I recently noticed that a friend seems to be Shrinking! She is not as tall as she used to be. When I mentioned it, she said that her kids had been on her about her Poor Posture! She has tried exercises and PT, but her “posture” is getting worse.
When I looked at her with my “doctor eyes”, I realized that she has Kyphosis or Vertebral Compression Fractures. It is also called the “Dowager Hump” or “Humpback”.
Her mother’s back became so badly humped that she could not see in front of herself when standing! Now my friend is developing the same problem! It is time to get serious about evaluation and treatment of her Osteoporosis!
She has had DXA testing which was read as not too bad. She has not had a VFA or a lateral spine x-ray. No one has looked for her Vertebral Compression Fractures.
The problem is that these are not sudden compression fractures. She has slow crumbling of multiple vertebrae. The smooth hump in her back used to be called “Normal Degenerative Kyphosis of Age”. It is Natural. The good news it that it no longer needs to be Normal.
My friend is going to get a full evaluation and begin treatment to prevent further crumbling of her spine. If you also have “Poor Posture” you should too.
Jay Ginther, MD