Bone Health
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Possible spine fracture in upper back

I was out walking my dog with a friend on Thursday and he affectionately very gently patted my back (just below small of my back) when we were chatting. Since then I have had a lot of pain and am wondering if that could have caused a fracture. I am 52 and have osteoporosis but have never had any fractures that I am aware of. I am hoping it is just a strained or pulled muscle but it really aches and doesn't feel like it is.

Does anyone have any experience of this?

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The only way to tell is with an X-ray. My spinal fracture was diagnosed when I was xrayed for something else several weeks later. I had even been to see a physio who examined my back carefully and said he thought it was just bruising. It may not make a difference to the treatment but you need to know. I know how horrible it is and hope you begin to feel better soon.

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Thank you HilaryM. I have been doing lots of massage lying on a tennis ball and I feel very tight sore points further down my back so I am hoping it is just strained muscles. Fingers crossed! Thank you for your help.

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The only way to know, is via x-ray as Hilary says.

I see a doctor for OP and I had a bad fall, a while before seeing him. My lower back ached badly for a considerable time. On asking him for an x-ray to find out his reply was it is not worth it as there is nothing that can be done and it would heal itself...... It did because the pain went. I would still like an x-ray to see if I did fracture or not though.

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Thank you Kaarina. How long did you take to heal?

I have been doing lots of massage lying on a tennis ball and I feel very tight sore points further down my back so I am hoping it is just strained muscles. I don't know if I am just being paranoid but that's the thing about having osteoporosis, you have that constant worry. As the man only tapped me very gently and I am very jumpy, I am wondering if my muscles went into spasm. Fingers crossed!

Thank you for your help.

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Hi Katy,

I cannot answer your question because I do not know if I fractured or not. I did not have an xray when I saw the doctor at the hospital for my booked OP appointment a few months after the heavy fall and I felt OK again. I have an old compression fracture in my lower back and this was found in 2012 when I had a DEXA scan. I had another DEXA in 2015 and no more fractures were found. As it is coming up to three years I think I shall be more insistent on having a dexa or at least an x-ray at my April appointment. The doctor mentioned that for me with my scoliosis the DEXA scan was not that reliable a test for me and xray would be better.....

We do get paranoid, I get that. Let's hope it is muscular with you. :)

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I had pain in the same place when I did a squat last Sunday. It was agony and I immediately thought it was a fracture. However by Wednesday it felt much better and now feels normal. I’m seeing a doctor on Friday so will mention it but I expect he’ll just shrug it off. Hope it gets better soon. It a horrible feeling not knowing.

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Thank you for your reply, this community really is so great.

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It will be the important to the therapists helping you to rehabilitate your back to know whether or not you have had a vertebral fracture, as suitable exercises vary significantly. I mainly exercise in water, which is building muscle and helps greatly with pain control. If you have not had a fracture then your choice of exercise will be far wider.

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Thank you for your advise. All the best

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I had 4 Spinal fractures. It was agonizing. I had X-rays to see why I was in such agony. That's when they found the fractures and I got my Osteoporosis diagnosis. Be careful of your spine, in case it's about to fracture. No bending over, or twisting round. I hope it's just a sprain.

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How are you doing Katy? I hope you are feeling much better now. :)

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Hi Kaarina,

So sorry not to have been in touch before, I've had tech issues... Anyway, thank you for your kind words. In fact last Sunday (just over a week ago), I spoke to 111 and they recommended I go to A&E. After waiting hours I finally got seen and had a back X-ray which showed my back to be fine - no compression fractures. I am so pleased I went as it has really put my mind at rest. My back is feeling much better now. Thank you.

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Hurrah! Thank you for replying Katy and I am so pleased for you. Worth the wait at A&E to hear that you have not fractured. Good news that you are feeling much better now. :)

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Yes so worth the wait, I am delighted! Thank you!

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Just read this Katy, be cvery careful lying in your tennis ball! I did that with a cricket ball , as advised by a private Physio...ended up with fractured pelvis/sacrum. Don't know if it was to blame or not. I never fell but had manipulation too which obv wouldn't have helped! :(

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Thank you for the advise. I have always used a tennis ball but perhaps I should consider a softer rubber ball in future. I keep well away from manipulation. In fact I won't let anyone touch me as I'm too jumpy.

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