Nursing Beyond the Vital SignsNursing Beyond the Vital Signs

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Nursing Beyond the Vital Signs

Nursing is so much more than simply popping a thermometer in a patient's mouth or recording a blood pressure. In my time as a nurse, I have participated in life saving efforts when time was critical, I have held a mother's hands when her newborn baby was being prepped for surgery, and I have looked into the terrified eyes of an elderly person in pain. Nurses literally go into battle, serving in military operations all over the world. They also learn and implement the latest in medical technology. This blog is to highlight nurses and prove that they deserve respect and appreciation for all that they do.

Factors That Place You At Risk For Spinal Compression Fractures

If you're suffering from a nagging back ache, and you cannot find relief from OTC pain medications and a hot bath, you might be suffering from a more serious medical condition called a spinal compression fracture. A spinal compression fracture is a breakage of the vertebrae, which are the bones that make up the spine. Unfortunately, compression fractures of the spine are often unavoidable, and you might have one or many conditions or factors that are putting you at risk. Here are a few of the most common risk factors associated with spinal compression fractures:


According to Osteoporosis Health, approximately 30 percent of spinal fractures occur because of osteoporosis. These fractures typically occur in patients over 50, and women are far more likely to suffer an osteoporosis-related fracture than men.

Throughout an individual's life, new bone is constantly being created, and the old bone that is replaced is reabsorbed. As a person ages, the rate of old bone reabsorption becomes higher than new bone growth, which will lead to bones that are frail and prone to breakage.

In addition to normal aging, osteoporosis can also occur in an individual who doesn't consume enough calcium and vitamin D rich foods. A decrease in estrogen in post-menopausal women can also lead to osteoporosis-related bone loss.

An Existing Spinal Fracture

If you suffer a spinal fracture for any reason, it can cause an instability that can lead to a spinal compression fracture. For example, if you are involved in a car accident and your spinal cord suffers damage, you are left vulnerable to developing a spinal compression fracture.

As the patient ages, additional spinal compression fractures can occur, and this will eventually lead to a loss in height, or the individual may begin to hunch over, a condition that is called kyphosis.

Your Lifestyle

Finally, there several unhealthy life choices that can also place an individual at risk for developing a spinal compression fracture. If you smoke, consume alcohol, do not exercise or do not eat a balanced diet, you are actually placing yourself at an increased risk.

This is because smoking, consuming alcohol, and avoiding exercise can make it difficult for your body to absorb the calcium it needs to keep your bones strong. Over time, this can cause your bones to become frail, which will eventually lead to a spinal fracture.

From an unhealthy lifestyle to osteoporosis, there are several risk factors associated with spinal compression fractures. If you have any further questions, don't hesitate to contact your physician. Visit for more information.