How to Heal a Compression Fracture Quickly
To heal a compression fracture you must understand the dynamics behind the causes and treatment modalities of compression fractures. Compression fractures are fractures that typically occur in the vertebra of the spinal column. The definition of a compression fracture is the collapsing of the bones of the spine which leads to a crack or break in the vertebral bone. This is called a compression fracture. Compression fractures are serious issues that should be addressed immediately before they lead to other more serious problems.
What Causes Compression Fractures?
Compression fractures are caused by a multitude of factors. The most common cause of compression fractures is osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is when your bones become weak because the density of the bones has decreased. With a decrease in bone mineral density it allows the bone to break more easily and with less force, which can lead to a compression fracture in the vertebra. Other causes of compression fractures are trauma to the area, which is actually a common injury in athletes like football players that generate a lot of force on the vertebral column when they make contact. Another cause is infections or tumors of the bone that can cause a weakness in the bone leading to a possible compression fracture or other type of fracture.
Signs and Symptoms of a Compression Fracture
Identifying a compression fracture is key in being able to start treatment of a compression fracture quickly. The most common sign of a compression fracture is a fairly immediate onset of pain. Typically, a compression fracture is in the vertebral column, which will cause pain to be felt in the region of the back. Some cases report that you may experience thigh pain and numbness and weakness of muscles that the nerves around the compression fracture may supply.
A compression fracture, also called a crush fracture, can cause the vertebra to collapse, which can cause impingement on the nerves around it. This will lead to possible signs of numbness and weakness in other parts of your body that the nerve supplies.
Diagnosis of a Compression Fracture
Some people will self-diagnose themselves with compression fracture and try to treat it themselves and it turns out fine. But, in the majority of cases and instances the smart thing to do is to see a physician and tell them your symptoms. They will most likely get an X-Ray, which should easily show the compression fracture. But, your physician may also order a more specific test such as a CT for more detail, especially if you are experiencing other symptoms elsewhere in your body.
Treatment of a Compression Fracture
There are various methods for treating a compression fracture that range from conservative therapy to surgery. My goal is to help assist you in healing your compression fracture as quickly as possible.
Rest in the case of treating a compression fracture is one of the number one things you can do to allow healing in the beginning. In the acute stage of fracture healing you must rest to allow things to calm down and prevent any further damage to the bone. Also, the rest period allows the bone to set and begin the healing process without further damage being done to make the compression fracture more severe. Unfortunately, many athletes and people do not want to hear the “rest” term but in the case of a compression fracture – it is at least necessary to immobilize the spine for a very short time period to allow the healing during the acute stage to begin.
Back Brace for Stabilization and Healing
Physicians will possibly prescribe a back brace to allow stabilization of the spine to occur and help prevent any further damage to the vertebra. There are various types of braces that assist in supporting the vertebra while your bone heals.
My personal opinion is that based on my experience during the acute phase immobilizing and using possibly a back brace can be beneficial for the first week or so but after that you need to allow some mobility to occur in order to speed up fracture healing. By immobilizing your spine, your allowing it to heal conservatively but also your causing atrophy in many of the muscles around the spine which leads to decrease force on the bone and less blood flow to the area than is optimal. This can delay fracture healing and lead to lower bone mineral density and decreased strength in the bone.
Do Not Take NSAIDS
If you are trying to treat a compression fracture optimally and heal it quickly than do not take NSAIDS. NSAIDS have been shown to delay healing time of fractures due to their effects on inflammation. Inflammation is actually a good thing that your body does in order to bring more blood and healing component to the injury site to help repair. NSAIDS only delay this and can actually impair compression fracture healing or any other type of bone fracture.
Vitamins, Supplements, Herbs, and Minerals
There are so many different things that can help with compression fracture healing when it comes to the different supplements. Here is a shortlist of my most highly recommended supplements to take in order to treat compression fractures quickly:
- Calcium Citrate: A critical vitamin to help build and repair bone’s infrastructure.
- Vitamin D: Critical for helping calcium absorption and other various benefits.
- Strontium Citrate: Take at night, critical component of bone to help increase bone mineral density and heal fractures quickly.
- Horsetail: An herb that contains a high amount of silica which has been shown to help compression fracture and fracture healing.
- Zinc: Critical component of bone healing.
- Magnesium: Another component of bone to help repair fractures.
- Boron: Important mineral to help in bone mineral density.
- Cissus Quadrangularis: An herb that has been shown and in many cases dramatically speed up fracture healing.
- Lactoferrin: Another supplement show to increase fracture healing.
- Symphytum officinale: A homeopathic remedy that actually means “knit-bone” because of it’s long time association with being able to heal bone fracture.
There are obviously way more other supplements that are critical in healing compression fracture and fractures in general but these in my mind are key to getting you on the right track in order to heal a compression fracture quickly.
Healing a compression fracture is not any easy task and will teach you patience. But, if you are persistent in following treatment guidelines and consistently addressing the small things every day then you can optimize the compression fracture treatment and healing process.