Compression Fracture

Editor: Dr. Amy Spencer, PT, DPT, OCS, MTC, CSCS, CKTP - A Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopedic Physical Therapy and Certified Manual Therapist. Owner and Physical Therapist, Specialized Physical Therapy in North Reading, MA.

Compression fractures can cause severe back pain without warning:

  • Compression fractures are most commonly felt in the mid to lower part of the spine.Specialized Physical Therapy Compression Fracture
  • These fractures can also be felt on the sides or in the front of the spine.
  • Usually described as a stabbing pain that is often disabling
  • May take weeks or months to go away

Compression fractures due to osteoporosis may not cause symptoms at first and may only be discovered when x-rays of the spine are done for another reason. Over time, the following symptoms may occur:

  • Back pain that starts slowly and then worse with walking, but is not necessarily felt when resting
  • Loss of height, which can be as much as 6 inches over time
  • Stooped over posture, or kyphosis, also referred to as dowager’s hump

Pressure on the spinal cord from a hunched over posture in some rare cases can result in:

  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Weakness
  • Difficulty walking
  • Loss of control of the bowel or bladder

Treatment of Compression Fractures:

Pain may be initially treated with pain medicine and bed rest. This should be followed by tailored exercises from a physical therapist designed to improve movement and strength to the spine. Manual physical therapy and electrical stimulation can also reduce pain and any muscle tightness. The main goals of physical therapy are to alleviate your symptoms and decrease your risk for loss of function.

SPT is just minutes from Andover, Reading, North Andover, and Wilmington MA

Specialized Physical Therapy is conveniently located in North Reading and also proudly serves residents in Andover, Reading, North Andover, Wilmington, Boxford, Burlington, Woburn, Stoneham, and Methuen.  We offer free and spacious parking located within a few steps away from our clinic’s door.


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Specialized Physical Therapy practices a comprehensive approach to total muscle, joint, and spine health. We are the preferred physical therapy clinic in Greater Boston, because we offer an extensive range of physical therapy services designed to restore your physical strength and mobility while reducing your pain. Our physical therapy clinic sets itself apart by:

  • Providing proven techniques for alleviating minor, major, acute, and chronic pain.
  • Specializing in sports medicine, manual therapy, post-surgical care, auto accidents, prenatal and postpartum conditions, orthopedic injuries and overuse injuries.
  • Maintaining a clean, comfortable, private and quiet clinic, making it ideal for private consulting, educating and performing the latest physical therapy techniques.
  • Focusing on your individual needs, not the bottom line, because we are a small, physical therapist-owned and family-oriented clinic.
  • Treating one patient at a time in our private treatment room to make sure that you get the personalized care and attention you need.
  • Completing your treatment from start to finish with only exceptional doctorate trained and fully licensed Massachusetts physical therapists that have excellent skills, breadth of knowledge, and invaluable experience to help you reach your goals and succeed.


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