Spinal Fractures and Posture

You may have seen the image of an older woman with osteoporosis – bent forward with a hump at the top of her spine – and you worry that this is in store for you.

Unfortunately, there was a time when osteoporosis went undiagnosed in the elderly and there were no drug therapies available. Many older women did develop this type of posture. Luckily, this situation is changing. People are being diagnosed earlier and prescribed drug therapy, which reduces the risk of fractures. This in turn reduces the risk of this stooped posture and hump (known as “kyphosis”).

An individual can develop kyphosis as a result of experiencing numerous compression fractures in the spine. Each time a vertebra fractures in this way, it can “compress” so that the spine begins to round forward and each fracture contributes to a slow change in posture.

Individuals whose posture does change can find ways to alter their clothing so that clothes hang evenly and create a lengthening effect that minimizes the visual impact of the body being bent forward. A good seamstress or tailor is an excellent resource.


More about Living Well with Osteoporosis:

Information on Falls and Daily Living

 Information on Fractures and Resources

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