Hemiplegia (weakness on one side of the body) can cause an unnatural “side bent” posture. This is sometimes also referred to as lateral trunk flexion.

What is a “side bent” posture (lateral trunk flexion) with hemiplegia?

A side bent posture is a “structural problem” where the trunk curves (like a “C” shape).

side bent posture

The convex side of the “C” is typically on the strong side and the concave side is on the “weaker” side. When looking at someone from the front, the shoulder and the hip will appear closer together (on the weaker side) when compare to the distance between the shoulder and the hip on the stronger side of the body.  This type of improper body alignment can make movement retraining and gait training difficult.

How does hemiplegia cause a “side bent” posture (lateral trunk flexion)?

This type of mal-alignment of the trunk can be caused by a variety of factors. In most cases it is the combination of several factors.

What are the best exercises to “re-align” the trunk?

The goal in neuro rehab is always to start with a stable, properly aligned trunk. Proper trunk alignment is critical when relearning efficient arm and leg movement. In the case of lateral trunk flexion, the strategy (to remove the “C” curve) is two-fold. First, it is important to lengthen the muscles on the “concave” side of the trunk.  Second, retrain the body to position and maintain the trunk in a straighter, more vertical position.

In this video, I cover this topic in greater depth as well as provide exercises to relearn proper body alignment.

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