This case report describes a case of an elderly woman diagnosed with acute osteoporotic vertebral compression fracture (OVCF) at thoracic spine after using an electrical automated massage chair (EAMC). Care should be taken when using an EAMC, especially by those with or at risk of developing osteoporosis. Osteoporotic vertebral compression fracture (OVCF) is a common problem among elderly population and presents a high burden to society. Osteoporotic fractures may occur after a minimal trauma of the vertebrae. Electrical automated massage chair (EAMC) is a device that uses a programmed algorithm to perform automated massage. The massage chair, a popular device among elderly with back pain, relies on friction and rhythmic tapping created by a motorized roller. However, research regarding the safety of this device is lacking, especially in the perspective of OVCF. We present a case of an elderly woman diagnosed with acute OVCF of the thoracic spine after using an EAMC. The patient had no risk factor for fragility fracture and experienced an abrupt onset of severe upper back pain while using EAMC. Imaging studies revealed an isolated acute compression fracture at T8 vertebra (AO classification type A1) while dual-energy X-Ray absorptiometry scan confirmed osteoporosis. The patient was treated with a plastic orthosis and oral medications for osteoporosis. After 6-months follow-up, the patient showed union of the fractured T8 vertebra and no remaining symptoms. This case highlights that OVCF can be induced by EAMC. Therefore, patients with or at risk for osteoporosis should be cautious while opting for deep tissue massage using EAMC.
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