Take a guess how many spine fractures there are in the United States each year.

Whatever number you guessed, it’s probably too low — almost 700,000 people develop a spine fracture each year! 

That’s the bad news.

The good news is that Dr. Shoeb Mohiuddin and his team at Regenerative Pain & Spine treat many of those spine fractures each year, and they have several treatment options that can help restore you to normal.

One of the most effective treatments for spine fractures is bracing. Keep reading for more about how it works and when to use it!

What causes spine fractures?

A spine fracture occurs when there’s a break in one of the bones that make up your spine. They can occur anywhere along your spine, but are most common in the thoracic region (middle of the back) and the lumbar region (lower back). 

Spine fractures are usually the result of some kind of direct trauma to your spine — a fall, a car accident, a sports injury, etc. You may also be more likely to experience a fracture if you have an underlying disorder (such as osteoporosis) or are overweight or obese. And as you age, you lose bone density.

If you fracture your spine in an injury, you may experience severe pain right away. In other cases, the pain may get worse over time. If a nerve is compressed in your back, you may also experience numbness, tingling, or weakness.

How does bracing help?

While spine fractures can call for various treatment options such as medications, regenerative techniques, or kyphoplasty, bracing is a common treatment that works well in many cases. 

Treatment of a spine fracture usually begins with rest and immobilization, so a brace is often used to continue to prevent movement in your spine. If your fracture is stable (meaning it didn’t cause any neurologic injury), a brace is a good option to support your spine so your fractured vertebra has time to heal. 

The fracture causes the vertebra to not work as well as it normally would, so the brace provides the extra support it needs. The brace also keeps your spine in the proper alignment and restricts your movements, limiting your pain and giving your back a chance to heal.

If, however, your fracture is unstable (meaning the vertebra is so fractured, it can’t support the spine and there’s likely neurologic damage), bracing may not be the best option for you because any movement could make your injury worse. In situations like this, surgery may be necessary.

Dr. Mohiuddin will determine the best type of brace for you to wear and give you a plan for how long to wear it based on the location and type of your specific fracture.

If you’re dealing with a spine fracture or back pain and need a treatment plan, the team at Regenerative Pain & Spine is here to put you on the right path. Just call one of our four Chicago-area offices or book your own appointment online, and we’ll see you soon!

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