Category: Scoliosis | Author: Stefano Sinicropi
A lot of different issues can arise in your spine. Your spine can curve abnormally, and when it does it can develop a hunchback (kyphosis), swayback (lordosis), rotate and curve (scoliosis). Today, we look at four common spinal deformities and their treatments. Although we’re classifying these as some of the more common spinal conditions, in the grand scheme of things, these spine issues are rare. Even so, a skilled spine surgeon is well versed in treating all of these deformities.
Scoliosis is a deformity caused by the unnatural curve of the spine. The spine is a vertically straight structure, but scoliosis causes it to curve laterally (off to the side). Scoliosis can be caused by a genetic issues, by acute injury, degenerative bones or for unknown reasons. Minor cases of scoliosis are often treated with a combination of physical therapy and bracing in children, while advanced cases are taken care of with surgery in children and adults.
Kyphosis, as we’ve explained on the blog before, is a condition where the upper portion of your spine has an excessive curvature. This condition can give the appearance of a hunchback. Kyphosis is generally caused by poor posture, aging, degenerated bones, acute injury or muscle weakness. Physical therapy, weight loss, bracing, range of motion exercises and surgery are all treatment options for kyphosis.
Your body is constantly building bone mass to replace mass that is lost over time. Eventually you begin to lose more density than your body can replace, and over decades our bones can become more brittle. Bone density loss can leave you at a greater risk for spinal fracture. Osteoporosis can’t be reversed, but eating a healthy diet and getting regular weight bearing exercise can help reduce your risk of getting the condition in the first place. Treatment focuses on maintaining current levels of bone mass, which again involves exercise, dietary improvements and daily supplements.
Ankylosing spondylitis is a form of degenerative arthritis that primarily affects the spine. The condition can cause severe inflammation of the vertebrae in the spinal column, which can eventually lead to disability or chronic pain. In extreme cases, the condition can actually cause new bone particles to develop on the spine, which can lead to a deformity. Causes of the condition are unknown, but it does tend to run in families. Treatment of ankylosing spondylitis usually involves pain medications to control inflammation, a controlled diet and regular exercise. Surgery is an option in severe cases.