It can happen to anyone who experiences a car accident or an unfortunate slip, but for a contact sports athlete, the possibility of compression fracture is something of a clear and present danger, especially football players or those who compete in mobile sports. Unfortunately, the signs aren’t always obvious. Sometimes it’s easy to chalk the discomfort up to the normal aches and pains one will usually experience after heavy exercise. Any athlete is advised to have a regular physician and to get regular checkups to make sure that any health problems are caught early on while they’re still manageable.
One sign of spinal injury that you might not expect would be pain in the kidneys and darkly colored urine. This is usually a sign of little more than some kidney damage that will heal on its own, but can also have its roots in lower back compression fracture, so any abnormality in the body is a good enough reason to talk to a doctor, as seemingly minor injuries might actually be signs of something much more serious. Of course, this advice doesn’t just apply to athletes, but rather, anyone who experiences seemingly minor health problems, because you never know when a small problem is just a symptom of a bigger problem.
Luckily, compression fractures of the posterior area don’t usually develop into more serious problems and the physician or chiropractic care professional probably won’t recommend much more than some over the counter painkillers and a bit more rest than usual.
If a compression fracture affects up to 25% of the vertebral body height, then chiropractic care should almost certainly be employed. Patients suffering from such injuries are considered stable and don’t have much to worry about beyond the expected discomforts, but attention must be given nonetheless. Experienced chiropractic care professionals will recommend stretches and exercises to keep the healing process on track and prevent the atrophy of muscular tissue.
With compression fractures that affect between 25% and 50% of the vertebral body height, the severity of the injury is a clinical decision. Beyond 50%, more drastic measures may need to be taken and time is of the essence. If the injury is still new, the patient can recover completely by undergoing a procedure known as ‘vertebroplasty’. This is a minimally invasive method wherein a needle enters the spinal column and applies a kind of cement that will seal the fractures. After this procedure, the doctor may recommend recuperative therapy with a chiropractic care professional to ensure that the rehabilitation process goes smoothly. If neglected, though, these injuries can get worse over time through little more than regular daily activity and never heal properly, possibly requiring expensive, high risk, invasive surgery and pricy medicine.