Menopause can mean more than reproductive changes. It could also mean a higher risk of suffering from a spine compression fracture. If you are going through menopause or postmenopausal, here is what you need to know about spine compression fractures so you can protect yourself.  

Why Does Menopause Increase the Risk of a Fracture?

During menopause, your estrogen levels drop. Estrogen is an important part of maintaining bone density. If your estrogen levels have decreased, you are more susceptible to experiencing a fracture due to the loss of bone density.  

Simple activities could lead to a spine compression fracture because your vertebra is in a vulnerable state. For instance, moving a chair or even rolling over in bed could result in an injury. 

Is It Back Pain?

Unfortunately, some women who are suffering from a spine compression fracture mistake it for back pain or dismiss it as part of getting older. As a result, they are unlikely to seek the treatment they need to recover from the injury. Treatment is not only important to getting better now, it can also help to prevent future fractures.  

Although back pain is one of the symptoms of a spine compression fracture, there are others to look out for. For instance, fatigue, difficulty bending, and curving of the spine are also symptoms. You might even notice a loss of height.  

Even if you believe the back pain is not a spine compression fracture, you should still seek medical attention. The doctor can eliminate the possibility of the fracture and determine if there is an underlying condition causing your condition. 

Is It Preventable?

There are steps that can be taken to help lower your chances of experiencing a spine compression fracture. One possible method is to start taking bisphosphonate drugs. The drugs work to increase your bone density.  

Your doctor might also recommend undergoing hormone replacement therapy. The therapy focuses on increasing your estrogen levels so that your bone density is not impacted. If you have a family history of fractures after menopause, your doctor might recommend therapy as a preventative measure as soon as menopause is confirmed.  

There are health risks associated with hormone replacement therapy of which you should be aware. Talk to your doctor to discuss whether or not the benefits of the therapy outweigh the risks. 

The most important thing to remember is that you should not ignore back pain that you are experiencing. Consult with your doctor so that he or she can assess your condition and determine if there is cause for concern. For more information, you can also contact facilities such as Southwest Florida Neurosurgical & Rehab Associates.