Are You At Risk For A Spinal Compression Fracture?
Category: Spine | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: April 26, 2021
A spinal compression fracture occurs when one or more vertebral segments in your spine becomes overloaded with stress and breaks. These types of fractures are common in car accidents and as a result of falling from a great height, but as we get older, our risk of suffering one of these fractures increases and the force that is required to result in a compression fracture decreases. In today’s blog, we take a closer look at some of the risk factors for a compression fracture that you should be aware of as you get older.
Spinal Compression Risk Factors
Since your risk for spinal compression fractures increases as you get older, it stands to reason that age is one of the risk factors associated with the condition. That’s because once we hit 30, our bone density naturally starts to decline. And as bones become more brittle, they are more likely to fracture when exposed to stress.
Aside from the natural aging process, some factors that could increase your risk of a spinal compression fracture include:
- Being a woman, especially if you’re post-menopause
- Taking certain medications whose side effects include bone loss
- Having a history of bone fractures
- People with Vitamin D or calcium deficiencies
- Individuals with a family history of osteoporosis
Obviously only some of these factors are controllable, but that doesn’t mean you can’t work to minimize your risk if you’re in a high risk category. For example, while giving up smoking and taking dietary supplements can help with a few of the above factors, anybody can benefit from some positive lifestyle changes that help to take pressure off your vertebrae and promote an overall healthy way of life.
Two of the most common forms of treatment to help mitigate compression fracture risk is through diet and exercise. A healthy diet will help ensure that you get a range of vitamins and minerals that can aid in healthy bone production, and it can help you lose weight, which will take stress off your vertebrae. Exercise is another valuable prevention technique, because it will help strengthen soft tissues and other structures that help provide stability to the spinal column. If these areas are stronger and can better handle stress, it will help to take pressure off of the vertebral bodies.
Not all compression fractures are preventable, but it’s still important to be aware of your risk and to take some steps to help control the modifiable risk factors. If you don’t, there’s a decent chance you’ll be coming to Dr. Sinicropi’s office for care. We’d be more than happy to provide you with the highest level of care if you end up suffering a compression fracture or any other spinal ailment that requires medical intervention, but we hope you never need us. If you’re in need of care for your spinal condition, give Dr. Sinicropi and his team a call today at (651) 430-3800.