Osteoporosis and compression fractures causing back pain


This article is by our Islington chiropractic practitioner from the Angel Chiropractic Clinic and looks at the causes of the sudden onset of back pain.

• Osteoporosis
• Symptoms of osteoporosis fracture
• What happens when osteoporosis causes back pain

Frequency of osteoporosis causing back pain

The sudden onset of back pain in anyone over 50 a compression fracture has to be ruled out. Experts recommend that women over 45 with sudden onset of low back pain and a history or a susceptibility to osteoporosis should be investigated for a vertebral compression fracture. Women are four times more likely to have back pain form osteoporosis than men. In the UK, one in two women and one in five men over the age of 50 will fracture a bone due to osteoporosis.

National osteoposis society





Symptoms of osteoporotic fracture causing back pain

Back pain may or may not be a symptom so there may be other symptoms, such as loss of height, difficulty in movement such as twisting and bending forwards and backwards. There may or may not be associated spinal deformity.

• Loss of vertebral height
• Backpain
• Spinal deformity
• Pain on twisting and bending forwards and backwards

Commonly the back pain associated with a vertebral compression fracture occurs during a routine activity such as bending or lifting but in extreme cases the back pain can occur following sneezing or a minor stumble or trip.

What happens when osteoporosis causes back pain

In an osteoporosis compression fracture there is a decrease in the density of the bone in the vertebra and this leads to a collapse to the front part of the vertebral body producing a wedged shape vertebra. Due to the collapse of the front of the vertebra there is rarely any neurological involvement and this differentiates it from a vertebral collapse due resulting from a pathological fracture.


These fractures can lead to a decrease of up to 20% in this anterior vertebral body height osteoporotic fracture of the thoracic spineand this is most common in the thoracic area of the back and may lead to an increase in the thoracic kyphosis and the development of a 'dowagers hump'. These fractures are easy to pick up on x-ray and do not require any more specialist imaging technique.





Other relevant articles

Video of self-help advice about back pain from the chiropractor

Video from our Islington osteopath

Spinal stenosis as a cause of back pain


If you are in your 40's, 50's or older and you have noticed back pain on bending and twisitng or bending forward or backwards. Or maybe there is a change in your posture or you have noticed the onset of mid back pain, it may be a good idea to get a diagnosis. The Angel Wellbeing Clinic in Islington has it's own onsite x-ray facilities and this can aid the diagnosis for this and a number of other conditions.

If you want to make an appointment with our Islington chiropractic practitioner, osteopath or physiotherapist to diagnose your back pain click below to make an appointment.

By Brian on 10th Nov 2011   Share |

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