By Kornelis Poelstra on 2021-04-06

What is Scoliosis or Flat Back Syndrome?

The human spine is a brilliant feat of biological engineering, capable of providing support, balance, rigidity and flexibility when needed.

In it’s natural, ‘normal’ state, the spine has two opposing curves that create a natural S-like shape. These curves provide balance, positioning the head directly over the pelvis when looking at it from the side.

Unfortunately, some individuals experience structural imbalances in this natural curvature, resulting in a myriad of challenges ranging from balance and posture, to reduced mobility, pain and discomfort.

Contact the specialists at Robo Spine, a leading orthopedic surgeon in Las Vegas, NV.

Although once limited specifically to those with flattened spines, this syndrome’s definition has been expanded to include those with reduced lumbar lordosis caused by a range of underlying conditions including but not limited to ankylosing spondylitis, degenerative disc disease, vertebral compression fracture and lumbar post laminectomy.

Flatback Syndrome itself, however, is a condition marked by a loss of curvature in the lower back, causing it to become flattened over time. The net result of this is an unbalanced spine, causing the individual to hunch forward.

What Are the Symptoms of Flat Back Syndrome?

Although this syndrome may begin subtly, as time progresses, an individual may notice accompanying leg, neck or back pain, and an increasing need to lean forward when standing.

Those afflicted normally notice that their symptoms increase or intensify as the day progresses, causing them to learn even farther forward. This posture results in the spine attempting to adapt for the imbalance, tilting the individual’s pelvis and flexing their hips or knees. Over time this compensation can result in increased pain, muscle soreness, and fatigue.

The severity of symptoms associated with flat back syndrome vary widely, and are a largely determined by the extent of curvature present.

Symptoms Overview:

  • Neck, back, knee, hip or leg pain
  • Forward-leaning posture
  • Difficulty standing upright/straight 
  • Reduced balance and/or mobility
  • Reduced range of motion in the spine

What Are the Causes of Flat Back Syndrome?

Degenerative Disc Disease: a condition in which the discs that cushion, support and separate the vertebrae of the spine shrink, compress or wear down over time.

Vertebral Compression Fracture: Often caused by osteoporosis, vertebral compression fractures occur due to a weakening of the bone. 

Ankylosing Spondylitis: A chronic inflammatory condition affecting the spine, resulting in arthritis, stiffness and even fusion of the spinal vertebral bodies.

Lumbar Post Laminectomy Syndrome: Sometimes seen in patients who have previously undergone treatments including spinal surgery or a laminectomy.

Treatment of Flat Back Syndrome

Mild cases may benefit from non-surgical therapies such as physical therapy, massage, and postural changes. However, flat back syndrome is most typically treated with scoliosis surgery. Surgical procedures aim to re-align the spine to its natural state, improving balance and posture.

If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with flat back syndrome or suspect that you may be afflicted, don’t hesitate to reach out. Our team of industry-leading spine specialist are here to help you find the answers you need. Don’t let your back hold you back. Explore your options at The Robotic Spine Institute of Las Vegas today and find out how we can help. Call (888) 617-7463 or visit 7140 Smoke Ranch Rd, #150, Las Vegas, NV 89128.

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