The Link Between Menopause and Spinal Compression Fractures

Why this resource is helpful:

Anyone can fracture or break a bone in the spine. However, most fractures are due to osteoporosis, a problem more common in older women. Keep reading to learn m
Quoted From:

"The bones that form your spine are known as vertebrae. Together, they support your weight, allow you to move your back, and protect your spinal cord and the nerves that branch out to the rest of your body.

Unfortunately, if you develop a compression fracture in one of these bones, the bone may collapse and press against your spinal cord and nerves. This can lead to a number of symptoms, such as the following:

Back pain
Numbness or tingling
Muscle weakness
Problems walking
Nerve damage
Loss of bladder or bowel control
Limited spinal movement
Stooped posture
Loss of spinal height
Each year, Americans experience approximately 1.5 million vertebral compression fractures. Not only are they most common in older populations, but they also impact 25% of postmenopausal women.

Vladimir Fiks, MD, treats spinal compression fractures on a regular basis at Advanced Pain Management Center in Portland, Oregon. Here"s what women should know about the link between menopause and these injuries.

Your spine and menopause
It can be surprising to realize that your bones contain living tissue. That"s how broken bones heal after all. But this remarkable ability doesn"t stop there. Instead, your bones are in a constant state of remodeling. Simply put, these cells are always absorbing old tissue and making new tissue, a process that helps you maintain your skeletal structure throughout your lifetime.

The problem is that most people reach peak bone mass around age 30. At that point, they often lose more bone than they generate. Unfortunately, when you lose too much bone tissue, you end up with osteoporosis or weak bones.

While anyone can develop osteoporosis, four times as many women have this condition compared to men. That"s because going through menopause causes estrogen levels in the body to drop significantly, a change that leads to bone loss.

Approximately 700,000 Americans with osteoporosis experience spinal compression fractures each year. On top of that, having one compression fracture due to osteoporosis increases your chances of having more in the future."

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