Frequent question: Can you have a spinal fracture and not know it?

What does a spinal fracture feel like?

What are the symptoms? Symptoms of a spinal fracture vary depending on the severity and location of the injury. They include back or neck pain, numbness, tingling, muscle spasm, weakness, bowel/bladder changes, and paralysis. Paralysis is a loss of movement in the arms or legs and may indicate a spinal cord injury.

Can a compression fracture go unnoticed?

What are the symptoms of compression fractures? Mild compression fractures may go completely unnoticed. In fact, in 2010 the International Osteoporosis Foundation declared that two-thirds of them go undiagnosed and untreated.

Can you walk with a spinal compression fracture?

However, this does not mean you should stay sedentary until the fracture heals. Low impact activities, such as walking or tai chi, are good for your heart, and a healthy circulatory system can increase blood flow to the fracture and help your bones heal faster.

How long does a spine fracture take to heal?

This takes most of the pressure off the fractured vertebral body, and allows the vertebrae to heal. It also protects the vertebra and stops further collapse of the bone. Vertebral fractures usually take about three months to fully heal.

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How is a spinal fracture diagnosed?

CT Scans. If an X-ray image reveals a spine compression fracture and a doctor needs to see the spine in more detail, he or she may recommend a CT scan. CT scans use a series of X-rays to create two- and three-dimensional images of the spine so that doctors can examine the fractured bone from many angles.

What is the best treatment for fractured vertebrae?

Most fractures are treated with immobilization in a brace or corset for up to 12 weeks. Bracing helps to reduce pain and prevent deformity.

How do you sit with a fractured vertebrae?

“Walk tall” and keep the normal curves in your spine. For sitting, choose a straight-backed chair with arms that offers firm but comfortable support. Avoid soft overstuffed chairs or sofas that cause you to “sink” into them. Review all handouts for posture and body mechanics.

How serious is a compression fracture?

Compression fractures can cause the vertebrae to collapse, making them shorter in height. This collapse can also cause pieces of bone to press on the spinal cord and nerves, decreasing the amount of blood and oxygen that gets to the spinal cord.

Is a heating pad good for a compression fracture?

Heat and ice:

Ice helps prevent tissue damage and decreases swelling and pain. Apply heat on your back for 20 to 30 minutes every 2 hours for as many days as directed. Heat helps decrease pain and muscle spasms.

Can compression fractures get worse?

The main symptom you’ll notice with a spinal compression fracture is back pain. It may start gradually and get worse over time or come on suddenly and sharply.

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