Fixated sagittal imbalance is another name for the flat back syndrome. Your lower spine’s natural curve is either diminished or nonexistent in this situation. The inability to stand for extended periods of time is a key symptom.
At birth, the flat back syndrome may already exist. There are other causes as well, such as spinal surgery, acute injury, or degenerative disc disease. Surgery, bracing, or physical therapy are frequently used as treatments.
This article examines the causes, symptoms, and diagnosis of flat back syndrome. Additionally, it covers available therapies.
Flat Back Syndrome Symptoms
Normally, your spine has two curvatures. Your cervical spine in your neck and your lumbar spine in your lower back both have an inward curve. Your upper back’s thoracic spine has an outward curvature. The natural alignment of your spine includes these bends. They aid in maintaining your center of gravity and balance.
When these curves are lessened, it can be difficult to stand up straight. You could hunch forward, especially at night. You can even experience a forward fall. You may need to flex your hips and knees as well as correct your pelvis in order to stand up straight.
The lumbar spine lacks its normal curve in a person with flat back syndrome. This might make it challenging to walk and carry out daily tasks since it causes the head and neck to pitch forward. The effort required to maintain your balance may make you feel exhausted.
The body carries the head and neck forward to make up for flat back syndrome. Strain and persistent pain in the shoulders, upper back, and neck may result from this.
The Flat Back Syndrome Causes
The following are some causes of the flat back syndrome:
- Congenital, which means it existed at birth
- Spine-related inflammatory arthritis called ankylosing spondylitis
- Vertebral compression fractures, such as those brought on by osteoporosis
- Dystrophic disc disease
Following spine surgery, flat back syndrome is another possibility. This used to happen often following surgery to treat scoliosis, an abnormal curvature of the spine. These operations’ implanted gadgets may result in flat back syndrome, especially as people get older. This complication has decreased because of modern surgical methods.
Flat Back Syndrome diagnosis
Your doctor will first inquire about your medical history, including any back surgeries or spine deformities. You’ll also get a physical examination, which will include:
- Musculoskeletal examination
- Neurologic testing
A gait analysis measures your walking ability. Your gait may have been modified to make up for the lack of spinal curvature, which is why this is done.
Finally, X-ray imaging will enable your doctor to view the alignment of your spine. Before the diagnosis is finalized, other potential causes of your symptoms will need to be taken into account.
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Taking Care of Flat Back Syndrome
Exercise and physical therapy are typically the first steps in treating the flat back condition. Stretching and strengthening activities are frequently included in this to enhance posture. The intention is to change the muscle imbalance pattern that maintains the lower back flat.
The following exercises can help you develop your core, buttocks, back, neck, and rear shoulder muscles:
- Side-lying leg lifts while planking
- Extend your chest
- In a gym, seated rows or pull-ups
- back stretches
- Stretching the abdomen and hamstrings
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Your lumbar spine’s alignment can be improved with a light hamstring stretch. At a time, maintain the stretch for around 30 seconds. Repeat once or twice daily, three to five times.
Exercises and other types of therapy may be suggested by your physical therapist. Bracing to give better support might be a part of this.
Surgery can be necessary for some people. There are several possibilities, including:
- wedge osteotomy with many segments
- Osteotomy Pedical Subtraction
- Resection of the posterior vertebral column
The lower spine’s loss of curvature is what causes the flat back syndrome. It might develop as a result of surgery or a medical condition, or it can be present at birth.
With flat back syndrome, the head and neck are carried excessively far forward. Both discomfort and balance issues may result from this.
X-ray imaging, a physical examination, and medical history can all be used to identify the flat back syndrome. Even though surgery is occasionally required, the standard course of treatment involves physical therapy and exercise.
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