Painful hunched back: the Spinomed back orthosis affords Erich Fichtner a better quality of life and mobility – his experiences in an interview
Erich Fichtner suffered from back pain for years and he developed a hunched back. The 83-year-old went through many types of therapy until he was prescribed the Spinomed back orthosis. Since then, he has been feeling better. In the interview, Erich Fichtner tells how the medical aid improves his posture and enhances his quality of life.
Dear Mr Fichtner, you are 83 years old and look remarkably fit – are you very physically active?
“Ageing is not necessarily synonymous with decline. Even beyond the age of 65, sport and exercise helped me to stay physically active. I myself do stretching exercises every day, go to the gym twice a week and try to move a lot in everyday life as well. At 83, I feel better and fitter than I did at 47."
How did it come about?
“Due to my job, I used to have to travel a lot and visit my business partners abroad – due to incorrect posture and limited movement, I had severe back pain for decades.”
Sport alleviates the symptoms, but cannot eliminate a hunched back
You must have seen your doctor about this – what did they advise you to do?
“At first, my GP prescribed me painkillers, but of course that wasn’t a solution in the long run. The back pain wouldn’t go away, so my doctor recommended that I train my muscles and enrol in a gym. The trainer there showed me different exercises specifically aimed at stabilising my back – and sure enough, the pain became less and less intense every week.”
But this did not disappear completely?
“No, unfortunately not. A few years ago, my wife noticed that I was walking with an increasingly hunched posture. So I went to my GP, who diagnosed me with a hunched back in 2017.”
What were the first treatment steps after your diagnosis?
“I ordered various posture belts on the internet and tested them. They are supposed to support the back, improve posture and immediately relieve back, neck and shoulder pain – but they didn’t help me. My family doctor then referred me to an orthopaedist, who gave me a prescription for a medical back orthosis. At the medical supply store, they recommended the Spinomed* back orthosis from medi and fitted it individually.”
medi tip: Exercises for when at home, e.g. for a hunched back and osteoporosis
Spinomed back orthosis straightens Erich Fichtner’s posture and improves his well-being
What was your first impression of the orthosis?
“I was a bit sceptical because I thought it would be another back straightener that would do little. But I was wrong! Thanks to the resistance from the shoulder straps and the back splint, the back orthosis reminds me to straighten up on my own. This posture correction was a bit unusual at first, but I soon felt comfortable with it – and noticed, above all, how much the orthosis helps me. My back pain became noticeably less.
What else do you appreciate about Spinomed*?
“It gives me a feeling of security day after day and actively helps to strengthen my core muscles and correct my posture. This also reduces the risk of falling – a big problem in old age, which I unfortunately also see time and again in my circle of acquaintances. Thanks to the strap arrangement and gripping aids for closing, I can easily put the Spinomed* on and take it off. It is comfortable to wear, barely visible under a jacket and well thought out down to the smallest detail!”
Do you perceive the orthosis as a restriction in everyday life?
“No, absolutely not! On the contrary: at first, I wore it for 30 minutes a day and slowly increased the time – now I put it on every morning after I get up and wear it all day. Only when I go to bed do I take it off. I don’t feel properly dressed without Spinomed*. It helps me to go through life safely and comfortably. It makes me more mobile and gives me a better quality of life.”
What do you recommend to other people affected?
“Firstly, find a good doctor who takes the time and listens, and a medical supply store that gives expert advice and fits the orthosis individually. Secondly, be sure to integrate plenty of movement into your everyday life and to be active in sports. And thirdly, be grateful and content, look positively into the future and to keep trying new things – for example, I’m just learning to play the piano.”
Dear Mr. Fichtner, many thanks for such an interesting conversation and for sharing your personal experiences!
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Spinomed® is a brace designed to actively relieve load and correct the lumbar spine / thoracic spine in the sagittal plane.
The doctor makes the diagnosis and decides on the therapy. If necessary, he can prescribe an orthosis. The patient is measured by trained staff at the specialist medical retailer. The orthosis is then custom-fitted to the patient.
Click here to access the independent doctor search by Stiftung Gesundheit (Health Foundation).