We recently had a reader reach out in the comment’s section of our blog titled “What Are Some Treatment Options For Spinal Fractures,” and they posed the following question.
What are some of the key indicators that a spinal fracture has taken place? It seems that many of the people most susceptible to the “non-trauma” related fractures might already be dealing with a higher level of pain or discomfort. How might they distinguish the difference?
This is a great question, because it’s easier to identify a spinal fracture if you’ve been in a car accident, but it’s less obvious when the action in question is more innocuous. If we fall off a step stool, or even do something as innocent as a hard sneeze, how can we distinguish what we’re feeling as more than just an ache or pain, but instead as an indication of a spinal fracture? We take a closer look at how you can identify non-traumatic spinal fractures in today’s blog.
Spotting Spinal Fractures
You don’t need to absorb traumatic force in order to suffer a vertebral fracture. Although our vertebrae are designed to withstand a lot of stress, like any part of our bodies, they are prone to degeneration and weakening. Habits like a poor diet or smoking can speed up this process, but these bones can become quite fragile in our later years, so it doesn’t take much for a small fracture to occur.
Here are some signs that you may be dealing with a spinal vertebral fracture, even if you didn’t suffer an acute injury to your spine:
- You have a sudden, intense onset of back pain.
- This sharp spinal pain is worsened by activities like standing or walking.
- Conversely, lying down helps reduce the pain.
- You have limited spinal flexibility when rotating your trunk or bending over.
- You have a visible hunch, crookedness or deformity with your spine or with your overall posture.
These are all indications that you very well may be dealing with a spinal fracture, but the only way to know for sure is to set up a consultation with a spine specialist. They’ll be able to conduct their own physical assessment and can confirm any suspicions with the assistance of imaging devices like an x-ray or MRI. We’ve done this for countless patients in the past, and we can do the same for you.
Once we have a diagnosis, we’ll walk you through an individualized treatment plan that will attempt to treat the problem non-surgically. These tend to have great results if the patient is committed to recovery. In the event that surgery becomes necessary, Dr. Chang can walk you through your options and he’ll do everything in his power to ensure the operation is a success. For more information about spinal fractures, or to talk to a doctor about your back pain, reach out to Dr. Chang’s office today.