Is a compression fracture serious?

Have you ever been told that you have a compression fracture? Are you worried about what this means for your health and well-being? For those not in the medical field, it can be difficult to understand just how serious a compression fracture is. Fear not, friend! This article will shed some light on the topic of compression fractures and answer questions you’ve never thought to ask!

What is a Compression Fracture?

A compression fracture occurs when one or more vertebrae in the spine become compressed due to force or trauma. This results in the bone becoming squished and losing height.

How Does It Happen?

Compression fractures can happen from everyday activities like picking up something heavy off the floor, sneezing too hard, or even coughing excessively. If your bones are already weakened by osteoporosis – a condition where bones lose density over time – they may be more susceptible to fracturing even with normal movements.


Symptoms of compression fractures often include back pain that worsens when standing or walking but lessens when lying down, loss of height over time, curvature of the spine, limited mobility, kyphosis (forward rounding posture) and nerve damage.

Fun Fact: Kyphosis was sometimes called ”Dowager’s Hump,’ as its trademark look was seen commonly among older women.

If only we could all shrink like Alice In Wonderland!

Diagnosing A Compression Fracture

It’s essential to see an experienced doctor if experiencing any symptoms because many other conditions share similar presentations such as herniated discs which give pain if there’s pressure on nerves/discs between vertebrae.
The most common diagnostic tests used are:

  1. X-rays
  2. MRIs or CT scans
  3. Bone densitometry testing, checking bone density

All these procedures provide doctors with confirmation of a spinal compression fracture.


Treatment varies depending on severity and the cause of the condition. Simple fractures usually heal with bed rest or wearing braces while severe cases may require surgical intervention.

Bed Rest:

This procedure involves avoiding impact activities (e.g., running, jumping) for weeks to allow healing. Inaction means losing muscle mass/deconditioning, which makes matters worse!


A brace helps relieve pain and provides support to your spine at times when moving around is necessary. There are two types of braces: hard rigid and soft flexible designs depending on the patient’s preference/situation.

Pain Management

Acute back pain can be treated with over-the-counter medications and CBD oil, hot/cold therapy, massage therapy, easing into physical activity gradually, acupuncture or NSAIDs

But honestly? For that sweet nothing-better-to-do-on-a-Sunday-afternoon feeling- all you need is a good book!


Surgery is only implicated if there’s no improvement in symptoms after being prone immobilisation/ bracing period (usually 6-12 weeks). The surgeon could perform Kyphoplasty where they inject cement through the back to regain height lost during compression

And voila!, years down the line – if anyone asks about how well we’re holding our age– ”Like cement!” we’ll say proudly!

Fun fact – Kyphoplasty really needs an ostentatious description like ‘neurosurgical vertebroplasty’, don’t you think?


Prevention efforts involve improving bone density through regular exercise routines such as walking/jogging(low impact) /resistance training/transverse abdominis exercises/Strengthening core muscles/full-body strengthening

Steroids should also be avoided long term as their use correlates highly with increased risk for osteoporosis

One must always remember to be in tip-top shape both physically and mentally. So, let’s all take a deep breath, stretch our limbs, get moving and say YES! To Healthy Bones!


Cause of Compression Fracture Ways to Prevent
Osteoporosis Resistance Training
Sports Injuries Low Impact Exercises
Motor Vehicle Accident Transverse Abdominis Work

Bullet List:

  • Caution when lifting heavy objects
  • Calcium supplements/Dietary sources such as milk or cheese
  • Avoiding excessive alcohol/Nicotine intake


In conclusion, the seriousness of a compression fracture varies based on the severity of the case. Early diagnosis through x-rays or bone densitometry can be life-changing for individuals suffering but healing only depends on several things. Along with bracing/surgery (if needed), lifestyle modifications like strength training routines/transverse abdominal exercises are effective ways to protect against further injuries.

So what’s next? Rest your bones frequently(and have plenty of naps!) Highlight Resistance training that’ll keep those muscles strong enough! And use this newfound wisdom to crack some jokes about Kyphoplasty at family events (though we don’t guarantee laughs)!

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