Most compression fractures result from osteoporosis. Bones naturally weaken with age. The vertebrae in the spine become flatter and narrower. Weakened bones are more likely to fracture.
If you have moderate osteoporosis, you might get a compression fracture from a fall or another type of accident. People who have severe osteoporosis can fracture a bone during daily activities. These can include getting out of a car, sneezing, coughing or twisting suddenly.
In younger people who don’t have osteoporosis, compression fractures usually result from trauma (such as a car accident) or cancer. Cancerous tumors can spread to the spine, weaken the vertebrae and cause the bones to break.