Spinal fracture symptoms?: A week ago, whilst... - Bone Health

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Spinal fracture symptoms?

Sheeniejay profile image
15 Replies

A week ago, whilst running on a treadmill, I had a sudden sharp pain in my lower back and glute/buttocks left side. At first, I, and my physio, thought it was a muscle pull.

But then the muscle pain seemed to lessen in my buttock & be focussed in my lower spine. My dexa scan, for my spine, is -3.6.

Yesterday, the pain shifted to my buttock again, no problem in spine. I saw my physio and my doctor who did a few tests. Both think it's muscular.

But today it's not in buttocks. The pain is back in lower spine area. I have had a rucksack & that hurts more - which scares me as the doctor said pressure on the shoulders is a test of a spinal fracture.

It hurts when I walk, okay when I turn side to side, no other symptoms. Weird that it shifted from back to buttock to back again.

Has anyone had an osteop related spine fracture? What did it feel like? I cannot stop worrying - I feel so low about the possibility that this will be what I fear, a fracture.

15 Replies
Kaarina profile image

I am sorry to read your posting.

It may be a good idea if you give the helpline a call on 0808 800 0035 - free from all UK landlines, mobiles, if you reside in the UK.

Met00 profile image

Pain that's shifting like that could be nerve pain. It's possible you have a bulging disc (pressing on a nerve), but I think the only way to find out for sure whether or not it's a fracture would be to have an MRI scan. Treatment for a bulging disc, as far as I understand, is the same as for a compression fracture - avoid forward bending and any activity that makes the pain worse, but try to keep mobile so muscles stay healthy and continue to provide support (walking is good), and avoid heavy lifting while it heals. All lifting should be done in a way that protects your spine - bend at the knees, hold whatever you're lifting as close to your body as possible, tighten your stomach muscles prior to and during lifting. To get up from lying down, roll onto your side first, don't attempt a "sit up". Hopefully your physio will already have explained all this to you, as it's important to protect our spines when we have osteoporosis.

Sheeniejay profile image
Sheeniejay in reply to Met00

Thank you. The doctor told me to go back if, in 2 weeks, there is no improvement or sooner if it gets worse or extends to legs etc I live in the Netherlands & the first scan they must do is an x-ray & if that shows nothing, and they still have suspicions, then they can ask for an MRI.

The physio said my muscles are super tight & did some treatment yesterday.

I can still use the elliptical trainer without pain. Docs have always said to keep running (obviously when injury free!) - I'm 46 and a keen runner - as it's important.

The doc did explain why it's more painful after rest which helps, mentally.

Fracturegirl profile image

Yes I’ve had seven. Only one showed on the X-ray the week it happened. They all show around 7-10 days later. Nothing to do but get a back brace with Velcro at the drugstore. The pain will lessen in about six weeks. It will hurt for a very long time though.

Sheeniejay profile image
Sheeniejay in reply to Fracturegirl

How did it happen? My major fracture risk is 3.6%, dexa in spine -3.6. Did the bone hurt? Any symptoms?

Sheeniejay profile image

Fracturegirl but do you think yours were Prolia withdrawal related? Just read your post.

elmaaa profile image

Hi I have 5 spinal fractures. The pain when the fractures happened was excruciating and accompanied by a loud crunch, the pain eased enough to move after a few minutes but stayed very painful for months. The pain stayed localized to where the fracture was. The fractures were all done at different times over the space of 5 months. GP was not interested, he handed out painkillers and referred me for physio. 2 months later when I saw the physio she was shocked that I was in so much pain and had not been x rayed or referred to be assessed for osteoporosis. She organised both and after some months I was diagnosed with osteoporosis in my spine and osteopenia in my hips. A further x-ray 5 months after the initial one showed that another vertebra had crumbled. No real trauma was involved in the fractures, one I turned to quick at the waist one I only sneezed.

Hopefully, your GP will come up with a cure for your pain or refer you to someone who can.

Sheeniejay profile image

Thanks - oh that's awful for you. Mine was not like that - in fact, much of does feel muscular and shifts about. Today, for example, it feels glute and about 10 or 15 cm to the left of the spine. I don;t know if you can, or want, to change your GP - you need one who will, from now on, stay alert for your future needs. I hope you're mending.

1967je profile image

I’ve had pain like that twice, both during exercising. It hurt at the time although it did go after about a week. I’d say be very careful running. Although it is good for the bones to help build them before osteoporosis, it doesn’t help once you are diagnosed as the bones are weak and will fracture more easily. I’d stick to walking at a good pace and adding weights to your exercise program. I used to be a runner and my spine is -3.2 now so I’ve reluctantly stopped running and switched to weights. Take care 🙂

Sheeniejay profile image
Sheeniejay in reply to 1967je

Thanks. So your pain turned out to be muscular? I'm discussing my treatment with the bone specialist in Netherlands. I did ask her about running though & she said she advised it. I hope, with the right treatment (it will be some kind of hormone thing tho' what precisely, I don't know as I am 46 and not menopausal tho' I have amenorrhea) things will start to reverse. Take calcium, vit D, heaps of kale for vit K. My hips improved from -2.2 to -2.1. A small win, but at least in the right direction & showing some progress for the first time.

Gillymar profile image

I have a spinal fracture discovered after an operation on my fractured right femur (the left one was pinned the previous year). It is quite painful .. lower back ache being worse in the morning. Advised to take pain killers which make me unacceptably tired I fall asleep often as it is ! OS is not nice. But I soldier on , I shall be 85 in January.

Sheeniejay profile image
Sheeniejay in reply to Gillymar

Thank you. Well, I do nap too and I'm just 46. Sounds awful what happened. I hope you start to mend soon.

Cally55 profile image

I have 2 compression fractures ( T7 and T6 ) diagnosed by x-ray and another possible recently. I have one broken rib diagnosed by x-ray and another probable. The second spinal fracture I felt a crunch but with hindsight I think I had had the first some time and thought it was a muscular.

I have steroid induced osteoporosis from 2 and a half years of treatment for GCA. This was diagnosed after the fractures, spinal score -3.1.

I have no idea how I broke the ribs.

If you can, get an x-ray.

I find the pain moves about a bit and is not necessarily right next to my spine.

Mine still hurt 9 months after diagnosis. I now take codeine and paracetamol in large quantities. Physiotherapy has helped a bit but the physio will need to know about the fractures.

In the UK the only treatment seems to be painkillers and physiotherapy.

Hopefully you have pulled a muscle but it would be wise to check.

Elizabeth65 profile image

My GP said it' just old age...rubbish as MRI showed L1 and L2 fractures and I'm a slim youthful 65 year old. Get an MRI or CAT or XRay. I could not bend or lean forward, pick up anything or turn in my bed as it got worse week by week.I went stiff and physio got me to do core support exercises twice daily which freed me up. XRay will give you results.

Sheeniejay profile image
Sheeniejay in reply to Elizabeth65

Thanks! I'm not in that much pain. It certainly shifts between glute muscles and SI joint - it's focussed on SI joint today and is sore when I walk, okay to bend though etc and I could use the cross trainer at the gym yesterday. I have an appt with my GP on Thurs - it's a week earlier than she suggested if pain hadn't gone but she was very sympathetic and it has altered. The system here, in the Netherlands, is that a doctor or specialist can request an x-ray as first line and then, if it shows nothing, but there is still reason to suspect a fracture (e.g. stress fracture), then he/she can request an MRI scan.

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