A very legitimate question. With spinal X-rays it's often difficult to tell with plain X-rays (ie not scans) whether the fracture is new or old.
In this instance, unless he has had previous trauma, it's best to assume that these are new fractures, and need to be taken seriously. Like all fractures they will take a minimum of 6 weeks to heal, but unlike a fractured arm say, you can't put the spine (not easily anyway) in a cast.
So he needs to treat it as though he was in a cast. Small movements are fine, in fact will help the healing, but absolutely no "silly buggers" for two months or more.
As much as he is able he should sit and stand tall. Hunching the spine puts pressure on the fracture site and will increase the likelihood of a kyphosis of the midback. Chronic pain...
Spinal manipulation is definitely not recommended at the moment, but in a couple months, done sensibly and gently may bring considerable relief to the pain he is and will be having.
I hope this has contributed.
PS. If he gets any peripheral symptoms, tingling in the legs, bladder or bowel changes, anything below that level, then he should certainly see a neurologist. Go from Anterior wedging thoracic spine vertebrae to Chiropractic Help home index page … Find a good chiropractor
may be your next step.
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