Back pain is a common problem for many people. There are many reasons for back pain, from simple muscle pulls to slipped disks and compression fractures. If you suffer from back pain of any kind, it is best to visit your doctor to determine the cause of your pain and what treatment might help. Without good spinal health, the rest of your body suffers. Dr. Merson and the qualified staff at the Palm Beach Pain Institute can help with your back problems.
One of the most common back problems besides muscle strains and pulls is a compression fracture. This is not the same as a broken back. Vertebral compression fractures, or VCFs, occur when the spine is fractured or cracked. VCFs can happen in a variety of ranges, from mild to severe. The level of pain experienced with a compression fracture of the spine depends upon the severity.
Mild- a mild VCF might feel like a pulled muscle. Mild compression fractures can sometimes heal on their own, yet the injury will continue to cause discomfort if it does not heal properly.
Severe- a more severe vertebral compression fracture leaves no doubt once it occurs. The severe pain is accompanied by the inability to stand upright, resulting in a hunching posture. There is also the possibility for neurological damage to happen with severe compression fractures.
It is critical that you see a cracked vertebrae doctor if you suspect a vertebral compression fracture in order to prevent furtherdamage to the body and find relief from the pain.
The causes of vertebral compression fractures (VCFs) are typically trauma or an underlying condition. Trauma resulting in a spinal compression fracture can be the result of an accident such as a car crash or a fall. Falls resulting in compression fractures are usually falls from height of some sort. The VCFs that happen due to another condition are often the result of osteoporosis or cancer. Conditions such as these cause the vertebraes to become weak and unable to support the weight put upon them. Such compression fractures can happen without warning and by doing nothing more than standing or changing position.
Symptoms of compression fractures of the spine are things such as sudden and severe back pain, loss of height, little to no relief of back pain when lying down and a worsening of pain when walking or standing. A qualified cracked vertebrae doctor will help you determine the cause and severity of your VCF and discuss the options for treatment and pain relief that will suit your situation.
These days there are a variety of treatment options for victims of vertebral compression fractures. Gone are the days where major back surgery full of risks, complications and lengthy healing was the only solution for spinal fractures.
Treatment options include:
Non-operative care- taking a non-operative route to treat mild compression fractures is often effective for many patients. The goal of the treatment is to reduce the patient's pain and provide a good quality of life. This method typically uses a combination of over-the-counter medications, some bed rest and physical therapy to treat the back pain. In some cases, prescription medications are used to assist in pain management.
Minimally invasive procedures- there are variety of procedures that can be tried to alleviate the back pain without full on back surgery. These procedures include injections and blocks that are administered to the affected area. Some contain medications, others contain bonding agents to help hold the vertebrae together and relieve pain. Your cracked vertebrae doctor will discuss the various options and help you choose what will work best in your case.
Surgery- back surgery is a last resort option for when the pain cannot be managed or the fracture taken care of in any other way. During surgery, the doctor will fuse the injured vertebrae together to stop the motion that is causing the pain. This typically involves metal screws and rods to stabilize the fracture and prevent further pain.
Dr. Merson and the experienced, compassionate staff at Palm Beach Pain Institute will work with you to determine the cause of yourback pain and the treatment options that will help relieve the pain and let you take back your life.