Four Common Signs Of A Spinal Compression Fracture

A spinal compression fracture is a condition in which weak and brittle vertebrae in the spinal column begin to compress and lose their structure. This condition is more common in people who have osteoporosis. In most cases, spinal compression fractures occur in the vertebrae of the upper back, but it is possible for a compression fracture to effect any area of the spine. It is important to know the signs of a spinal compression fracture so you can seek the proper treatment. Some of the most common symptoms of a spinal compression fracture include:

Sudden Back Pain

One of the first signs of a spinal compression fracture is a sudden onset of back pain, typically after doing a minor activity that strains the back, such as reaching up to open a window or carrying in a heavy bag of groceries. Since back pain is not uncommon as people get older, many do not realize that sudden back pain can be a sign of a compression fracture.

Worsening Pain with Activity

If you have a spinal compression fracture, you will likely notice that your pain becomes more intense with activity. Everyday activities such as walking or standing may cause pain. In many cases, a person with a spinal compression fracture will find that their pain diminishes and becomes less intense when he or she rests, since doing so takes stress off of the spine and the fractured vertebrae.

Loss of Height

A major sign of a spinal compression fracture is a loss of height. In essence, a spinal compression fracture is smashing the vertebrae and making it smaller. In turn, a person will lose height as the spinal compression fracture worsens. It is very important to see your doctor for regular physicals, since doing so will make it easier for him or her to notice if you have a change in height that may indicate a spinal compression fracture.

Limited Mobility

As the spinal compression fracture worsens, you will most likely find that your mobility decreases. Twisting and turning your upper body may become quite uncomfortable and painful, and bending down may become increasingly difficult. It is also possible to develop a hunched back if you are suffering from an un-diagnosed spinal compression fracture. If you have one or more of the symptoms mentioned, it is in your best interest to see a doctor as soon as possible. There are several treatment options, including surgery, which can help repair a spinal compression fracture. 

For more information, contact local professionals like Southwest Florida Neurosurgical & Rehab Associates.