Many women associate back pain with getting older. This is not always the case. The pain could be a sign of spinal compression fractures. This type of fracture cause cracks in the part of the vertebrae that forms your spine. The multiple cracks can ultimately cause your vertebrae to collapse. This results in your vertebrae becoming shorter because of the fractures.
It is important to find out the reason for your pain. If the pain is affecting your quality of life, then it is time to see a doctor. Read on to find out why you should not ignore back pain.
Osteoporosis Could Be The Culprit
Women are at a greater risk of getting osteoporosis. They have thinner and smaller bones than men. Estrogen is a hormone that protects your bones. Once women reach menopause age, the production of estrogen greatly declines. For these reasons, the chances of women developing osteoporosis increase as the women approach menopause.
If you have this condition, then osteoporosis will make your bones weak. It causes your bones and vertebrae to crack. These spine fractures cause severe back pain, which makes it difficult to walk, stand, lift objects, and sit.
Get A Physical Examination
At an appointment, your doctor will ask you about your symptoms and medical history. After listening to you, he or she will need to do a physical examination. You must get undressed and put on a hospital gown. Your doctor will look at your back and touch it. He or she will check for sensitivity and tenderness near your vertebrae along the spine. The point is to determine the cause of your pain and to rule out other conditions. If you doctor thinks you have osteoporosis, then he or she will order an X-ray, CT scan or MRI.
What Happens After A Diagnosis?
After a diagnosis, the next step is treatment. The fractures and the osteoporosis must both be treated. Surgery is one of the ways of treating fractures. Two common surgeries for compression fractures are kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty. A kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that stabilizes your bones. It also restores all or some of the height that your vertebrae lost because of the compression fracture. A vertebroplasty stabilizes your fracture and injects low viscosity cement into the damaged vertebrae. This procedure can alleviate your back pain.
If you want to prevent fractures from reoccurring, then you have to treat the osteoporosis. This treatment can include hormone replacement therapy, weight bearing exercises, increased vitamin D and calcium supplements.
For more information on spinal compression fractures, consider making an appointment with a specialist like those at Southwest Florida Neurosurgical & Rehab Associates.
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