Compression Fractures

Compression Fractures

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Compression Fractures

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What are Compression Fractures?

Compression fractures are the most common type of fracture in the spine. They occur when a vertebra (backbone) is compressed, or pushed inward. Compression fractures can occur in any part of the spine but are most common in the lower back.

Compression fractures occur when the bone tissue breaks down (or decays) due to age and/or a lack of minerals. The result is that there is less support for your bones, which means they can break more easily. Compression fractures can happen in any part of your body where there’s bone, but they’re most common in the hips and spine.

What are the types of Compression Fractures?

Compression fractures are a common injury. They affect the spine and can lead to serious health issues if they’re not treated.

The most common type of compression fracture is caused by osteoporosis. This is a condition characterized by thinning of the bones due to decreased bone density. It can occur anywhere in your body but most commonly affects the vertebrae (bones of the spine).

There are three types of spinal compression fractures: wedge, crush, and burst.

Wedge Fractures

Wedge fractures occur when one vertebrae slips forward on top of the one below it. This can happen when a person falls on their back and lands on something hard, like a rock or concrete. If a wedge fracture is not treated, it can cause further damage to other parts of your body including your spine and spinal cord.

Crush Fractures

Crush fractures happen when there’s too much pressure on one vertebrae for an extended period of time (like from sitting in an awkward position for long periods of time). Crush fractures are usually caused by osteoporosis or osteogenesis imperfecta (brittle bone disease).

Crush fractures also happen when there is more than one fracture line on both sides of the vertebrae. These fractures are common in people who have osteoporosis or osteopenia and experience trauma to the spine.

Burst Fractures

Burst fractures happen when there is a complete break of all three parts of the vertebrae due to trauma or stress on the spine. This type of fracture is rare because it requires significant force to cause it, but it can occur with extreme flexion or extension of the spine (such as falling from a height).

Burst fractures are caused by sudden, extreme force that causes several vertebrae to break at once (like a car accident). These types of fractures can cause paralysis if they’re not treated quickly!

How to diagnose Compression Fractures?

Compression fractures can be caused by falling, extreme pressure on a joint, or repeated stress on a bone. The most common areas for this type of fracture are the vertebrae in your spine and the bones in your feet.

The symptoms of compression fractures include pain in the area where the fracture occurred, swelling around the site of injury, tenderness to touch, and difficulty moving around due to pain. If you have any of these symptoms and think you might have broken a bone, be sure to see your doctor as soon as possible.

What are the symptoms of Compression Fractures?

Compression fractures are caused by a break in the bone, and they often occur as a result of osteoporosis. The symptoms of compression fractures include:

  • Dull pain that worsens with activity, such as bending over or coughing
  • Back pain that radiates down one leg or both legs
  • Loss of height
  • A change in posture, such as stooping forward or a curve in your spine (kyphosis)

What are the causes of Compression Fractures?

The most common cause of compression fractures is osteoporosis, but it can also be caused by other conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, Paget’s disease and hyperparathyroidism (a condition where your parathyroid glands produce too much parathyroid hormone).

Other causes of compression fractures are:

  • Osteoporosis (a condition that results in weakened bones)
  • Vitamin D deficiency (which is common in older adults)
  • Smoking cigarettes

What are the risk factors for Compression Fractures?

This type of fracture is typically caused by osteoporosis and other diseases that cause weakening of bones. It can also be caused by an injury like a fall or sports injury. Men are more likely than women to develop compression fractures because they have less estrogen and other hormones in their bodies that prevent bone loss.

The risk factors for compression fractures include:

Age

People who are older than age 50 are more likely to develop this type of fracture due to decreased bone density and lack of estrogen production

Gender

Women have lower levels of estrogen than men, which makes them more susceptible to developing a compression fracture as they age

Bone disease

Bone disease such as osteoporosis causes your bones to become weak and break easily; this increases your risk for compression fractures

Recommended Exercise

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What are the exercises for Compression Fractures?

The best exercises for compression fractures are those that will help you maintain your range of motion and keep your spine strong.

Chest stretch

This exercise stretches the chest, shoulders, and back muscles. You should feel this exercise in your upper back. It helps to reduce stress on the spine.

For this exercise, you’ll need to lie on your back with your arms behind your head and palms facing up. Pulling down on your elbows with both hands will help stretch out your chest and open up the rib cage. This can be done for about 10 seconds at first, and then increased by 5-second intervals until you reach a minute of holding the position.

Chin tuck

This exercise is done by pulling your chin toward your chest. It helps to strengthen the neck muscles, which may be weak after a compression fracture.

To do this exercise, place a rolled-up towel under one knee (or both knees if possible) and sit on the floor with your back straight so that there is no curvature in your lower back. Then bring one shoulder up as far as it will go while keeping the other shoulder down (this should create a 90 degree angle between the arm and torso). Hold this position for 10 seconds before relaxing and repeating 10 times per session (3 times per day).

Abdominal activation

This exercise activates your core muscles, which helps to stabilize the spine while moving around in daily life.

Lie flat on the floor with knees bent and feet flat on floor approximately hip-width apart. Pulling belly button toward spine, lift hips off floor by tightening abdominal muscles to lift hips 6 inches off floor; hold for 3 seconds before lowering back down into starting position; repeat 10 times

What are the treatments for Compression Fractures?

There are a couple of treatments for compression fractures, and they are typically used in combination.

The first is rest. If you’re experiencing a compression fracture, it’s important to take time off from your normal activities and give your body the time it needs to heal.

The second is medication and physical therapy. When you have a compression fracture, your doctor may prescribe pain medications or other treatments that can help you get through the pain and discomfort associated with this injury. They may also recommend physical therapy to help you get back on your feet faster.

Explanation of Recommended Orthotic Device

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What brace is used for Compression Fractures?

When you have a compression fracture, your doctor may prescribe a brace to help stabilize and support the injured area.

The type of brace will depend on what kind of fracture you have. If your doctor prescribes a hyperextension brace, it will protect your spine in extension. These braces are used for fractures in the cervical vertebrae (neck), thoracic vertebrae (mid-back), lumbar vertebrae (low back) or sacral vertebrae (lower back).

If your doctor prescribes a TLSO brace, it will provide full support from the base of the skull to below the tailbone. The TLSO is most often prescribed for spinal stenosis and degenerative disc disease.    

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