Gentle curves are normal for a healthy spine. These curves help the spine not to get hurt from the movements we make. With spinal curvature disorders, these curves are exaggerated on certain spots on the spine and can cause many difficulties to the person who has them.
What Are Spinal Curvature Disorders?
When looked at from the side, a healthy spine has normal curves on its cervical, thoracic, and lumbar areas. Abnormalities on the spine that impact its normal curvature result in spinal curvature disorders.
The three main types of spinal curvature disorder are:
In this text, we will have a closer look at these disorders, how to recognize them, and discuss possible treatments.
Lordosis is usually recognized by an exaggerated inward curve of the lumbar spine, but it can be present on the neck as well. This type of spinal curvature disorder can affect people of all ages. Some of the conditions that can result in lordosis include osteoporosis, obesity, achondroplasia, kyphosis, and spondylolisthesis.
What Are the First Symptoms of Lordosis?
With any spinal curvature disorder, symptoms can vary depending on the type and the gravity of the condition. However, if you notice some of the following symptoms, you should consult a professional immediately, before causing any further damage to your spine.
A person who is suffering from lordosis can appear swayback. Another symptom can be more pronounced buttocks.
You can do a simple test at home, by lying flat on your back. If there’s a large gap between the floor and your lower back that doesn’t change when you try to bend forward, then this can be an indicator of lordosis. But before making any conclusions, consult with your doctor.
Also, back pain and discomfort in moving certain ways can be a symptom of lordosis.
Treatments for Lordosis
Lordosis can be treated in several ways. One of the most common ways of treating pain and swelling caused by lordosis is through medication.
Any additional pressure on the spine can be harmful. So, one of the possible forms of treatment is weight loss and wearing a back brace.
Another important form of treatment is exercise. In order to improve flexibility and muscle strength, you must do certain exercises that will do you good in the long run. A word of caution – if you are experiencing any back pain, avoid doing any type of exercise before consulting with a doctor.
Kyphosis can be defined as a noticeable outward curve of the spine. It can be the cause of several deformities, one of them being humpback.
There are two main types of kyphosis:
- Round kyphosis
- Angular kyphosis
The causes of round kyphosis are poor posture but also Scheuermann’s disease. Angular kyphosis, which is a less frequent but more severe form of kyphosis, can be caused by a number of conditions like angular gibbus deformity, congenital kyphosis, and Pott disease.
What Are the First Symptoms of Kyphosis?
With kyphosis, symptoms are often visible. These symptoms include:
- Severe fatigue in legs and back
- The head is noticeably bent forward compared to the rest of the body
- Curve or hump in the upper part of the back
People who suffer from postural kyphosis don’t necessarily feel back pain. But people with Scheuermann’s disease might feel discomfort after standing or sitting for a long period of time.
Treatments for Kyphosis
Treatments for kyphosis depend mostly on the type of kyphosis found in the patient.
Orthopedic treatments like physical therapy and bracing are recommended to patients with round kyphosis.
In most cases of angular kyphosis, surgery is required, followed by a long period of physical therapy.
Scoliosis is a condition when the spine develops an abnormal side-to-side curve. This is one of the most common spinal curvature disorders. In the USA alone, over 7 million people are suffering from scoliosis.
According to recent research, almost 80% of scoliosis cases are idiopathic, meaning that the cause couldn’t be identified.
Another type of scoliosis is congenital scoliosis. With this type, at least one vertebrae have an embryological deformity.
Scoliosis is usually diagnosed during early childhood. It can be diagnosed during a medical examination right after birth. But if missed, it can go unnoticed for years. People who are unaware of having this disorder can worsen their condition even further with bad habits like poor nutrition and bad posture.
Some of the first symptoms of scoliosis include a visibly uneven waistline. Parents should pay closer attention if one of their child’s hips is positioned higher than the other.
Another symptom can be when an individual is leaning on one side more, without any reason. Moreover, ribs can also be more protruding on one side of the body.
Available Treatments for Scoliosis
Like with previous cases of spinal curvature disorder, this too varies from case to case. After the doctor’s made an assessment of the severity of scoliosis, one of the following treatments can be suggested:
- Physical Therapy
- Scoliosis Bracing
Physical therapy and exercises are recommended for the mildest form of scoliosis.
But moderate cases usually involve scoliosis braces for adults and children. Scoliosis bracing is usually given to individuals with congenital scoliosis.
Surgery is most commonly used in cases where the condition has deteriorated drastically over a short period of time. These surgeries can include spinal fusion, growing-rod insertions, and hemivertebra removal.
Paying attention to what your body is saying is very important. Symptoms like bad posture, severe neck and back pain, and trouble with certain movements can be indicators for severe spinal curvature disorders and shouldn’t be ignored.
Every treatment must be supervised by a doctor. Under no circumstances should you do physical activities or get back braces without consulting a professional.
There are many available and effective treatments for spinal curvature disorders. If you are already diagnosed with scoliosis, take a look at Align Clinic’s offer of high-quality orthotics for scoliosis or reach out for any consultation you might need.
Depending on where you are at the scoliosis degree chart, the right scoliosis brace can be a lifesaver for the days to come.