What is a spinal fracture?
A spinal fracture is any break in the vertebrae (bones) of the spine.
There are several different types of spinal fractures and doctors classify fractures of the thoracic and lumbar spine based on the pattern of the injury and whether the spinal cord has been injured. By classifying the type of spinal fracture it can help to identify the best treatment.
The three most significant types of spinal fracture patterns are flexion, extension and rotation.
What causes a spinal fracture?
Fractures of the thoracic spine are often caused by a high-energy trauma such as a fall from a height, a car crash, or a high impact sporting activity.
Spinal fractures may also be caused by other underlying conditions and may not show symptoms straight away. Some conditions causing spinal fractures include osteoporosis, tumours, or weakened bones.
What are the symptoms of a spinal fracture?
It is estimated that over 65% of spinal fractures are asymptomatic- do not have symptoms and can be found when you are being screened for a different injury.
Some symptoms people do experience include:
- Long standing thoracic back pain
- Slower walking
- Decreased spinal range of movement
- Problems with lung function
- Kyphosis particularly in osteoporotic patients with compression fractures
- Neurological problems due to the spinal canal getting smaller including numbness, tingling, weakness or bladder/bowel dysfunction.
How is a spinal fracture diagnosed?
Spinal fractures can often be dismissed as a back pain being a normal part of ageing so if you have weaker bones or are at risk of developing a spinal fracture it is important to talk to your doctor. Different scans can diagnose spinal fractures including: X-rays, CT scans, MRI scans or discograms.
What treatment can Farrell Physiotherapy offer for a spinal fracture?
Following a thorough assessment your physiotherapist will be able to distinguish treatment goals with you. Treatment is tailored to the individual and is dependent upon if there are any other injuries sustained and the particular fracture pattern you may have. There are a wide range of treatment options following a spinal fracture and your physiotherapist will choose the most appropriate treatment options.
Treatment can include:
- Spinal muscle strengthening exercises
- Stretching exercises
- Postural correction exercises
- Graded return to activities of daily living/sporting activities
- Core strengthening exercises and Pilates
- Soft tissue massage
- Education and advice
- Advice regarding anti-inflammatory medication
Benefit of physiotherapy for a spinal fracture?
Physiotherapy can be an effective treatment following a spinal fracture. The particular benefits you feel from physiotherapy will be based on your symptoms and goals.
The goals of physiotherapy include:
- Improved posture
- Reduced pain
- Increased thoracic movement
- Strengthened spinal muscles
- Improved trunk control
- Prevention of future fractures
Don't let pain win...
Our Expert Physiotherapists specialise in providing the latest in physiotherapy treatments and techniques in order to get you pain free as soon as possible, cure the cause of your pain and help you to return to pre-injury levels of activity.
Furthermore, we'll also give you a bespoke exercise and rehabilitation program, and advise you on how to prevent re-injury and remain pain free.
At Farrell Physiotherapy we work with some of the uk's top insurance companies to ensure you're covered.
We can accept payment from AXA (PPP), Bupa, PruHealth, simplyhealth and Standard Life, if you have any questions about alternative payment methods, please get in touch with us using the contact form at the bottom of the page and we'll get back to you asap!
I was referred to Ben after a road traffic accident for pain in my neck. The service I received was excellent. He not only treated my neck pain but also helped me to correct my bad posture which was not aiding my recovery.
Ben is extremely friendly and gives a very professional service and I can’t thank him enough for resolving the problem. I would highly recommend him.
- Carol Joyce
I have recently completed a course of treatment with Ben Farrell and am pleased to highly recommend him to others. I went to see Ben when I was suffering with extreme pain due to a trapped nerve in my neck which caused pain to radiate into my shoulder, arm and hand. I got an appointment very quickly and Ben was able to diagnose the problem and work on alleviating the pain. Part of the treatment has involved improving my longstanding poor posture which I’ve had since a child and believed was something that could not be changed. Ben has also advised me on how to continue to work on this to avoid this problem from reoccurring in the future.
- Judith Woosnam
I visited the practice on personal recommendation following a doctor’s diagnosis of an as then unspecified “shoulder injury”. I had seen my GP as the increasing pain in my arm and shoulder was not only preventing me from lifting my arm above 90%, but was also increasingly stopping me from sleeping at night.
After an initial diagnosis session where Ben Farrell had quickly identified the actual problem, I then undertook a course of hands on physiotherapy and an increasing program of exercise. In view of the complexity of the problem (which I was advised had been going on for far longer than I has know), the physiotherapy program was, therefore, pretty comprehensive, however, always with excellent support and guidance from Ben along the way.
I am very pleased with the results and I am now both playing much better golf and getting a full night’s sleep. And, I have no problems lifting my arm its full range!!!! So, the next thing on the agenda will be the golf game at Benton Hall.
Before visiting Ben I had been suffering from pain in my achillies tendons, which had stopped me from running my first half marathon. I had previously visited other physios local to me but had made no improvement. On my first visit ,Ben immediately diagnosed that my problem was coming from an old lower back injury. I was impressed that he was determined to treat the root cause of the injury (back) and provide a long term cure, and not just focus on a short term treatment of my achilles. Ben’s friendly but straight talking manner made my visits very enjoyable. I was so impressed that I took my 14 year old son to see Ben when he had an injury prior to a very important football trial. I would not hesitate to highly recommend Ben to anyone .
- Mike Smith
Couldn’t have asked for a better service than I got in just 4 weeks I spent with Mr Farrell.
My first appointment with Mr Farrell was 4 weeks prior to running the London marathon and I was in no fit state to be able to run it due to a knee injury. Mr Farrell gave me a number of exercises to completely daily and a handful of one on one sessions as well. He also advised me on picking a better pair of running shoes to support my foot shape and create less pain in my knee.
A combination of the hard work put in by Mr Farrell and myself I managed to complete the marathon in just over 4 hours. A great achieve considering I couldn’t run for 4 months prior to the race due to my knee. My only regret was not going to see Mr Farrell earlier! Then I may have be able to probably train for it. Would highly recommend Mr Farrell to anyone, a very professional service and great results.
- Fraser Murray
One of the main things I learnt when you treated me was your ability to dispel some of the old chestnuts about joint pain. Through your physiotherapy and advice I now walk more and cycle a lot. I do not rest up when I have a flair up, I do the maximum exercise I can without causing to great a discomfort to my joints. I avoid Painkillers if at all possible.
I can honestly say that you have helped me to take a new outlook on life. Thank you.
Ben Farrell was very thorough and professional when I went to him for treatment on my tennis elbow. He treated my posture as well as the elbow. The exercises he taught me both enabled the pain to go away and stay away, thus doing himself out of work! He and all his staff were very pleasant and friendly and I would recommend him unreservedly.
- Shane Murphy
Ben is an excellent physiotherapist who provided a considered care plan that enabled me to achieve my goals. Ben in his unique professional and personable manner demonstrated judgement and considerable experience to assist my recovery
After suffering persistent shoulder pain for several months I went to Farrell Physiotherapy on the recommendation of my husband.
After only a short course of treatment and undertaking daily exercises I am now pain free.
I would gladly recommend Farrell Physiotherapy to any person requiring physiotherapy treatment.
- C Wiltshire
I received excellent treatment for a foot and knee complaint that I thought would need an operation. It was very debilitating. However, after my course of physiotherapy sessions and continuation of exercises to do at home, I am now pain free and back to my normal exercise routine at the gym.
- C Dobinson
Little Waltham Road,
Spinks Ln, Witham,
Essex, CM8 1EP