Help prevent spinal fractures from destroying people's lives

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Spinal fractures have a devastating impact on people's lives, but there is more we can do to stop them...

Spinal fractures can cause devastating consequences, including severe spinal deformity, back pain, height loss, immobility, breathlessness, a protruding abdomen, indigestion and stress. They can also have a huge emotional toll, leading to loss of self-esteem, social isolation and depression.Together we can stop this.

Spinal fractures remain a common type of fragility fracture and can have a devastating impact. We have found that spinal fractures are frequently being misdiagnosed - or missed altogether.

Your past generosity has enabled the National Osteoporosis Society to do vast amounts of work with health professionals to increase awareness and understanding of osteoporosis. A donation today will help ensure that spinal fractures are correctly diagnosed and that people with osteoporosis receive the speedy treatment they need to recover and get back to a happy normal life. 

A gift today will help us provide education and training for GP's and other health professionals, so they can identify the warning signs of spinal fractures. It will help us to produce clinical guidance and best practice to help healthcare professionals improve the way they identify report and manage spinal fractures. 

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Typical symptoms of spinal fractures

Spinal fractures in people with osteoporosis can be overlooked and are frequently dismissed as simple back pain. However, there are warning signs that should start to ring alarm bells with GP's or health professionals.

  • Spinal fractures aren’t necessarily the result of trauma (e.g. a fall). They are sometimes caused by the simplest of tasks such as picking up a shopping bag, emptying the washing machine or vacuuming the carpet.
  • Fractures commonly occur in the middle or lower back and spinal bones
    can become flattened, squashed down or wedged shaped. This may
    lead to loss of height or curvature of the spine.
  • Clear indicators of height loss include clothes no longer fitting, trousers
    becoming too long, cupboards becoming harder to reach or having to
    look up at people who were once the same height or shorter than you.
  • Curvature of the spine due to fractures can lead to a protruding tummy
    and breathlessness.
  • Acute or long-term back pain in people with osteoporosis – especially
    the over 50s - could be the result of spinal fractures.

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Worried about spinal fractures?

If you are worried about spinal fractures and would like to talk to our specilist osteoporosis nurses about your concerns, you can call the National Osteoporosis Society Helpline free.

0808 800 0035

Nurses are available to talk between 9:00am and 5:00pm on weekdays and 9am - 7pm on Tuesdays.

About the Helpline