Recovery & Support for Spine Compression Fractures

After treatment for a spine compression fracture, NYU Langone specialists offer continued care and can help you prevent another fracture from occurring. Often, physical therapy is needed to build muscle strength, improve coordination, and provide the back with stability that can protect the spine.

For some people, a fracture happens because of an isolated incident—such as an accident that puts such enormous pressure on the spine that a vertebra breaks. These people may not require further treatment, if the spine is otherwise healthy. 

For many others, a bone fractures after very little trauma because it is weakened by osteoporosis. These people are at an increased risk for another fracture, and may need continued management of osteoporosis to prevent further bone loss and mitigate the risk of another injury. 

Osteoporosis Management

Osteoporosis is a chronic condition that must be treated in order to prevent bones from becoming weaker and more fragile. Our endocrinologists, who specialize in treating people with osteoporosis, can help you determine the most effective long-term treatment options. They also work together with NYU Langone orthopaedic spine experts to ensure that treatment meets all of your needs. 

Physical Therapy

Doctors may recommend physical therapy if a spine compression fracture has interrupted your regular exercise routine long enough that your core muscles—located in the back, thighs, abdomen, and buttocks—have lost strength. Physical therapy may also be recommended if these muscles have never been properly conditioned.

At NYU Langone’s Rusk Rehabilitation, our physical therapists specialize in helping people recover strength and range of motion after a spine injury.

Having strong core muscles is especially important for people who have back injuries, because these muscles can act as a built-in back brace to support the spine. Strong muscles help to absorb the impact of body weight and protect the bones and joints of the spine every time you walk or exercise.

Physical therapy to strengthen core muscles involves simple exercises that improve strength and flexibility. Our physical therapists can teach you these exercises and help you build a routine you can do at home. If you spend 30 minutes every day doing these exercises, you may lower the risk of reinjuring your spine.

In addition to building muscle strength, rehabilitation specialists at NYU Langone have been instrumental in demonstrating the role of posture and balance in maintaining the overall health in the spine. Physical therapy may be prescribed in conjunction with balance and coordination exercises to decrease your risk of falling.

Mind–Body Wellness

NYU Langone offers a variety of integrative health services designed to help you reach optimal levels of health and wellbeing. These include acupuncture, acupressure, tai chi, and meditation. 

Acupuncture and acupressure can reduce pain, decrease inflammation, and help the immune system to remain healthy. 

Tai chi is an ancient form of exercise based on a series of simple body movements that are held for varying amounts of time. Tai chi is low impact, and most routines move at a slow, graceful pace, emphasizing mental focus, balance, and calmness. Many people find that tai chi boosts their energy level and reduces stress. Studies support the use of tai chi to improve balance and reduce joint pain.

Meditation is a form of deep relaxation that has been used by people all over the world for centuries. During meditation, people usually sit quietly with their eyes closed, remaining still and tranquil. Many people find that meditation helps restore emotional balance, reduce stress, and boost energy and focus. 

Preventing Falls

Making sure that hallways and stairs in the home are lit properly, installing secure railings on stairways and in the bathroom, and removing any loose rugs can reduce the risk of an accident that leads to a bone fracture. 

Tobacco Cessation

Our doctors and counselors can help you to stop using tobacco products, which reduce your body’s potential to heal after a fracture. Our doctors understand that it’s not easy to quit, and they can help you every step of the way through NYU Langone’s Tobacco Cessation Programs.

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