A spinal compression fracture responds well to the noninvasive approach of the outstanding physiatrists at Long Island Spine Rehabilitation Medicine. Physiatrists are physicians who specialize in pain management and rehabilitation — we focus on relieving pain and restoring normal function without surgical intervention.
We Offer Superior Spinal Compression Fracture Therapy
Whether you are suffering back pain of unknown origin, or have already been diagnosed with a compression fracture of the spine, seeking help at one of our five Long Island offices is a smart move. We will provide spinal compression fracture treatment to make you more comfortable in the present and more resilient in the future. Moreover, you will find our doctors and other staff members efficient and compassionate.
What is a spinal compression fracture? Who is most at risk?
The vertebrae, the bones of the spine, are susceptible to fracture, especially in patients who suffer from osteoporosis. In osteoporosis, the bones weaken, becoming more fragile and, therefore more likely to fracture. Though spinal compression fractures can occur in anyone, they are most often seen in postmenopausal women over the age of 50. Other risk factors for spinal compression fractures include:
- Being white or Asian
- Being of advanced age
- Being thin
- Having gone through menopause before the age of 50
- Being a smoker
Regardless of whether you fit the profile, however, it is important to have back pain diagnosed by a qualified professional. Assuming the pain is just a part of aging and arthritis is unwise. Apart from the fact that there is help available, in rare cases, the cause of your spinal compression fracture may be the result of long-term exposure to certain medications or to infections or cancer and may require immediate intervention.
How Most Spinal Compression Fractures Occur
Most spinal compression fractures caused by osteoporosis begin as hairline fractures and enlarge over time. This is why it is best to see us as soon as you become aware of worsening symptoms. It should also be known that many of these fractures commonly occur without symptoms and ultimately can lead to a decline in posture and stature.
Brittle or fragile bones may not be strong enough to support your spine through your daily routine. Bending, lifting, slipping, missing a step, even coughing or sneezing, can result in a spinal compression fracture if you have advanced osteoporosis.
Often there are visible signs of spinal compression fractures. For one thing, you lose height; for another, since the back of the vertebrae are harder than the front, the front may collapse, leading to a stooped posture (kyphosis), commonly known as “dowager’s hump.” Though “dowager” is a female term, men can also be plagued by this condition.
Spinal compression fractures can also cause back pain that worsens when you stand or walk, but is relieved by lying down. Such fractures can also result in difficulty bending or twisting. It is even possible for spinal compression fractures to result in digestive issues (e.g. constipation, weak appetite, weight loss) due to a compression of the stomach. Depending on the precise location and nature of the fracture, some patients may also suffer hip pain or breathing problems.
At Long Island Spine we have expert diagnosticians and first-rate diagnostic equipment. After taking a complete medical history and performing a thorough physical exam, we will take X-rays of your spine to provide an accurate image of any compression fracture. If we suspect that a fracture may be impacting the nerves of the spine, we will turn to more advanced imaging techniques, such as MRI or CT scans. MRI scans often allow us to best determine which fractures are more acute vs those which may be more chronic
Why Treatment of Spinal Compression Fractures Is Important
Because patients who suffer one spinal compression fracture are at increased risk of suffering another, getting spinal compression fracture treatment early is not only desirable but necessary to protect you from further incapacity.
Our doctors have been treating spinal compression fractures for many years. We have in-depth knowledge of the best treatment methods and how to customize them to meet your particular needs. Once we have definitively determined that your problem is a spinal compression fracture and pinpointed its location, we will provide any or all of the following:
- Tests to accurately assess your bone density
- Custom bracing to provide support, relieve pain, and improve your mobility
- Medications to help improve bone density and reduce pain
- Supplementation to assure adequate intake of vitamin D and calcium
- Education and guidance on osteoporosis origins and management
- Spinal compression fracture physical therapy following the acute injury phase
- Spinal compression interventional therapies (see below)
Spinal Compression Fracture Physical Therapy
At Long Island Spine we offer many types of spinal compression fracture physical therapy. All of our physical therapists are certified by the McKenzie Institute. They have up-to-date knowledge of the most successful therapeutic techniques available, as well as a great deal of hands-on experience. We maintain ongoing contact with them to ensure progress and patient satisfaction.
They will guide you through exercises to strengthen your back through stretching and resistance training and apply heat and cold to increase circulation, relieve pain, and reduce inflammation.
Our physiatrists may also treat your compression fractures with the following interventional methods, each of which is pain-free and none of which require downtime:
- Pulsed electromagnetic field therapy (PEMF) to decrease pain by administering electromagnetic waves at varying frequencies
- Epidural steroid injections under fluoroscopic guidance if radicular pain (pain that radiates to a limb) is present
- Acupuncture (administered in our East Meadow and Great Neck offices)
Most compression fractures heal in a relatively short period when patients undergo well- designed rehabilitation by wearing a brace, engaging in physical and interventional therapy, and taking pain medications as directed.
If your injury is extreme and requires further intervention such as Kyphoplasty or surgery, we will refer you to a well-respected surgical colleague and provide you with excellent post-operative rehabilitation. You should be aware, though, that if surgery is necessary, your recovery period will be longer.
Contact Long Island Spine Rehabilitation Medicine for Exceptional Care
Our doctors have well-deserved reputations not only for comprehensive knowledge of spinal conditions and treatments, but also for empathy. Their excellent credentials place them in the top tier of doctors in New York State as well as in the greater New York metropolitan area. All of us at Long Island Spine are dedicated to relieving your pain and restoring your quality of life. Contact us today to begin treating your spinal compression fractures effectively.