To avoid compression and injury, it's important that you create length in the spine before and during a twist. Focus on three key actions: elongating the spine, twisting from the inside out, and breathing.
Practice by using this Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Lord of the Fishes Pose) variation:
Start by sitting on the floor with both legs straight, then bend your right knee, placing the sole of your right foot on the floor outside the left thigh, as close to your thigh as possible. With clasped hands, hold your right shin just below the knee.
Use that action to help lengthen the spine, extending up through the crown of your head as you simultaneously root down through your sitting bones. On an inhalation, lift up from the base of your skull, keeping the chin parallel to the floor. On an exhalation, release the weight of your hips into the earth. Take a few breaths here and imagine creating space between the vertebrae as you continue the opposing actions of lifting up and rooting down.