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Date of last update: 10/01/2017.

Forum Name: Spinal problems and back pain

Question: upperbody posture

 chacha3 - Thu Jan 22, 2009 11:29 pm

I have problem holding my upper body straight after walking or standing for short period of time. When I was 40 I fell and fractured my back. I do not have a curved spine. I had an MRI and it did not show any curvature. But when my back bends it looks as if I do. I walk about ten feet then my upper body goes down. One docter prescribed a muscle relaxant. And I do not know if that is enough to solve the problem.
 Tom Plamondon PA-C - Sat Jan 31, 2009 9:24 am

User avatar Hello,
Thanks for writing in.

You have described difficulty maintained upright posture when walking more than 10 feet. History of spine fracture 40 years ago. No history of scoliosis confirmed by MRI but some curvature noted when bending forward. Muscle relaxers have been prescribed.

Since pain does not appear to be an issue then we start thinking about a couple of things. One, the muscles in the upper and midback may be weak. Second, you may have a functional scoliosis. Third, you may developing kyphosis.

A functional scoliosis (lateral curve of the spine) shows up during forward bending but not during supine or straight standing.

Kyphosis is a increased posterior curve of the thoracic spine. This may be due to degenerative changes in the spine and life long postural changes.

In any case, an evaluation by a physical therapist would help define your condition and then focus on exercise for correction.

Unless you are having muscle spasms, the muscle relaxers will not change the bending forward. If anything, a back spasm would make you stand taller and stiffer.

Another consideration is osteoporosis. Loss of bone mineral density can change the structure of the spine and may lead to abnormal curvature or posture.

Your family physician can order physical therapy for rehabilitation and a bone mineral density test for osteoporosis screening.

Take care and keep us posted.

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