In most cases, you experience sudden pain when the vertebra collapses. However, vertebral compression fractures can develop gradually, causing back pain that’s mild at first and gets worse over time.

Any of these symptoms signal a vertebral compression fracture:

  • Sudden, severe mid-back pain
  • Limited spinal movement
  • Pain that gets worse when walking
  • Pain that feels better when lying down
  • Round-back deformity
  • Loss of height

Compression fractures force the front side of the vertebra to collapse, while the backside stays the same height, resulting in a wedge-shaped bone. When several adjoining vertebrae have a wedge-shape, they cause a curvature in your spine and create a noticeably rounded shape.