Patients' Guide To
Spinal Fractures & Kyphoplasty

Bone Loss In Your Spine

Telltale Signs You Might Have It

You may feel a dull pain in your bones or muscles at the onset of osteoporosis. But really, you can’t feel your bones weakening. In most cases, spinal compression fractures happen gradually.

However, there are a few signs that may alert you to a spinal compression fracture—and they are back pain and changes in posture. On the outside, these may seem indicative of something less serious, but in reality, they could be signs of a spinal compression fracture.

Pay Attention to Back Pain
The symptoms of spinal compression fractures are often mistaken for less serious back pain. You may experience pain ranging from sudden and severe, to long-lasting and dull.

It's important that you not ignore back pain—even if it seems ordinary. Your back pain could actually be a spinal compression fracture. In fact, it's one of the primary symptoms of a fracture.

If you experience sudden back pain that persists for more than a week, talk to your doctor. Even if it's not a spinal compression fracture, it's important to let your doctor know about any changes in your health.

Pay Attention to Your Posture
If you have one spinal compression fracture, it greatly increases your chances of having future fractures. This is an important fact because over time, multiple spinal fractures can cause your spine to shorten and curve forward. Untreated, the postural changes of compression fractures can alter the biomechanics of your spine and put you at risk for further fractures.  With multiple fractures, you may lose inches in height. Your spine will likely also start hunching forward—this is the hallmark characteristic of kyphosis.

Don't dismiss back pain or poor posture as natural effects of aging. It's especially important for post-menopausal women to take note of any new pains or posture changes. Don't hesitate to talk to your doctor about whether they could be something more serious, such as a spinal compression fracture.

Updated on: 05/06/14
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Cancer and Spinal Fractures

Osteoporosis is the most common cause of spinal compression fractures, but you can also develop a fracture if you have certain types of cancer. Bone metastasis and multiple myeloma are cancers that can weaken bones and cause spinal fractures.
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