There's several ways to develop back pain. Often, back pain can come on gradually and continue to become more pronounced over time. Conversely, it can come on suddenly and acutely. In both cases, it's possible your pain is occurring because of a spinal compression fracture.
What is a Spinal Compression Fracture?
When tiny cracks in your vertebrae cause that vertebrae to collapse, it's a spinal compression fracture. Because the condition typically occurs from weakening bones, osteoporosis often represents the leading cause of a compression fracture. However, it can occur from any number of reasons, such as car accidents or certain forms of cancer.
While it mostly affects the people over 60, it can occur at any age. It's a common enough condition that it's worth it to inquire if it's the cause of your own back pain.
There's hundreds of thousands of new cases of compression fractures in the United States each year. It's not something that solely happens to a certain subgroup of people.
Evaluating Your Risk for a Compression Fracture
Other than age and osteoporosis, any bone degenerating condition can cause a compression fracture. In addition, anyone with cancer that's spread to their bones is at a high risk for compression fractures as well. Women also have a higher risk of developing compression fractures.
Signs That It's Possibly a Compression Fracture
One of the problems with compression fractures is that the signs of it can vary widely. Many people experience back pain and think it's just a condition of getting older, or a lingering effect from their jobs.
Sometimes the pain starts mild, or almost non-existent. As time goes on, the pain can increase. If left untreated for too long, the compression of your vertebrae can cause you to literally lose height or a develop a hunched back condition, on top of the pain.
Sometimes, such as with a back injury from an impact, the pain can come on suddenly and strongly. When it happens abruptly from an impact, the damage to the vertebrae can also damage the nerves and paralyze the muscles.
Should You Be Concerned about Compression Fractures?
If you have any back pain, especially if you're a part of the risk groups, then you should have a great deal of concern about compression fractures. One fracture can lead to more, and eventually turn into severe health issues and physical deformity.
Rest and pain medications can help you deal with the pain, but you may require surgery for your compression fractures. There are also back braces that can help you to keep the compression process at bay.
You should have a spinal compression treatment specialist, like those at Southwest Florida Neurosurgical & Rehab Associates, have a look at your back as soon as you can. They can help you figure out a pain management program, as well as discuss what other steps you should take to deal with your spinal compression fractures.