Back pain in many individuals who have osteoporosis or low bone density is most often caused by fractures in the lower back or spine. The spinal fractures or vertebral fractures tend to occur among post-menopausal women. It is important to note that women are more likely to suffer from osteoporosis than men yet vertebral fractures can also occur among men who have osteoporosis.
The treatment for back pain due to vertebral fractures tends to vary depending on the harshness of the pain as well as the physical condition of the individual. You can learn more about pain management measures for back pain by enrolling in one of the first aid courses today.
What are the potential causes?
It is important to note that the bones in the spinal column are accountable for supporting the weight of the individual. Once the bone loses density, it eventually weakens and could no longer support the body properly. Even minimal trauma such as lifting or sneezing can cause vertebral fractures among those who have osteoporosis.
The vertebrae are likely to break in the anterior part of the bone which is called as an anterior fracture. The front region of the bone breaks down while the rear part stays in the same position which results to the bend in the spine that is called kyphosis. Both the muscle pain and fracture that occurs from the change in the shortening of muscles around the spine can cause pain.
Forms of treatment
The pain caused by vertebral fractures and ensuing muscle pain can be managed in various ways. Exercises that strengthen the muscles and bones can help minimize the pain experienced by the individual by reducing the occurrence of imminent fractures and strengthening the muscles.
There are medications that help increase the bone density such as bisphosphonates to minimize the risk for fractures. Even anti-inflammatory medications as well as narcotics can reduce severe back pain. Vitamin D and calcium supplementation can also help in maintaining and establish overall bone health.
Surgery that is performed to stabilize the compressed areas and to reduce the pain is very helpful for many individuals. Kyphoplasty and percutaneous vertebroplasty both involve the injection of a cement-like substance into the spine under local anesthesia.
As for kyphoplasty, it often reduces the pain within a few hours. Low back and sacral fractures can also be managed in the same way.
Considerations to bear in mind
In case the fracture is stable but there is severe pain right after it was sustained, short-term bed rest, pain medications and muscle relaxants followed by physical therapy is enough to control the pain. If the pain persists, surgical intervention might be required such as kyphoplasty or vertebroplasty. In most cases, medications and exercise as tolerated is advised in order to build up the bone density.