5 Common Spinal Injuries Older Adults Are at Risk For

By , 9:00 am on

Studies indicate spinal cord injuries in senior citizens are five times more prevalent today than they were three decades ago. Falls are a major cause. However, as seniors enjoy more active lives, injuries may occur from any number of accidents, including motor vehicle collisions. Degenerative processes are also contributing factors. As a leading provider of home care, Rockwall Home Care Assistance believes it’s crucial for seniors and their families to be aware of the risks for spinal injuries. Here are 5 common spine injuries the elderly sustain.

1. Cervical Fractures

Neck fractures occur secondary to head or neck trauma from falls, automotive accidents, or other instances causing blunt force trauma. Treatment often involves stabilizing the area by requiring the older adult to wear a rigid neck brace or collar. If deemed tolerable, seniors can undergo surgical intervention in the form of halo traction. 

2. Compression Fractures

This type of spinal fracture may occur from repeated jumping, running, or other physical activity that places excessive force on vertebrae. Fractures might also occur in extreme cases of osteoporosis, which weakens bones and increases the likelihood of cracking and breaking even during normal daily activities. Treatments and supplements are generally provided to encourage healing and increase bone strength. Pain management strategies are also available if necessary. 

3. Osteoarthritis

Spinal arthritis can lead to the development of bone spurs that affect surrounding vertebrae, the discs, or the spinal column. Depending on the severity and location of the symptoms, treatment may involve anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, steroid injections, or corrective surgery. 

4. Spinal Misalignment

Vertebral misalignment or subluxation refers to one or more vertebra shifting out of its normal position. Chiropractic manipulation is a common means of correcting the problem. Seniors might also be instructed to take anti-inflammatory pain medication, exercise, or perform specific stretching exercises. 

5. Spinal Stenosis

Stenosis involves a narrowing of the canal through which the spinal cord extends. During natural degenerative processes, the canal may fill with debris from deteriorating bone. Treatment involves pain management, physical therapy, exercise regimens, and surgical correction if needed. 

If your loved one wants to adopt healthier habits that can help prevent spinal injuries, reach out to the professional caregivers at Home Care Assistance for help. In addition to our top-rated respite and live-in care, we also provide comprehensive Alzheimer’s, post-stroke, and Parkinson’s care. Rockwall Home Care Assistance is a leading provider of in-home care you and your loved one can trust. Call (972) 722-7833 to schedule a free consultation and customize a care plan for your loved one.