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Sacral Fracture

Sacral Fracture

For older individuals, experiencing frequent low back pain could turn out to be a sacral fracture. They tend to occur in individuals over the age of 60 often because there has been a degree of bone loss. Sacral fractures tend not to be the first thing doctors think of when low back pain symptoms are presenting. They are often not picked up on X-rays and are either not diagnosed early enough to take steps or not diagnosed at all. However, they are common.

Sacral Fracture

Sacrum

The sacrum is shaped like a triangle and comprises five segments fused into one large bone. It sits at the base of the spine,  between the two halves of the pelvis, connecting the spine to the lower half of the body. It stabilizes the body when walking, sitting, or standing. The nerves in the lower spine control the bowels bladder and provide sensation to the region.

  • The two dimples that can be seen on individuals’ backs are where the sacrum joins the hipbones or the sacroiliac joint.
  • The point where the low back joins the sacrum can develop discomfort, soreness, and pain.
  • This area experiences stress from bending, twisting, reaching, lifting, carrying during physical activities or sitting for long periods.

Sacral Fracture

Most sacral fractures result from trauma, like slips, falls, and automobile accidents. Stress fractures that happen without a specific injury are also called insufficiency fractures.

Types of Sacral Fractures

  • Low-energy fractures usually happen to older individuals with weak bones due to osteoporosis.
  • An individual trips on something, lands hard on their butt, lifts a heavy object awkwardly, or over-exerts themselves from some physical activity.
  • Then persistent back or buttock pain begins to present.
  • The pain is often centered in the lower back, the hips, and butt.
  • It is more than just back achiness.
  • The individual goes to the doctor, and X-rays are ordered.
  • A lot of the time, these fractures are missed on X-rays.
  • The doctor may diagnose a sprain, but the pain symptoms do not improve.
  • Sometimes there is no apparent cause for the pain.
  • It can be misdiagnosed as a lower back compression fracture or urinary tract infection.

 

  • High-energy fractures are due to trauma and are more common among the young.
  • The individual sustains injuries from an auto accident, has fallen from a significant height, or suffers a sports injury.
  • It results in severe pain.
  • A woman who has just had a baby and gone through some bone loss because of the pregnancy can experience a sacral stress fracture.

Diagnosis

The most common causes for low back pain include:

  • Frequent improper posture.
  • Muscle weakness or tightness.
  • Ligament strain.
  • Joint inflammation.
  • A pilonidal cyst or an anal fissure can also cause pain.

For individuals that have been to a doctor and had an X-ray that reveals no fracture, and there is no improvement after 5 to 7 days, it is recommended to schedule another appointment and ask for a CAT scan or MRI, which is highly effective at finding a sacral fracture.

Treatment

Treatment consists of resting the bone but still being safely active in most cases.

  • Medication is prescribed for pain relief.
  • Many individuals have been found to do well with anti-inflammatory medications, topical medications, and lidocaine patches.
  • Older individuals may be recommended to use a walker during the treatment/healing process.
  • Depending on the severity, crutches may be recommended.
  • Engaging in regular exercise is not recommended, but too much bed rest is also not recommended.
  • Too much rest may not allow the injury to heal correctly, worsen the injury, and/or cause new injuries.
  • Chiropractic and physical therapy are not recommended to let the sacrum naturally heal.
  • After the pain subsides, chiropractic and physical therapy can be implemented to maintain agility and flexibility and strengthen the pelvic and core muscles.

In some cases, if the bone does not heal correctly or some other issue, sacroplasty could be recommended. This is a minimally invasive procedure that injects bone cement into the fracture. It offers quick and long-lasting pain relief with a low percentage of complications. It is considered low risk and can be done by an interventional radiologist or spine surgeon.

Prevention

To minimize the risk of a sacral fracture, it is highly recommended to maintain bone strength. This consists of:


Body Composition


Sitting Posture Adjustments

Adjust Sitting

Change Chair

  • Try a solid wooden chair if unable to use a ball or sit-stand desk.
  • It will make the body sit up straight and increase proper posture.

Move Around Alarm

References

Gibbs, Wende Nocton, and Amish Doshi. “Sacral Fractures and Sacroplasty.” Neuroimaging clinics of North America vol. 29,4 (2019): 515-527. doi:10.1016/j.nic.2019.07.003

Holmes, Michael W R, et al. “Evaluating Abdominal and Lower-Back Muscle Activity While Performing Core Exercises on a Stability Ball and a Dynamic Office Chair.” Human factors vol. 57,7 (2015): 1149-61. doi:10.1177/0018720815593184

Santolini, Emmanuele et al. “Sacral fractures: issues, challenges, solutions.” EFORT open reviews vol. 5,5 299-311. 5 May. 2020, doi:10.1302/2058-5241.5.190064

Incorrect Posture Can Alter Overall Health

Incorrect Posture Can Alter Overall Health

Proper posture is necessary to maintain overall well being, while incorrect posture can lead to serious spine problems. In the modern day, individual’s sit for extended periods of time, whether its for work or for leisure time. Although you may not be aware, �we take throughout this time period can tremendously influence our overall health and wellness. Posture is the position in which people hold their body when sitting or standing. Although the body can take a specific posture according to what feels comfortable or how the individual’s attitude is expressed,

It�s been embedded into our culture that sitting tall while holding your head high reveals health, poise, and professionalism from each individual who practices proper posture, but besides visually looking well, good posture is essential because it keeps us healthy from within.

How Proper Posture Affects The Body

When an individual maintains the muscles and other tissues supporting the structure of the neck and back remain strong while the spine preserves its natural and healthy alignment. Studies have previously concluded that good posture can help you have more energy, less stress, as well as prevent fatigue. As a matter of fact, good posture is crucial if you want to maintain an ideal physical fitness. Ultimately, a proper posture is a sign of good health.

If you have bad posture, not only will it create spine complications along with pain and discomfort in the present, but gradually, incorrect posture can have negative effects later in life if not corrected in time.

The Effects Of Incorrect Posture

One of the most distinguished negative effects associated among individuals with incorrect posture includes a change in the spinal curve. The spine is naturally designed to have a slight S-shaped curvature, however, after an extended period of time practicing incorrect posture when sitting or standing, the spine is put under a tremendous amount of pressure. This occurs because the spine is repeatedly being forced into an unnatural position. The altered spinal curve can not only lead to chronic pain and discomfort, but it can impede the spine from naturally absorbing shock as well as maintain proper balance.

Also, studies have found that sitting all day with bad posture can impact the digestive organs. Poor posture can actually compress the digestive organs and restrict them from functioning to their full potential. As a result, the body�s normal digestive process can be greatly slowed down, affecting the individual�s metabolism. Over time, long-term compression of the digestive organs can severely debilitate the body�s ability to consume and process food. You may ultimately face life-altering metabolic issues if the incorrect posture is not corrected.

Both an Australian study on poor posture and life expectancy and an English study on poor posture and sitting concluded that individuals who consistently sit using back posture have an increased risk of developing cardiovascular complications. Another study found that individuals who sit most of the day had an increased chance of 147% in developing cardiovascular disease. Additionally, sitting for extended periods of time prevents the body from getting the necessary circulation it needs, leading to the formation of varicose veins, veins that have become enlarged and twisted. This issue is particularly common in women.

The Importance of Maintaining Correct Posture

Many people who maintain poor posture may suffer from chronic back pain and spending enough time sitting with bad posture can eventually cause disc degeneration. These complications are often diagnosed back to posture problems due to the extra stress that has been put on the spine.

Overall, incorrect posture impacts much more than the way you look. Once you�ve become aware of your own body�s posture, its important to take the time to stand up and move throughout your day, sitting up straight with your shoulders back and your spine straight as well as make sure to visit your chiropractor for regular adjustments. Taking a moment in your life to do these things can not only help you have a better posture, but it can also prevent you from dealing with numerous health complications in the future.

With an incorrect posture, the structure and function of the spine can be greatly affected, leading to issues and other serious complications if left uncorrected for an extended period of time. Because the spine is ultimately essential towards the balance and support of the body, it’s important to seek medical care as soon as possible to avoid complications related to an incorrect posture.

For more information, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 .

By Dr. Alex Jimenez

Additional Topics: Low Back Pain After Auto Injury

After being involved in an automobile accident, the sheer force of the impact can cause damage or injury to the body, primarily to the structures surrounding the spine. An auto collision can ultimately affect the bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments and other tissues surrounding the spine, commonly the lumbar region of the spine, causing symptoms such as low back pain. Sciatica is a common set of symptoms after an automobile accident, which may require immediate medical attention to determine its source and follow through with treatment.

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TRENDING TOPIC: EXTRA EXTRA: New PUSH 24/7�? Fitness Center

 

Tension Headaches Caused By Improper Postures

Tension Headaches Caused By Improper Postures

There are a wide variety of factors which can cause headaches. The most common reason for headaches, especially tension headaches, is muscle tension and tightness. The frequent tightness which occurs during a headache can be experienced all over the head and neck, feeling almost as though there is a rubber band around the head, according to reports of many individuals. The tension and tightening of the muscles is largely due to poor posture where the muscles are trying to adapt to the constraints which are being placed on them. Poor posture over time leads to shortening of the muscles and irritation of the structures surrounding the spine, particularly the spinal discs. It�s this specific shortening of the tissues that causes the rubber band feeling on the head, or tension headaches. Most often, this form of pain and discomfort is felt at the base of the skull. The longer the individual sits in an improper position, the longer the tension and tightness of the muscles will last and worsen, causing longer lasting and worse headaches.

woman headache office el paso tx

woman-headache-office-el-paso-tx

The difficulty with improper postures is that they are mostly involuntary in their movements. If you are an individual who stresses frequently, it�s not uncommon for the shoulders to rise up to their ears. The person may not even realize they�re practicing this posture until they take a deep breath and relax, an action many take longer to realize. The shoulders may have been up for a majority of the day, meaning the muscles were being overworked in an inappropriate position, and chances are the individual won�t correct their posture until the headache has started.

Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C.,C.C.S.T�s insight:

After a long day of work, returning home with head pain�is an undesirable situation for many. People believe�that the reason behind their headaches at the end of the day is due to circumstances which are out of their control; work, bills, etc. But, as a matter of fact, from the way people sit at work and the way they hold their phone to the way people type on their computer, improper posture can greatly contributes to headaches. For more information, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at (915) 850-0900.

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