dedicated to providing professional and informative compression fracture treatments. Our goal is to ensure pain relief, promote bone stabilization, and prevent further fractures. If you are experiencing a compression fracture, consult with our specialists to receive the most appropriate and effective treatment plan tailored to your needs.

Compression fractures FAQ

Here are some recommendations to help you maintain strong and healthy bones:

  1. Moderate Alcohol Consumption: It is advisable to avoid excessive alcohol intake as it can contribute to bone weakening and increase the risk of compression fractures.
  2. Nutritious Diet with Adequate Calcium and Vitamin D: Consuming a well-balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D is essential for bone strength. Include dairy products, leafy greens, fortified foods, and supplements as recommended by your healthcare provider.
  3. Quit Smoking and Tobacco Use: Smoking and using other tobacco products can have detrimental effects on bone health. Nicotine weakens bones and increases the risk of fractures. Quitting smoking can significantly improve your bone density and overall health.
  4. Regular Checkups and Medication Compliance: Schedule regular checkups with your healthcare provider to monitor your bone health. If you are at risk of osteoporosis, your provider may prescribe medications to slow down bone loss. It’s essential to take these medications as prescribed to maintain optimal bone density.

Women aged 50 and above are at a higher risk of experiencing compression fractures, primarily due to osteoporosis. However, it’s essential to note that as individuals age, the risk of compression fractures increases for both men and women. Additionally, individuals who have previously suffered from a compression fracture are more susceptible to experiencing another one.

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