Osteoporosis, a degenerative disease of the bones, can cause many health issues. Since this condition leads to brittle bones, the risks of fracturing bones are greater, especially those in the spine or hips. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, half of all women and a quarter of all men over the age of 50 will suffer from a fracture related to osteoporosis. The condition can also lead to decreased mobility, a loss in height, or deformities.
Back pain due to osteoporosis
When it comes to back pain, however, compression fractures due to osteoporosis are most often the culprit.
Bones that are brittle have an increased risk of collapsing and compressing inward. Often, spinal vertebrae will collapse at the front of the spine that then leads to hunching in the back. These fractures most often occur at the upper part of the back, the thoracic spine, leading to acute upper back pain that can turn into a chronic form of pain. Symptoms of a vertebral compression fracture include the sudden onset of pain in the back, pain that becomes worse when walking or standing, and limited spinal mobility.
Unfortunately, fractures are common, especially among post-menopausal woman. Approximately 25% of all post-menopausal women in the U.S. have had a compression fracture. There are techniques, however, to help relieve back pain associated with compression fractures.
Treating back pain
After discussing with your doctor, consider trying one of the following treatments:
- Use hot and cold therapy to ease stiff muscles and reduce inflammation. Warm showers, ready-made hot compresses, or ice packs are all good tools.
- Schedule physical therapy sessions to help you develop safe and effective movements that can help you remain active and healthy.
- Consider using a back brace, especially after a compression fracture. These may allow you to have a larger range of movement while you wait for the fracture to heal.
- Check out local licensed therapists who offer alternative treatments, such as acupuncture, massage, or acupressure.
Back pain due to osteoporosis can be a common occurrence for many, however, there are steps you can take to help relieve your pain and live a more full life.
Do you suffer from back pain due to osteoporosis?