Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation

Lower Back and Neck Flattening

Our spine is made up of bones called vertebrae and they constitute the most important supporting element of our motion system. If you look from one side, 3 curvatures are seen in the spine. Those in neck and lower back region are inwards and the curvate in the back region is outwards. Our spine gains strength against impacts and weight-lifting by the courtesy of these curvatures.

However, in some cases, troubles and associated painful problems may occur in this system of the spine. For example, internal tension of muscles increases and curvature of the spine in that region begins to dwindle as a result of keeping muscles in the neck and lower back in the same position for a long time. Spasms developing in the muscles due to straining positions, including sitting or working in the same position for a long time, lifting heavy objects consistently, working by leaning forward or lifting heavy objects also cause an increase in pressure within the discs. Thus, flattening occurs in the lower back and neck regions.

Flattening of the spine leads to deterioration of the structure of the discs in those regions in the long term and after some time, more severe painful conditions such as lumbar disc hernia or cervical disc hernia may occur.

The most important symptom of flattening in the lower back and neck regions is regional pain. In the case of flattening of the neck, patients may also suffer from chronic headaches and they constantly feel the need to use painkillers. Lower back and neck pain especially increases while sitting down and getting up, and making movements by leaning forward, and it becomes persistent over time. Where it is not treated in the early stage, lumbar disc and cervical disc hernias develop so the pain in arms and legs causes further deterioration of the condition.

In the case of lower back and neck pain which doesn't heal in a couple of days, you should consult a specialist physician and have necessary examinations carried out. Flattening in lower back and neck regions can be easily identified by conventional x-ray films. After determining the degree of flattening, a physical therapy program of 15 - 20 sessions with muscle relaxant drugs will provide a significant reduction of symptoms. After treatment, the most important issue is to continue neck and lower back exercises. Measures such as preventing wrong posture – sitting posture, improving working conditions, avoiding leaning forward too much, adjusting the height of work table should be taken.