If you're over the age of 50, you're at risk for vertebral fractures. That's because as you age, the bones in your body become more brittle. Unfortunately, vertebral fractures can occur without you even being aware that it's happened. In most cases, you'll begin feeling twinges of pain in your back or discomfort when you stand for too long. You may also notice that you're getting shorter. Those are all signs that you have fractured a vertebra. If those signs sound familiar, you should talk to your doctor as soon as possible. If your doctor diagnoses you with a fractured vertebra, treatment is available. In addition to the care your doctor will provide, here are three steps you can take to alleviate the discomfort and speed up the recovery time.

Get Lots of Rest

If you've fractured your vertebra, you'll need to get plenty of rest. Your body will need time to heal. Not only that, but your back will be experiencing increased inflammation. Rest will give your body time to heal, and help reduce the inflammation.

See a Physical Therapist

Your doctor may recommend physical therapy. If they do, it's important that you attend all your treatment sessions. While rest will help your vertebra heal, physical therapy will help you maintain your range of motion once you do recover. Without physical therapy, you'll lose your range of motion, but you'll also lose out on muscle tone and strength. Your physical therapist will help you develop proper posture, and will provide you with weight-bearing exercises, which will improve your bone and muscle strength. They'll also provide you with exercises designed to help you prevent falls, which will help reduce the chances of you suffering another fracture.

Use a Back Brace

While you're recovering from a fractured vertebra, it might help for you to wear a back brace. One of the benefits of a back brace is that it holds your spine still so that it can heal properly. It can also help provide a gentle reminder that you need to take things slowly. This is particularly important during the first few days following a vertebral fracture. Talk to your doctor about a temporary back brace during the recovery period.

If you've been diagnosed with a fractured vertebra, you need to take things easy for a while. The tips provided here will help you recover from your injury. Talk to your doctor about ways you can prevent future injuries. Check with companies like Radius for more information.