Osteoporosis Canada

Spinal Fractures

Vertebral compression fractures or spine fractures

The spine is one of the most common sites of broken bones as a result of osteoporosis. Broken bones in the spine are referred to as vertebral compression fractures or spine fractures.

Imagine each bone in your spine as a square block. When the bone breaks, it is like the “box” becomes squashed or compressed or flattened.

A spine fracture can happen very suddenly as a result of a fall, or something more minor such as sneezing, coughing, reaching, lifting or carrying.

Some spine fractures do cause pain. The pain can vary from mild to excruciating pain in the back. This pain may bring about a visit to the hospital or doctor’s office where an X-ray may confirm a broken bone in the spine.

“The spine is one of the most common sites of broken bones as a result of osteoporosis.”

Two-thirds of broken bones in the spine happen without causing any pain at all and are found either on an X-ray for another purpose, or because your healthcare provider thinks you may have lost height.

Painless spine fractures are just as important as painful ones. If you have had a broken bone in your back that was caused by osteoporosis, whether it was painful or not, you need osteoporosis treatment to reduce your risk of another fracture. Treatment will include medication, a calcium-rich diet, adequate vitamin D supplementation and exercise.

Click here to learn more about spine fractures and life after the fracture.

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