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Hunched Over

renomelrrenomel Posts: 7
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:44 AM in Degenerative Disc Disease
I have been diagnosed with DDD, but have a symptom that I haven't seen much information on.

I have days where I am hunched over, bent forward and can't stand straight. When I am standing it feels as if there is lots of pressure on my lower back at the same time. Even after my stretches assigned by my therapist I can't stand up straight. It usually takes a couple of days to get straight again or a visit to Physical Therapy. The releif is always only temporary.

Is this a common symptom of DDD or something different?

Thank you!


  • Howdy Renomel, and a Hearty Welcome to Spine-Health!! I am not sure fully what is making you hunch over by your post. I know with me I have issues (see sig) in most regions of my spine, and many times when I am sitting, I find that being in a 'hunched' position is almost my sitting "pain free" position! I can straighten up, but have pain returned from my thoracic and upper lumbar spine. The neck doesn't seem to care if I sit straight or hunched. I try not to stay in this position for too long, only long enough to give me a pain break as I don't want to induce even more issues!

    DDD is a nasty looking group of words, but most all get it at some level or another as we age. Unfortunately many of us get it way ahead of when we should. My NS describes it as the "gray hair of the spine." So I guess in a nutshell, hunching can be due to protection against pain, weakened responses due to nerve entrapment, spine issues (scoliosis for instance), weak muscles etc. Anyone of which can also cause pain when you try to correct from being in a hunched position. Sorry, not in the medical field, just going on what I have daily. I hope you feel better soon. Take care, and again Welcome aboard!!!

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Brenda,

    You like so many others have been so knowledgable and friendly. Once again I can't express how exciting it is to find this site.

    When I am hunched over it does aleviate some pain, but it is a structural issue also. On those days, I cannot stand straight no matter how I try.

    As I stated before, I am thinking this may be related to something other than DDD although my orthepdic doc seemed to think it was the cause. I am working on getting in with a NS for his opinion.
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  • Renomel,

    You're very welcome. What is really great about this site is the members while patients with various spine/nerve issues going on, we are also each others support and advise center! :) So many of our doctors only brush over the basics before we leave the hospital, so this pain, ache, tingle, funky feeling stuff we can ask on here about. Many times the things we are experiencing are felt by many, and that in itself gives support! You know, the "I'm not alone, someone understands."

    Is your Ortho doc a spine specialist? NS is a good direction to go. DDD affects people in so many ways. When the disks start to degenerate, they take on odd shapes. It could be when you have them under load, the bones aren't lining up right and causing pain. What helped them figure out a lot of what was/is going on with my thoracic and lumbar was X-rays with extension and flexation, and Positional (stand up) MRI's of the locations.

    Some say the quality of the images is degraded with the stand up MRI, but when my doctor and I compared my recumbent vs. stand up, there wasn't much difference in image quality. Under load they could see a lot more with what my disks were truly doing. The X-rays (straight on, flex and ext.) showed the affect to the bones of the spine.

    It looks like you are moving in a very logical and good direction. Please let us know what they find out. Hopefully it is still in the "control" stage where your quality of life can be restored to a good degree without surgery. For many of us, one surgery is just the beginning of more? Take care. :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • I have lumbar DDD also and recently healed from a herniated disc at L5-S1. I had to get a cane and try to keep my shoulders back while walking a block a day. I noticed it's easier after my herniated disc healed and received the epidurals and facet joint injections were some relief and keeps me more upright but find myself always hunched over to be able to sit at the computer. Best wishes in seeing your NS especially since you've had lumbar surgery before. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • I get this all of the time especially while walking. I have been told that this is due to the arthritis in my facet joints. I have talked to many members here over the years that experience the same thing.

    I get the most relief of this symptom from a rhizotomy (nerve burn).

    It also happens to me sometimes when I sit for too long. I can not straighten up when I stand up. Does it feel like your back is locked in that hunched position and that you could not straighten up if you had to?
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  • Renomel,
    This hunched position is a reaction to the pain and an attempt to reduce some of the pressure by leaning forward, do you get pan down your legs when you cough or sneeze another indication to how the pressure is compressing your spine.

    This can also be replicated when you lay flat of the floor if this is possible at all and raise one leg at a time increases that pressure, it is a facet of underlying spine issues rather than DDD specifically and at the time of my fusion was based on the fact that I could not straighten up at all eventually, even after time. I had a fusion in 91 and those specific symptoms seem to return at times.

    You could ask your NS if they are mutually exclusive and my experience may say they are interrelated. My hunch is now more pronounced when the pain is worse, or when standing from sitting, it has never gone away fully and unlikely to do so now. A suggestion is that it may be a postural issue and with existing back issues a common trait.

    Take care and ask those questions.


  • JJ,

    Yes, it does feel like my back is locked in a hunched position and will not straigten no matter what I do. Some days it is more severe than others.

    I had the injections into my Facet Joints to help this, but only saw about 14-16 days of releif. I am looking into Radiofrequency Rhizotomy, but wanted to know how much success others have had.

  • Renomel,

    I just joined because I came across this thread in a search. I am 41 years old and in the past year I have had almost a month off work because my back does EXACTLY what you have described. It starts out about an hr before feeling like someone has a vice grip on the end of my tail bone squeezing it as hard as they can. Almost feel like it's going to shatter and then about an hr later I am hunched over completely unable to stand up straight, and it lasts a week or more. The only relief I have is sitting or laying down. I've tried streeching, drugs everything I can think of to get out of it and nothing seems to work but a really hot water bottle and then it only lasts for about 5 minutes and it's back on again. It hasn't happed to me in probably 4 months but here I am a day before I'm suppose to start testing for a new job and today out of all days it decides to do this to me. The doctors have no answers but you have DDD time to quit your job and go do something else like that's an option some how!!!!!! Just desperately wondering if you or anyone else has a solution to what is happening for me. Something I can do when I feel it coming on to possibly stop it from happening. I can live with the pain but be hunched right over for a week at a time is unbearable, not to mention hard on the bank account when I can't work. If anyone has any suggestion on something I can do to get out of this when I feel it coming on it would be GREATLY APPRECIATED!!!  I can't get any help from my doctor.

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