Vertebral compression means that some of your vertebrae are compressed by compressing the legs in the vertebrae. It is not dangerous to compress the vertebrae, but it often hurts. The vertebrae in the spine eventually heal by themselves in a compressed position.

It is different from how to get a vertebra compression. You can get a vertebra compression if you have osteoporosis and fall or slip. Then it is enough that you get a small shock to compress the vertebrae.

If you do not have osteoporosis, it is usually because you have been involved in an accident, for example, a case from high altitude.

What can I do to avoid vertebral compression?

It’s good to move every day, especially if you have osteoporosis. Among other things, you get a better balance. Better balance reduces the risk of falls. 

It is good to quit smoking as smoking increases osteoporosis.

Symptoms of vertebral compression

You who have had a vertebra compression can often notice it because it hurts your back after you have fallen or slipped. The pain can sometimes be prolonged. Many can feel back pain for as long as a year after the injury, although the pain decreases with time. 

Sometimes it doesn’t hurt that much, even though the vertebrae are compressed. Then you can feel the compression in other ways, such as that you have become a little shorter than before or that you have become cushy. If you have reduced in length more than three centimeters before the age of seventy or five centimeters after the age of seventy, this may be due to osteoporosis.

When and where should I seek care?

Contact a  health care provider if you have one or more of the following problems 

  • You get a lot of back pain after a fall, especially if you have osteoporosis or Bechterew’s disease.
  • You have back pain and numbness or decreased sensation around the rectum or genitals.
  • You have back pain and numbness, tingling or weakness in both legs. 


The doctor looks at and feels on your back. It can feel tender when pressed against the point where the vertebrae have been compressed.

You may need to do an X-ray to see if it is a vertebral compression.

Important to understand

In order to be able to participate in your care and make decisions, it is important that you understand the information you receive from the healthcare staff. Ask questions if you don’t understand. You can also ask to have the information printed to read it peacefully.

Treatment of vertebral compression

It’s good that you move, even if it hurts. You can take painkillers for the first time to help you move more easily.

You may need medication to relieve the pain if you are in pain when the vertebrae heal. Often it is enough with non-prescription drugs, but sometimes you may need to have a prescription drug prescribed by a doctor. 

You who have a lot of pain during the first period may need practical help to cope with everyday life. You may also need to go to a hospital to get help with things like pain relief, hygiene, and food. 

Ehtisham Nadeem

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