Taking Corticosteroids? You May be at an Increased Risk for Spinal Fractures!
Osteoporosis is a condition many people become intimately familiar with in their old age. Women are especially at-risk. And while it’s generally attributed to deficiencies of Vitamin D and calcium, other factors can contribute to the condition, such as corticosteroids. If you’re taking corticosteroids for another condition – whether orally, as a cream, or through injections – development of osteoporosis can be a reality.
A major concern of osteoporosis (regardless of its cause) is vertebral compression fractures. Due to a loss of bone density, these fractures are common in osteoporosis patients and many actively avoid strenuous activities that may induce them. For patients taking corticosteroids who may be developing osteoporosis as a result, they may not have the foresight to avoid these fractures.
At Advanced Spine and Posture, we actively talk with our patients in Las Vegas, NV about any medications they’re taking before administering adjustments. This includes corticosteroids.
Understanding the impact of corticosteroids
Corticosteroids are powerful anti-inflammatories that are great for treating several chronic conditions, including autoimmune diseases like arthritis. The problem with them is that they can do this at the expense of bone health if taken for extended periods of time.
The biggest concern is the effect corticosteroids have on osteoclasts. Steroids stifle the effects of these bone-producing cells and actually prevent the formation of new osteoclasts over time. Cumulatively, this leads to a loss of bone density and the inability of the body to process calcium to replenish bone matter.
Be aware of the risk of spinal fractures
Many people taking corticosteroids also seek alternative modes of treatment for managing ongoing pain. Chiropractic is among these.
Just like a chiropractor will make special considerations for patients suffering from osteoporosis, they’ll likely adapt their adjustment techniques for someone with a history of corticosteroid use. The reason hinges on accommodating the body, not working against it. It may include using gentler techniques or focusing adjustments on specific at-risk areas where vertebral compression fractures are known to occur.
They’ll also be able to advise on lifestyle changes that may mitigate the risk of vertebral compression fractures. This may include advice on diet and exercise, as well as a routine chiropractic adjustment schedule.
Recognizing a spinal fracture
A vertebral compression fracture isn’t easily mistaken. It’s acute pain, followed by restricted range of motion and the inability to walk or sit without immense discomfort. It’s a condition you should seek immediate assistance for.
If you’re suffering from a spinal fracture and seek help from a chiropractor, they’ll likely ask about any preexisting conditions such as osteoporosis. What they might not always ask, however, is if you’ve been taking a corticosteroid long-term. This is something to make known, as it provides insight into how or why your fracture occurred.
At Advanced Spine and Posture, we thoroughly review our patient’s medical histories with them. If our Las Vegas, NV patients are taking corticosteroids, we take note and use this information to deliver a better level of care. And, when it comes to formulating a Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP) adjustment plan, we make sure it’s one that supports your body, including bones that may need a higher standard of care.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with one of our expert chiropractic practitioners in Las Vegas.
Chiropractic BioPhysics, or CBP, is one of the most scientific, researched, and results-oriented corrective care techniques. CBP-trained chiropractors aim to realign the spine back to health, eliminating nerve interference and addressing the source of pain, fatigue, and disease. As with all chiropractic care, CBP is gentle, painless, and non-invasive.