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What’s the best way to treat a back fracture?

A back fracture, often known as a spinal compression fracture, can result in serious pain and discomfort. The pain is often so bad that it's difficult to walk and complete regular daily activities.

Since no two people or injuries are identical, there's no one-size-fits-all approach to treating this injury. Instead, your medical team will consider all the following:

  • Pain medication: This is used to relieve pain in in the nerves, muscles and bones. Both over-the-[counter and prescription medication are viable options.
  • Back bracing: A back brace provides support while limiting your motion. It works in the same manner as a splint or cast for a broken bone.
  • Modified activity: Depending on the type and location of injury, bed rest may be necessary. However, its important to follow the direction of your medical team, as staying in one position for too long can increase your risk of additional injury.
  • Surgery: While it's not typically the first treatment strategy, surgery may be required to repair a back fracture. There are three distinct types of surgery: vertebroplasty, kyphoplasty and spinal fusion surgery. Your doctor can explain the pros and cons of each procedure, including the expected recovery period.

If you suffer a back or neck injury at work, don't push through the pain. Stop what you're doing, report the incident to your employer and seek out immediate medical care.

Once you understand your injury and prognosis, consider if it makes sense to file a claim for workers' compensation benefits. This may be necessary if you're unable to return to immediately return to work.

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