A spinal fracture is a break in one or more of the bones in your spine. You may have a spinal fracture and not know it since many fractures have no symptoms. But if you have osteoporosis and you develop new pain in your back or neck or have a loss of height, it may be due to a Huntington spine fracture.
If you think you may have a spinal fracture, see your doctor. They will ask about your symptoms and medical history. You will also need to have a physical exam. Your doctor may order x-rays, a computed tomography (CT) scan, or a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan to look for fractures.
Treatment for a spinal fracture depends on the type of fracture and its severity. Below are some of the remedies to expect:
Wearing a back brace or neck collar
When you start wearing a back brace or neck collar, you will need to wear it all the time. Your doctor will tell you how long to wear it. Wearing a back brace or neck collar helps keep your spine from moving so that it can heal. It also helps to relieve pain. You may need to wear the brace or collar for several months.
You may have skin problems where the brace or collar rubs against your skin. Your doctor can give you medicine to help with this. You may also have trouble sleeping at night while wearing the brace or collar. Try using pillows to prop yourself up in bed. Or try sleeping in a recliner chair.
Your doctor may prescribe pain medicine for you to take. These medicines can help relieve your pain. Some people are afraid to take pain medicine; they worry that they will get addicted to the medicine. But if you take medicine as George Kakoulides, MD, prescribes it, you will not get addicted.
You need to rest your body so that your spine can heal. But it would help if you did not stay in bed all day. Get up and move around a little bit each day. Walking is a good exercise for people with spinal fractures. Ask your doctor how much you should walk each day.
Physical therapy can help to relieve your pain and help you move better. A physical therapist will teach you exercises to do. These exercises will stretch and strengthen the muscles around your spine. You may need to go to physical therapy two or three times a week for several weeks.
If you have a spinal fracture, it is essential to follow your doctor’s instructions and take steps to prevent future fractures. These steps may include:
- Taking osteoporosis medicine
- Eating a healthy diet that has plenty of calcium and vitamin D
- Not smoking
- Limiting alcohol intake to no more than two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women
If you have a spinal fracture, you may be at risk of having another one. Be sure to see your doctor for follow-up visits. Stay under a doctor’s care until they say it is okay to stop seeing them. Your doctor will likely want to see you every few months to make sure your fracture is healing and that you are not at risk for another one.