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Fixed Sagittal Imbalance

Individuals with fixed sagittal imbalance, a condition where the normal curve of the lower spine is greatly reduced or absent altogether that can cause pain and difficulty balancing. Can chiropractic treatment, physical therapy, and exercise help improve the condition?

Fixed Sagittal Imbalance

Fixed Sagittal Imbalance

The condition is commonly known as flat back syndrome and can be present at birth or can happen as a result of surgery or a medical condition.

  • It can also happen for other reasons, including degenerative disc disease, traumatic injury, or as a result of spinal surgery. (Columbia University Irving Medical Center. 2023)
  • Individuals with flat back syndrome position their head and neck too far forward.
  • A major symptom is difficulty standing for long periods of time.

Symptoms

The spine has two curves. The lumbar spine in the lower back and cervical spine in the neck curve inward. The thoracic spine in the upper back curves outward. The curves are part of the spine’s natural alignment. They help the body balance and maintain the center of gravity.

  • If these curves begin to disappear the body can have trouble and difficulty standing up straight.
  • The loss of curvature causes the head and neck to pitch forward, making it hard to walk and do regular normal activities.
  • Individuals have to flex their hips and knees and adjust their pelvis in order to stand up straight. (Columbia University Irving Medical Center. 2023)
  • There is a tendency to stoop forward which gradually increases and can even feel like the body is falling forward.
  • By the end of the day, the body is exhausted from the strain of trying to maintain balance.

Causes

Some causes of fixed sagittal imbalance include: (Columbia University Irving Medical Center. 2023)

  • Congenital – present at birth.
  • Degenerative disc disease.
  • Ankylosing spondylitis – a type of inflammatory arthritis of the spine.
  • Compression fractures of the vertebrae – for example, caused by osteoporosis.
  • The condition used to be common after spine surgery to correct scoliosis/abnormal curvature of the spine.
  • The devices implanted could cause flat back syndrome, especially for older individuals.
  • However, new and updated surgical techniques have decreased the complications.

Diagnosis

A doctor will ask about medical history, injuries, or back surgery. This will followed by a physical exam, that can include:

  • A musculoskeletal exam.
  • A neurologic exam.
  • A gait examination will assess standing and walking ability.
  • The gait exam is done because the gait can change to compensate for the loss of the curvature.
  • X-ray imaging will show spinal alignment.
  • Other possible sources of symptoms will be considered before a diagnosis can be confirmed.

Treatment

Treatment often involves physical therapy and exercise, bracing to provide increased support, and sometimes surgery.

  • Physical therapy typically begins with stretching and targeted strengthening exercises to improve posture.
  • The goal is to reverse the pattern of muscle imbalance that keeps the lower back flat.
  • Exercises to strengthen the neck, rear shoulder muscles, back, core, and buttocks can include: (National Health Service. n.d.)
  • Abdominal stretches
  • Hamstring stretches.
  1. Hamstring stretches improve the alignment of the lumbar spine.
  2. Hold the stretch for about 30 seconds at a time.
  3. Repeat three to five times once or twice a day.
  • Back extensions
  • Chest stretches
  • Planking
  • Side-lying leg raises
  • Seated rows in a gym or pull-ups

In severe cases, patients may need corrective surgery. A few options include: (Columbia University Irving Medical Center. 2023)

A chiropractor and/or physical therapist can recommend exercises and other forms of treatment. (Won-Moon Kim, et al., 2021)


Life-Changing Chiropractic Relief


References

Columbia University Irving Medical Center. Flatback syndrome.

National Health Service. Common posture mistakes and fixes.

Lee, B. H., Hyun, S. J., Kim, K. J., Jahng, T. A., Kim, Y. J., & Kim, H. J. (2018). Clinical and Radiological Outcomes of Posterior Vertebral Column Resection for Severe Spinal Deformities. Journal of Korean Neurosurgical Society, 61(2), 251–257. doi.org/10.3340/jkns.2017.0181

Kim, W. M., Seo, Y. G., Park, Y. J., Cho, H. S., & Lee, C. H. (2021). Effect of Different Exercise Types on the Cross-Sectional Area and Lumbar Lordosis Angle in Patients with Flat Back Syndrome. International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(20), 10923. doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182010923

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Professional Scope of Practice *

The information herein on "Fixed Sagittal Imbalance" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

Blog Information & Scope Discussions

Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, acupuncture, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.

We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from various disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and directly or indirectly support our clinical scope of practice.*

Our office has reasonably attempted to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.

We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez, DC, or contact us at 915-850-0900.

We are here to help you and your family.

Blessings

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN*, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

Licensed as a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) in Texas & New Mexico*
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Disclaimer *

The information herein is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional. Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.

We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

phone: 915-850-0900

Licensed in Texas & New Mexico *

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CIFM, IFMCP, ATN, CCST
My Digital Business Card

Post Disclaimer

Professional Scope of Practice *

The information herein on "Treating Ankle Sprains (Chiropractic Care) | El Paso, Tx (2023)" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

Blog Information & Scope Discussions

Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, acupuncture, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.

We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from various disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and directly or indirectly support our clinical scope of practice.*

Our office has reasonably attempted to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.

We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez, DC, or contact us at 915-850-0900.

We are here to help you and your family.

Blessings

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN*, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

Licensed as a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) in Texas & New Mexico*
Texas DC License # TX5807, New Mexico DC License # NM-DC2182

Licensed as a Registered Nurse (RN*) in Florida
Florida License RN License # RN9617241 (Control No. 3558029)
Compact Status: Multi-State License: Authorized to Practice in 40 States*

Presently Matriculated: ICHS: MSN* FNP (Family Nurse Practitioner Program)

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN* CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
My Digital Business Card

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