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Spinal Compression Fracture: Facts, Symptoms and Treatment

By HERWriter
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What is a Spinal Compression Fracture?

A spinal compression fracture is relatively common in elderly adults. These fractures are usually the result of osteoporosis and happen “when the weight of the upper body exceeds the ability of the bone within the [spine] to support the load.” (UCLA) Astonishingly, “up to 30 percent of compression fractures occur ... in bed.” (UCLA)

While varying in severity from person to person, severe compression fractures cause significant pain and usually prevent sufferers from performing normal daily activities.

Facts about Spinal Compression Fractures

According to American Association of Family Physicians:

• Spinal compression fractures affect approximately 25 percent of all postmenopausal women in the United States

• Approximately 40 percent of women over the age of 80 have spinal compression fractures

• Women with spinal compression fractures have a 15 percent higher mortality rate than those without

• With the growth of the over-65 segment of the population, incidence of spinal compression fractures is expected to increase

• Spinal compression fractures negatively affect the quality of life of patients

• Acute and chronic pain in elderly patients is commonly attributed to spinal compression fractures, which can often lead to other disabilities

• Psychosocial and emotional issues can affect a person with spinal compression fracture because of the loss of independence

Symptoms and Treatments of Spinal Compression Fracture

Symptoms of spinal compression fracture can include:

• Sudden onset of acute back pain
• Worsening of pain with standing or walking
• Lessening of pain when lying down
• Difficulty and pain with bending or twisting
• Loss of height
• Curved spine
• Pain associated with slight back strain during everyday activities such as lifting a bag of groceries, lifting a suitcase or corner of a mattress, bending over to tie shoes or pick something up

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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