Compression fractures normally affect your vertebrae. It is characterized by the collapsing of the bones of the spine which can cause breakage at some points. It is very important to attend to compression fractures immediately in order to avoid the problem from becoming more serious.
There are many things that can cause compression fractures . The most common of them is osteoporosis. When this condition happens, your bones become weak because the bone density decreases. As a result, the bones can break even if there is no force applied. To avoid osteoporosis, you need to make sure that you keep your bones healthy by taking in calcium. Another common cause is trauma. Falling off from stairs or having sports accidents can cause your bones to break. You need to be aware of your surroundings in order to avoid such accidents.
How can you know if you have a compression fracture ? The most common sign is pain. Since the affected area is usually the spinal column, the pain can be usually felt on the back area. In some cases, you may also experience thigh pain. Numbness of some parts of the body and weakness of the muscles may also signs of compression fracture .
When should you contact your doctor? You need to keep in mind that compression fracture is not a simple condition that will easily heal by itself. It can affect your life in many ways therefore you need to deal with it immediately. Contact the doctor if you are having chronic back pain. This is especially true for people in their old age. People with cancer and those who have abruptly lost their weight should also seek medical advice immediately after experiencing severe back pain. In the event that your excretory organs are affected, you should immediately have yourself admitted to the emergency room of the hospital.
When you go to the hospital, your doctor will advise you to take a series of examinations to determine if compression fracture is indeed your problem. Some of the examinations that you might undergo are X-rays, CT scans and MRI. The X-ray will show you the current condition of your bones. CT scans are necessary to determine how severe the fracture is. MRI is necessary to determine how the fracture has affected your spinal cord activities such as the relaying of messages.
There are different self-care treatments that you can follow in order to prevent the condition from becoming worse. First, you need to rest. If you move a lot, the bones may be further aggravated and the fracture may not heal quickly. Second, you need to use cold compress especially if it was recommended by your doctor. Cold compress will help you temporarily relieve the pain. In some cases, the doctor may tell you to do cold and hot compress alternately. Third, you can do stretching exercises provided that your doctor has approved of it.
These are some important things about compression fracture that you need to know. Familiarize yourself with the cause, the preventive measures and the treatments from your doctor, osteopath or health professional.