Any type of back or neck injury, especially one that involves a fracture, requires specialize medical care. Assuming this type of injury can heal on its own is a mistake, as it could result in a variety of symptoms and side effects that make it nearly impossible to live a pain-free life.
There are many causes of vertebral fractures, including but not limited to a slip-and-fall accident, car accident or blunt force trauma.
If you have any reason to believe you've suffered a vertebral fracture, don't wait to seek medical care. For example, if you were struck by a piece of heavy machinery at work, stop what you're doing, call for help and wait for an ambulance to arrive.
Most vertebral fractures can be treated with immobilization, such as a corset or brace. Not only does this reduce pain and discomfort, but it can also prevent deformity. Most of the time, it's suggested to immobilize the area for 12 weeks.
Surgical treatment may be required in the event of a more serious vertebral fracture. While there are risks associated with any surgery, if your medical team suggests it, you should give it serious consideration.
After your surgery, you're likely to wear a brace for a period of six to 12 weeks.
Since most vertebral fractures require immobilization and plenty of rest, you won't be able to immediately return to work. For this reason, make sure your employer is fully aware of your injury and how it happened. This will improve the likelihood of you receiving workers' compensation benefits without your employer putting up a fight.