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Flatback syndrome occurs when there are no natural curves in the spine. Typically, flatback syndrome causes the naturally occurring front-to-back curve in the lower back to straighten out. When you look at the back from the side, there should be a slight S-shaped curve. This curve allows the back to maintain balance and stability.


When the curves are properly balanced in the spine, it requires minimal energy to stand up straight and walk. An improper balance of the spine leads to flatback syndrome. Flatback syndrome makes it difficult to stand normally. It may also cause chronic pain that makes it difficult to complete everyday activities. 

The following are common symptoms of flatback syndrome:

  • Chronic back pain
  • A sensation of falling forward
  • Trouble completing daily activities
  • Unable to stand up straight
  • Thigh pain from constantly bending at the hip and knees
  • Fatigue


Flatback syndrome may be caused by degenerative diseases, injuries, and surgical procedures.

The causes of flatback syndrome include:

  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Compression fractures
  • Ankylosing Spondylitis 
  • Laminectomy
  • Lumbar spinal fusion
  • The braces worn to correct scoliosis may also straighten the back’s natural curves and lead to flatback syndrome.

For a comprehensive evaluation from the experts at Brain2Spine Institute, call 727-828-8400.

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