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Flat Back Syndrome & Chronic Low Back Pain

Flat back syndrome is a term used to describe lack of curvature in the low back. Sometimes people are told that flat back syndrome is the reason for their chronic low back pain. Having a flat back is a symptom of low back pain but not a cause.  A healthy low back does have natural curvature. And people lacking lumbar curvature will commonly indicate pain on or near their sacrum. Flatback syndrome involves numerous muscles in the lower body being overly tight. Gaining curvature of the lumbar spine entails lengthening lower body muscles. The psoas muscle, in particular, must be lengthened to bring curvature to the lumbar spine. Active Isolated Stretching (AIS) is highly beneficial for flat back syndrome. Flat back syndrome is associated with spinal stenosis, lumbar disc herniation, disc degeneration, arthritis, and chronic low back pain.

Flat back causes

Tightness in the lower body muscles causes the lumbar region to lose its natural curve. Loss of curvature in the lower spine can be of varying degrees. The lower spine does not need to be completely straight for people to experience low back pain. The psoas, gluteal (buttocks), and hamstring muscles are almost always involved in flat back syndrome. Other muscles are involved, but these three are almost always a causal factor. Athletes will lose flexibility in these muscles through repetitive motion activity. And psoas, glute, and hamstring muscles will become tight from numerous hours of sitting. Frequent flying (airline travel) will further tighten psoas, glutes, and hamstring muscles because people are sitting on planes. And the high altitude compounds tightness to these lower body muscles. Unfortunately, industrialized society requires long hours of sitting to perform our occupations. This is a major reason why low back pain is so prevalent throughout the world.

Laying on a foam roller to correct flat back syndrome

Some therapists incorrectly advise laying and rolling on a foam roller to gain curvature in the lumbar region. Rolling the low back on a foam roller does not cure flat back syndrome. A tightened psoas muscle causes the lumbar spine to flatten. And the psoas cannot be affected by rolling pressure to the low back. The psoas is underneath the belly. And even if you roll the foam roller on your stomach, it will not release the psoas because the muscle is too deep to release by applying rolling pressure of a foam roller.

Massage therapy for flat back syndrome

Some modalities like deep tissue massage, Rolfing, and Active Release Technique claim that their method can open the tightened psoas muscle through their form of manual manipulation. The psoas cannot be opened through massage or manual therapy because there are too many points of attachment to be released through direct pressure. Self-stretching techniques will not open a psoas to optimal length. The psoas must be opened through assisted stretching. Afterwards, self-stretching techniques can help maintain an open psoas. Chiropractic adjustments would be more effective after AIS treatment because chiropractic does not address psoas tightness in their procedure. PNF stretching uses the wrong position for psoas stretching, which can cause herniation to the discs around the L4, L5, S1 region. Active Isolated Stretching is most effective at opening the psoas muscle, which is essential for restoring the natural lumbar curve.

Muscles attach to bones. Tightness in the psoas, hamstrings, and gluteal muscles will put excessive strain on the pelvis and spine. This muscular tightness will pull on the pelvis bone and cause the lower spine to lose its natural curve. Inflammation will result around the spine from muscular tightness which causes spinal stenosis – the narrowing of the spinal canal. Low back discs around L4, L5, S1 will often become strained to the point in which they herniate, bulge, or degenerate. Spinal stenosis and lumbar disc disorders can also be restored with AIS therapy because the cause is excessive muscle inflexibility. A spinal canal can widen when muscular inflammation is ceased. A herniated, slipped, or bulging disc can return inside the vertebral column when muscular pressure is discontinued. Similarly, AIS therapy will cure spinal nerve pain because pinching on spinal nerves is caused by muscular inflammation.

Weakness in the lower body muscles also contributes to flat back syndrome. Rehabilitation from flat back syndrome entails doing lower body strengthening exercises to maintain the natural curve in the low back. After the psoas muscle is lengthened, it needs to be strengthened. Correct abdominal exercises are an important part of rehabilitation. Unfortunately, many people perform abdominal exercises incorrectly which worsen flat back syndrome. For example, full sit-ups are when the hands are interlocked behind the head and the person performs a full ab crunch to the point in which their elbows touch their bent knees. This is the wrong way to practice abdominal exercises! Full sit-ups or full ab-crunches will tighten the psoas muscle, which will decrease curvature of the lumbar spine.

Spinal stenosis, lumbar disc herniation/degeneration, and chronic low back pain will often be linked to flat back syndrome. Flat back syndrome is not the cause of these disorders. Flat back syndrome is an indicator of tightened lower body muscles. Active Isolated Stretching can reverse flat back syndrome because the first course of treatment is to restore flexibility. Conventional stretching, PNF stretching, yoga, and Thai massage have failed to grasp key mistakes they are making in their procedure. Active Isolated Stretching can restore lumbar curvature while other forms of stretching cannot. One-to-one AIS treatment is the kick start to gaining curvature in the lumbar spine. At-home AIS exercises are what maintain correct posture.

flat back

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  4. C4 C5 C6 C7 Cervical Disc disease. Resolving Chronic Neck Pain.
  5. Corrective scoliosis treatment. Is scoliosis curable? Yes!

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22 Responses to Flat Back Syndrome & Chronic Low Back Pain

  1. Anthony Ohm says:

    Dr. Sondra C.

    AIS treatment is highly beneficial for flat back syndrome. I’m confident that AIS treatment will improve your condition. I know of a therapist in the NYC area. Perhaps he can meet with you.
    Let me know if you are still seeking treatment.

  2. sondra cramer says:

    I am a 48 year old disabled physician. i have had 2 fusions encompassing L2-L5. since my second fusion I have been unable to stand for more than 3 minutes unless holding onto something. I have burning in my upper back when I walk. Walking is also difficult. i need to lean forward onto a walker or a shopping cart.

    Does AIS work for flat back due to fusion surgery. Are there any experienced practitioners that you know of? if not, where can I go? I am very motivated to to get better. i am willing to do what ever is necessary, including travel. Surgery is not an option right now.

  3. phil C says:

    Do you recommend a session where we we word on both the upper body and the lower back (for neck problems and flat back)?

  4. Anthony Ohm says:

    Hi Shirin,

    I checked the founder’s website and there are practitioners in your city. I don’t know them personally, but you may want to look into their services. I’ve given you a list of questions to ask them. And if any of them are pretty good at this, it may give you a lot of benefit. My instructional video will be useful for people that cannot travel to an AIS practitioner, but the best method is a combination of treatment from a therapist and studying the instructional video. Since you have that ability, I recommend that you give both options a try. AIS treatment is more precise than yoga. And the chiropractic adjustments will be more beneficial if you do it after an AIS session.
    Another option is you can attend an AIS seminar and learn how to do this method yourself. Seminars are still taught by the developer in Sarasota, Florida. Aaron Mattes may be teaching another seminar in January or February 2013. If you are really committed to improving your life, then this type of education may be what you need. You would get an entirely different perspective on how to work with physical pain and dysfunction. It certainly helped me with my own low back problem.
    Kind regards,
    Anthony Ohm

  5. Shirin M says:

    Thank you for your reply. Ideally, I would like to avoid another surgery if at all possible. Unfortunately, if the nearest AIS practitioner to me is in ______, and to perform this technique properly requires multiple visits, I don’t know how I would manage that. Would the exercises in your instructional video be beneficial to me if that is the only option I have, or are they only successful in conjunction with treatment by a practitioner? I want to explore all alternative options to manage my condition including yoga and chiropractic visits if they will offer benefit. I am beginning to realize that this will be a lifetime battle against further degeneration because with the rods in place, the tendency of my lower back will be to continue to further straighten. I have 25% lordosis left at this time and my chiropractor told me that once you get to 20% and below, it becomes much worse of a problem. And my hip slippage needs to be corrected as well as it is placing a lot of strain on my right side and hip. Thanks again for your detailed response to my question.

  6. Anthony Ohm says:

    Hi Shirin M.

    My comments are going to be different than what you will get from physicians, surgeons, or chiropractors… I assume that that is what you want. An alternative view.
    I have worked with people with a harrington rod. And it is possible to make improvements on your condition with the rod still in place. What you need to do is to find a competent AIS practitioner.
    You can go to this site and look at the practitioner directory on http://www.stretchingusa.com
    I don’t personally know any that are in your area.
    There is a wide range of competency levels among AIS therapists. Here are some good questions to ask:

    “How many workshops with Aaron Mattes (the developer) have you attended?”
    “Have you assisted in the workshops with Aaron?”
    “Have you spent time as an intern at Aaron Mattes office?”
    “If yes, how many cumulative hours (workshops and intern time) have you spent with the developer Aaron Mattes?”
    “Ideally, if I want the best results possible, how long of a session should I do?” This is a trick question. If the practitioner says multiple hours, then that’s the best answer. Because that means that this person is performing the method exactly like the developer. But many practitioners are afraid of turning off their new clients. If their answer is “60 minutes, and I never go more than that.” Well, that’s not the answer that I would be hoping for. So the best answer that you’ll get may be somewhere in between those two possibilities.
    You want a practitioner that has spent at least 300 direct hours with the developer.
    500 hours of study is better.
    1000 hours is an advanced level.

    The flatback tendency with a harrington rod does continue to get progressively worse without the right therapy. As we age, our muscles become less elastic. That happens to all of us. As the muscles that surround the pelvis become tighter, more stress and strain will be placed on the low back joint. This decrease in muscle length will cause the low back to lose its curvature. Having said that, AIS treatment can restore the natural lumbar curvature and reverse this negative pattern that is occurring. After your body increases its muscle elasticity, then it is time to learn strengthening exercises that will uphold your skeletal frame more optimally. This is part of the treatment process and a qualified AIS practitioner can show you how to do all these exercises.

    I don’t believe that more surgery is your only option. Surgery begets more surgery.
    The chiropractor may be correct in his observation. The best way to correct the imbalance in the hips is with AIS treatment. You need work on the hip rotators.
    Additionally, I am releasing an instructional video for people to practice at-home exercises. The video should be available on my website in less than two weeks.
    The fee will be affordable.

    I am currently in Honolulu, Hawaii. And I also practice in Los Angeles, California. You don’t have to travel across the country to find the right therapist. But some travel may be necessary.

    Let me know if you have any other questions.

    Anthony Ohm

  7. Shirin M says:

    Hello Mr. Ohm, I came across your website while researching possible exercises to reverse flatback syndrome. I am 44 years old, when I was 16 I had Harrington rod surgery and spinal fusion to correct an S curve. I had no problems until this past summer when I began experiencing lower back pain. In doing research I found that the Harrington rod has been the cause of flatback syndrome which crops up years after the surgery. I then had an x-ray at a chiropractor’s office and he showed me that my lower back has lost 50% of lordosis. Would this qualify as flatback? Does it continue to degenerate? Everything I read says the only cure is another painful back surgery. Do you believe there is an alternative? The work the chiropractor wants to do with me addresses the fact that my hips have gone crooked to the left, not the flat lower back. Have you worked with anybody with Harrington rod flatback syndrome? I appreciate any advice you have. Thanks so much.

  8. Anthony Ohm says:

    To Phil C.

    The AIS treatment process is three parts:
    1. Receive assisted AIS treatment with a trained therapist.
    2. Learn the self-stretching phase of AIS. These stretches can be done at home. AIS self-stretching is taught to clients during the appointments.
    3. Learn how to do Active Isolated Strengthening methods. These exercises can also be done at home. AIS strength training is taught to clients during the sessions.

  9. Phil C says:

    Hi Anthony,
    Thank you for the site.
    I have one question, after the treatments; do you teach prevention or stretches to be done at home for your clients?

    Thanks,
    Philip

  10. Anthony Ohm says:

    Anthony Ohm wrote:

    Hi KFinn,

    The textbooks that I would recommend are:

    Active Isolated Stretching by Aaron Mattes (green cover)

    Active Isolated Strengthening by Aaron Mattes (white cover)

    Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction written by Janet Travell, M.D. and David Simons, M.D. Volumes 1 and 2.

    I hope you find them helpful.

  11. KFinn says:

    Thanks for your reply. I have now been discharged from physiotherapy after only 5 sessions! I have started doing AIS as part of my own program and have increased the flexibility in my hips and have now acquired a noticeable curve in my lumbar spine. Which is great! Still a work in progress though.

    As you said, my chest is extremely tight and I’ve been attempting to stretch it using AIS for a while. It works in the short-term although I think the bigger problem is my overstretched, weakened upper back muscles which I’m trying to work on. I also have a problem with my upper trapezius being overactive. They’ve essentially taken over the role of my upper/middle back. Have you got a recommended AIS stretch for the upper trapezius? Can’t find one anywhere! I want to stretch them just before trying to strengthen my middle/upper back to try and ‘switch off’ my upper traps.

    One thing I need to ask is could you recommend a textbook for me to read? I have come across a blog that believes the same as you (and now me from first hand experience) that a tight, shortened psoas leads to a flattening of the lumbar spine. This other website mentioned a textbook by someone that first proposed this idea (and was ridiculed) and I really want to read it but can’t find it anywhere as I can’t remember the website or the writer.

    Thanks

  12. Anthony Ohm says:

    Dear KFinn,

    I think many people will read your story and relate to the similar frustrations that they experienced with their healthcare practitioners. I once asked Aaron Mattes, the developer of Active Isolated Stretching, “why don’t more physicians know about AIS?” His answer: “They don’t want to know.” Its the job of the ordinary person to find out about truly effective alternatives to chronic pain. KFinn, many people have similar experiences as you and wrongly conclude that surgery is the only option remaining. Your type of experience has lead too many people to opt for back surgery or neck surgery, shoulder surgery, wrist surgery, knee surgery, foot surgery, etc. We have been trained to trust the word of our doctors as the supreme law. In the area of physical pain, physicians, surgeons, physical therapists, and physiotherapists are just not as good as they think they are. The average person with pain has got to look outside their scope.

    Just as you experienced, when I saw numerous physicians and surgeons about chronic low back pain, their answer was the same: “you’re too young to have back pain.” This is a major insult. What its my imagination? And then yes, I too was given the sheet of basic exercises to do and the “now please leave” gesture. I am all too familiar with that negative experience. The doctor’s oath is “do no harm.” I think that oath should be changed to “do something besides give me that ridiculous sheet of stupid ineffective exercises!”

    And now you are seeing a physiotherapist who says that there is nothing that he can do about your pain. At least he’s being humble by not saying that there is nothing that can be done period. Maybe someone else knows what to do? Good for you, for looking outside the mainstream conventional treatments. I’m not critical of the entire allopathic medical establishment. Its the field of physical pain treatment in western medicine that is terrible. Why is it so bad? Because the pharmaceutical and surgical companies are in bed with the physical pain doctors, physical therapists, and physiotherapists.

    Surgeons have a very large financial incentive for performing surgery. http://www.resolveyourpain.com/blog/why-is-it-so-hard-to-cure-back-pain/ And insurance compensation have made physical therapists/ physiotherapists disinclined to seek alternative treatments that really work. The system is set up for physical therapists to perform their job on quantity of patients rather than quality of work. Everyday a new client will come in complaining of back, neck, or shoulder pain. If the physical therapist just follows procedure and does the standard non-effective treatment, then that p.t. will get paid through the insurance agencies; regardless of whether the patient is treated successfully or not. If that p.t. sought out alternative treatments, then that practitioner would risk not getting compensated because health insurance agencies are not set up to pay out for an unapproved therapies like Active Isolated Stretching.

    I completely disagree with that physiotherapist who claims that hip pain has nothing to do with the sacro-iliac joint. Hip pain and sacro-iliac joint pain are caused by excessive tension in numerous muscles throughout the body. He’s right that your inflexibility is causing the pain, but then out comes the simple sheet of generic stretches. Oh no! Not that again!

    At the deepest level, the hip pain and sacro-iliac joint pain are caused by tightness in the deep six muscles. Also called the hip rotators. http://www.resolveyourpain.com/hip-pain-hip-rotators-deep-six-muscle/ The only way I know of to properly unwind these deep six muscles is Active Isolated Stretching therapy. The developer, Aaron Mattes, says that his assisted hip rotator stretches are perhaps his greatest contribution to the field of health and wellness.

    From your self description: you will greatly benefit from full body assisted AIS treatment. Not just lower body work. You also need upper body work for your tight chest, rounded shoulders, and forward head posture. I know that you didn’t mention a tight chest, but that is one of the symptoms of forward head posture. http://www.resolveyourpain.com/blog/forward-head-posture-tightness-in-the-pectorals-and-sternocleidomastoid/

    Thanks for sharing,

    Anthony Ohm

  13. KFinn says:

    I would just like to add my own comment on this as someone who, at age 26, has been suffering for the past 10 years with lower (and often upper) back pain. I saw a physiotherapist at age 17 and I was simply told that I was too young to have back pain, my lumbar was ‘naturally’ flat so I should simply exercise more and stretch. Neither did anything to resolve the issue and actually often aggravated it.

    Last year I had a really awful bout of lower back spasms following an intense few months of revision (i.e. continuous sitting). I went to an osteopath who, after getting the swelling down commented on how flat my lumbar region was, but also how exceptionally tight my psoas was. Getting the tension out of my psoas DID actually relieve a lot of pain and subsequent visits have also helped relieve the pain. But another issue she noticed was that there was a problem with my SI joint and as a result the left side of my pelvis had rotated anteriorly (which she also corrected, and also helped for a while).

    But I continue to really suffer with pain, not just in my back but my knees and my hip pain flares up after walking even short distances. I’m now seeing a physiotherapist who commented on my ‘flat back’, saying that I was probably born with it and there’s nothing he can do about it. He also discounted my hip pain saying it wasn’t serious, nothing to do with my SI and all my pain came from tight muscles and so gave me some generic stretches to do that I know don’t work!

    I know I have no qualifications but as someone who has a flat back and has had pain relief from relaxing the psoas I think this article makes a lot of sense. Would you say that the rotation of my pelvis (left anterior) and pain in the front of my right hip could be down to tightness mainly on one side of the psoas?

    Just to give you some idea – flat lumbar, rounded shoulders, forward head, really tight hams, really stiff right hip in adduction and frequent pain in right ‘hip flexor’, both ‘hip flexors’ are REALLY tight.

    Sorry about the length of this message but I just wanted to say that I thought the article made a lot of sense and I was intrigued, given my SI problem what you thought about my flat back.

  14. LMBT 11453 says:

    (The following comments were not written by the administrator, Anthony Ohm, of this website. The following words do not represent the views of Anthony Ohm).

    Jennifer, I have to respectfully disagree with your conclusion that Flat back is only caused by spinal fusion and distraction rods. These may be some symptoms of FBS, but certainly not the cause. Physiologically speaking, the spine doesn’t just randomly fuse itself into hypolordosis; There is some force/tension in/on the body that brought it to and maintained it in an unhealthy position.

    In most cases, the onset of FBS begins with excessive forward/downward tilting of the head. Depending on how far the head is tilted forward, the weight of the head can effectively increase from an average weight of ~7 lbs to ~30 lbs due to gravity. This additional weight can lead to lengthening of the upper back muscles that are intended to keep the head from falling too far anteriorly. On the other side of the body, the front neck muscles responsible for turning, bending, and flexing the neck, are now kept in a shortened position which over time becomes the new neutral position for the muscle, thus limiting it’s range of stretch.

    Over time in this new neutral position, the weight of the head begins further pulling the body downward, and rounding the thoracic spine. As the hyperkyphosis continues, the rib cage rotates inward and down, causing the abdominals and Psoas muscles to enter into a shortened state. As this shortened state becomes the new neutral position for these muscles, the lumbar spine is straightened by the now shortened Psoas muscle.

    To clear up previous Psoas involvement issues, it originates on the TVPs of lumbar vertebrae 1- 5 and it inserts on the lesser trochanter of the femur. It’s fibers run in an up-down diagonal fashion which shows its line of pull. In a fixed position, feet planted on the ground, it flexes the lumbar spine. Flexion of the lumbar spine means a straightening of the lumbar spine, thus a tight Psoas is at least a common symptom if not an advocate of FBS.

    To defend stretching as a tool to reducing FBS, I have had personal experience with clients suffering from FBS and have had some profound and positive results from massaging, stretching, and strengthening muscles affected by the condition. Massaging the overly tight muscles allows them to be stretched into a closer-to-normal position. Massage while in this stretched position retrains the muscle to relax in a more lengthened position. This tactic, in addition to strengthening/ shortening the overly stretched muscles, has led to several reversals of FBS in age groups ranging from 30-70.

    There is no one treatment for FBS, but surgery is certainly a last resort. If you suffer from FBS, get an x-ray, get a postural assessment done, and see a massage therapist along with a physical therapist. Though not all cases may be treatable in this fashion, if you catch the condition in the early stages, the better your chances are that these recommendations will work for you!

  15. Anthony Ohm says:

    To Jo perry,

    Yes, tight hamstrings are a critical area that reduces curvature in the low back. Additionally, excessive tension in the psoas muscle will pull the body forward. A tight psoas even pulls the shoulders forward. When the psoas is tight, curvature in the lumbar spine is decreased because the mid section and upper body are being pulled down and forward. When the psoas muscle is lengthened, the angle between the quadriceps and abdomen is increased. This results in greater curvature of the lumbar spine. Anterior tilting of the pelvis decreases lumbar spine curvature. And the cause of anterior tilting of the pelvis is a shortened psoas muscle. In the future (but not so quickly, because I am a one-man operation), I will post videos on my website documenting the immediate changes that can occur after experiencing AIS psoas lengthening.
    I understand that most textbooks are not mentioning that a tight psoas is a principle factor in causing a flat back. That’s why I write these articles and put them on the web. I’ve got something new to add. Millions of people around the world are searching for answers to their physical pain problems and medical professionals are giving answers that are limiting at best. The information I present is ignored by the majority of healthcare practitioners. And its the average person with low back pain for whom I present this information. The average low back pain sufferer is depressed and feeling as if they are running out of viable options. Pharmaceutical companies and surgical companies have corrupted the medical profession’s analysis of physical pain and dysfunction.
    The simple answer is that the muscular system affects the nervous and skeletal system. By using the most thorough form of assisted stretching, the body can recover from numerous physical pain issues. This approach has been overlooked by the healthcare community because the old way of assisted stretching (PNF) is not detailed enough to correct musculoskeletal problems. I hope you’ll get a chance to learn more about Active Isolated Stretching. The developer, Aaron Mattes, is still alive and he is teaching seminars in Sarasota, Florida.
    Thanks for visiting,

    Anthony Ohm

  16. jo perry says:

    I am a physiotherapist and still do not understand how a tight psoas causes flat back syndrome?? surely it is tight and strong hamstrings and long and weak hip flexors which causes posterior rotation of the pelvis flattening the lordosis?! This is often what I’ve found in clinical practice and in any textbook I have read

  17. Anthony Ohm says:

    Hi Demi,

    I totally understand that you have a flat back and you do not have any harrington rods in your back, nor have you had fusion surgery in the L4, L5, S1 region.
    As I stated in my article, a flat back is a sign of extra muscular tension in the muscles that affect the low back region. Definitely, people who have rods in their back will have a lack of curvature. But millions of people without rods are lacking curvature in their low back and those that are missing curvature usually experience low back pain too. Gaining curvature is possible through AIS treatment sessions. After one or two sessions, an improvement in curvature is noticeable. Some people are angry and limited in their views. Its important not to let them inflict their negativity onto us as much as they punish themselves.

    Best wishes,

    Anthony Ohm

  18. Demi says:

    I have severe flat back and I have NEVER had rods or fusion surgery. I have degenerative disc disease, herniated discs, myelopathy, etc. I’ve suffered from lower back pain for years and just found out that I have flat back. I’ve noticed changes in my lower back and that my posture is ‘forward’. It’s definitely muscle related as a result of DDD. Most people and even some doctors seem to think like you. I’m living proof!!! I’m 55 and have suffered for about 15 years now. I have had C5, C6 and C7 fused, but no surgeries below the neck. I’ve been on disability now for three years and a pain and spine doc just last month diagnosed flat back and chronic muscle spasms from neck to lower back. I’ve never been overweight and was always active until three years ago, when I finally gave in and stopped working.

  19. Anthony Ohm says:

    Hi Darwin,

    You will have to tell me the page that you are referring to in Kendall’s textbook. I don’t have a copy of it, but I’ll try to take a look at it.
    Having said that, keep in mind that my thesis is not widely acknowledged by the health/medical community. A tightened psoas will decrease curvature in the lumbar spine. And AIS treatment is the most effective way that I’ve seen that addresses lengthening the psoas muscle.
    The tightened psoas causes a forward lean that can pull the shoulders and chest forward. A tightened psoas is “part of the reason” that so many elderly people are hunched over or bent over. It plays a role in forward head posture. Look at all the elderly people with forward head posture (those that are bent over). Do these people demonstrate a lordosis? Heck no. They’ve got no lumbar curve. The tightened psoas pulls the body forward and in the process it decreases the lumbar curve. People with a flat back are showing signs of a tightened psoas.

    Anthony Ohm

  20. Darwin says:

    “The psoas muscle, in particular, must be lengthened to bring curvature to the lumbar spine”

    “A tightened psoas muscle causes the lumbar spine to flatten”

    Wouldn’t a facilitated/tight Psoas muscle increase lumbar curvature? Anatomically, I don’t see how a tight psoas muscle would cause the lumbar spine to flatten. According to Kendall (Muscles Testing and Function with Posture and Pain, 5th ed.), “The psoas major, acting bilaterally with the insertion fixed, will increase the lumbar lordosis…”

    Just wanted to see if I’m missing something. Thanks for sharing your information.

  21. Anthony Ohm says:

    In response to Jennifer S.’s comment:
    The majority of people suffering from low back pain have lost curvature in their low back. Regaining that curvature is attainable with Active Isolated Stretching (AIS) treatment. I suggest you try a few sessions in AIS (with an advanced practitioner) and see for yourself. You can wait for scientific studies to come out before you try something different, but those studies are way behind in providing useful news. Just a few months ago, a study came out that said that massage is beneficial for low back pain. That study could have been released forty years ago and maybe then would it have been useful information.
    You write: “You can not stretch your way out of Flatback syndrome.” I would accept your statement if you wrote: “You can not cure flat back syndrome by using conventional stretching, PNF stretching, Bob Anderson’s form of stretching, yoga, or Thai massage.” Active Isolated Stretching is not to be lumped together with those modalities. AIS can resolve flat back syndrome.
    I feel for those that accepted advice to use Harrington rods or spinal fusion surgery. Read any forum on chronic back pain and you will read multitudes of accounts of people who were made worse by accepting back surgery as a way to improve their condition. Was it a good decision for people to accept their physician’s advice and get back surgery and become implanted with harrington rods? Are there many cases where a person with harrington rods says that they are happy with their surgery? Even in those cases, where the client is suffering from pain caused by distraction rods, spinal fusion, and degenerative conditions; AIS can provide a great improvement to their overall condition. The stipulation to this claim is that the client must be treated by an advanced AIS practitioner. Worldwide, there are only about twenty therapists in this category.
    I was diagnosed with flat back syndrome. I saw over forty specialists (physicians, surgeons, physical therapists, chiropractors, acupunturists, massage therapists, etc.) to treat this condition and I didn’t get the help I needed until I was treated by Aaron Mattes, the developer of AIS. Providing true hope for those suffering from chronic back pain or flat back syndrome is a distinguishing mark of AIS therapy.

  22. Jennifer S says:

    PLEASE!!!! If you suffer from Flatback Syndrome DO NOT accept anything that’s written in this idiotic, non-scientific bit of content obviously written by someone without any knowledge of the condition.

    You can not stretch your way out of Flatback Syndrome. It is caused by distraction rods and spinal fusion (or sometimes some degenerative conditions) that change the very shape of your spine. The symptoms of FBS occur because of this structural anomoly and a loss of lordosis (the “good” curve that causes a healthy spine to curve out on top and in at the bottom), which destroys the ability of your spine to distribute weight evenly, causing undue wear and tear.

    This is an unbelievably irresponsible article that gives false hope to any reader hoping their case might be dealt with differently…

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Anthony Ohm is a pain specialist and a sports therapist. The technique is called Active Isolated Stretching and Strengthening(AIS). Treatment is available in Honolulu, Hawaii and Los Angeles, California The AIS method is highly beneficial for: disc issues, chronic physical pain, pain related to aging, arthritis, bursitis, sciatica, neuropathy, Parkinson's disease, and much much more... However you are presenting, whether you are crippled or a professional athlete, AIS treatment will put you in better physical condition than your current state.