Treating Spinal Fracture

What Can I do for a Spinal Fracture?

In many cases, spinal fractures do not require surgery. However, symptoms can still be painful.

The following at home remedies can help treat spinal fractures:

At Home Treatments for Spinal Fractures

  • Cold therapy – Applying a cold wrap to the back can reduce the swelling and pain caused by a spinal fracture. Use a flexible wrap that covers the entire back area and provides consistent coolness and compression to the back. The compression allows the coolness to penetrate deeper into the injured tissues, making it more effective than an ice pack.
  • OTC medication– Over-the-counter pain relievers can help ease the pain of a spinal fracture. Always remember to stick to the recommended dose on the bottle.
  • Rest– Rest is critical to allow your body to heal itself after a spinal fracture. Limit movement for several weeks, especially bending, twisting, or lifting.
  • Wearing supportive devices – Support devices such as back braces can provide support to the spine.

What If I Need Additional Treatment for a Spinal Fracture?

When chronic pain due to a spinal fracture persists despite the use of supportive devices, rest, and other at home treatments, surgery is the next recommended step. Houston Physicians’ Hospital offers the following surgical treatments for a spinal fracture:

  • Cervical disc fusion
  • Khyphoplasty
  • Lumbar fusion

Speak with a medical professional before deciding to undergo surgical treatment, as all non-surgical treatment options should be exhausted first.

How Do I Recover from a Spinal Fracture?

You may experience soreness in your back for a day or two following the surgery. While OTC medications work for many patients, speak to your Houston Physicians’ Hospital physician if your pain does not subside, as a prescription medication may be needed. Back pain will typically begin to diminish 24-48 hours after the surgery. However, some patients may not notice any pain relief for up to 3 days. Talk to your Houston Physicians’ Hospital physician about what to expect, and other ways to find relief if your back pain persists after 3 days. Returning to normal activities as soon as possible is recommended after surgery for a spinal fracture. However, intense exercise and heavy lifting should be avoided for a few weeks, as these activities could reinjure your back. Physical therapy may be recommended for some patients, along with a brace to hold your back in place as it heals.