Photograph of a person holding their lower back in pain as a doctor talks to them in an office setting.

How to Alleviate the Pain from Vertebral Fractures

Have you suffered a vertebral fracture? Whether from an accident or from pressure associated with osteoporosis, vertebral fractures are quite painful and can take months to heal. If you’re experiencing pain as a result of a fractured vertebrae, there are many ways to relieve it. Consider the following pain relief treatments to help manage the pain while your back heals.


Medication


Over the counter medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) and NSAIDS (anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen) can help to relieve your pain. But if your pain persists despite the use of these medications, you may require a stronger prescription pain reliever from your doctor. Injections for pain relief are another option that can block pain receptors. It is very important however, that you don’t take any certain pain medication for too long as many types can be habit forming.


Back Brace


If the majority of your pain occurs when you move, a back brace can help. It restricts your movement so that you are unable to perform the typical motions that would cause back pain. A back brace should only be worn under medical supervision and according to your doctor’s recommendations. Wearing a back brace for too long can cause the muscles of your core to weaken from lack of use.


Rest with Immobility


Bed rest is often prescribed for the first few days following a vertebral fracture. Immobility prevents further injury due to movement. However, prolonged bed rest is not recommended due to the risk of muscle weakening and bed sores. Rest for as long as your doctor prescribes, then cautiously and gradually increase your movement a little more each day to keep from reinjuring your back.


Procedures:


There are some surgical procedures that can be done to alleviate the pain associated with vertebral fracture. 

  • Kyphoplasty. In this procedure, a needle is placed into the fractured bone to create a tunnel. Through this tunnel a small probe with an inflatable balloon on the tip is placed and the balloon inflated. This creates a small cave inside. Next another needle is placed into this cave and cement injected to fill the fractured bone and stop it from causing pain. X-Ray is used to ensure correct placement of needles and cement. The risk is low, especially when compared to the high success rate and relief the patient feels. 
  • Spinal Fusion Surgery. This procedure involves fusing two vertebrae together to prevent them from moving, as the movement is what causes pain. Because this procedure is more invasive, it is typically a last resort for relieving back pain. Spinal fusion surgery involves using metal bolts to attach bone graft material between two vertebrae until the two bones naturally fuse together over time. The procedure does restrict some movement of the back, but it is a worthwhile option for someone who is suffering from chronic debilitating pain. The problem is that if you have osteoporosis and low bone density, the Surgeon may judge you to be too high risk for this procedure which depends on the bones being strong enough to withstand the hardware placement.

American Pain Institute Can Help You Find Relief


If you’ve been dealing with pain due to a vertebral fracture, you don’t have to continue to suffer. The American Pain Institute uses a variety of pain relief services including medication, procedures, and devices to help relieve your back pain, many of which are all-natural. 

Call (603) 766-8500 today to schedule a consultation. We do require a referral from your doctor before we can see you as a new patient, so start by contacting the doctor who has been treating your back pain and request a referral to our office.