These are the main spinal conditions that cause abnormalities in the structure of the spinal column, and which may also affect various bundles of spinal nerves (or the nervous system) that run through the back, as a result of the spinal deformity.
Kyphosis is one of the main spine curvature disorders out there, along with scoliosis, and it affects people to various degrees. It is an abnormal condition of the vertebral column in which the outward curvature of the thoracic spine is exaggerated, giving the back a hunched appearance. There may be many causes and types of kyphosis, some of which are:
- Fracture of vertebrae due to osteoporosis or other spinal disorders that cause the spinal bones to become more fragile. The incidence of osteoporosis is higher in females than in males. Bones become weakened and susceptible to spinal injuries due to degenerative spine conditions, so even mild stress can lead to kyphosis.
- It may also be congenital due to malformations of the foetus’ vertebral column while it is still in the uterus of the mother. This type of kyphosis presents in young children and mostly requires surgical intervention to correct. Sometimes, the Scheuermann kyphosis type can be attributed to this cause.
- Sometimes kyphosis occurs in young children who suffer from neuromuscular disorders such as spina bifida, muscular dystrophy or cerebral palsy.
- Nutritional kyphosis is also a type of kyphosis which takes place due to vitamin deficiency during childhood – specifically deficiency of vitamin D.
- Degenerative kyphosis takes place due to wear and tear of the vertebral column which are mostly age related. The underlying cause may be the aging process, intervertebral disc degeneration or arthritis. This type of arthritis is corrected by non-surgical intervention like painkillers and exercise mostly.
- Postural kyphosis happens due to poor posture which is adopted over a long period of time. To treat it, strengthening exercises for abdominal and back muscles are usually recommended.
Treatment options include conservative management and a surgical treatments.
Conservative management consists mainly of analgesic drugs to reduce the pain. The best medication group in this regard is that of NSAIDs.
If inflammation is also present due to some pathology, then steroids may also be prescribed by your doctor.
If spinal surgery is required, this will have the vertebral column be re-aligned.
Swayback is also known as lordosis. It is a condition in which the vertebral column of the affected person has an abnormal inward curvature in the lower back region (lumbar spine). This disease is mainly caused by a deficiency of copper, that is either primary or secondary. Symptoms of lordosis include:
- The formation of an abnormal curve at the lower back, with the saddle area being/becoming more pronounced.
- A large gap is present between the floor and the lower part of the back when the affected person is lying on his or her back on a hard surface that does not have the capability to change with the bending movement.
- Discomfort in the back or back pain.
- Movement difficulties.
Treatment options for a sway back include the following approaches:
- Medications to reduce pain and inflammation.
- Physiotherapy sessions to improve posture and movement methods.
- Exercise to make the abdominal and back muscles stronger and more flexible.
- Weight reduction to relieve additional stress from the vertebral column.
- Surgical intervention to correct the curves of the spinal column.
3) Flat Back Syndrome
The flat back is a kind of sagittal imbalance or front to back imbalance in the vertebral column. It is a condition in which the lower part of the vertebral column loses some or all of its normal anatomical curvature. There may be many symptoms of the flat back, including:
- Difficulty in standing in an upright posture
- Difficulty in performing routine activities
- Chronic pain in the lower back region
There may be many causes of the flat back syndrome, but most common ones are ankylosing spondylitis, degenerative disc disease, compression fractures, and trauma. It may also take place after lumbar spinal fusion surgery or laminectomy.
Initially, non-surgical measures are taken, including physiotherapy sessions, gait and posture training, pain medications, weight reduction and exercise. Smoking must be abandoned completely.
In severe cases, surgery is needed to correct the spinal column and prevent the misalignment of the vertebral column from worsening.
4) Forward Head Posture
Forward head posture enhances the workload for many of the muscles which are attached to the cervical region of the vertebral column. These muscles act to hold up the head in the upright position.
If forward head posture is adopted for a prolonged period of time, it may cause muscle imbalance and an altered spinal alignment.
Forward head posture can lead to several problems, some of which are described here:
- Stress is enhanced in the neck. When the head remains set in a poor posture, the cervical region has to support the extra weight. For every inch the head is in a forward position, an additional weight of 10 pounds is felt in the neck.
- When the head is in the forward direction, the lower part of the cervical spine is in a state of hyperflexion, while the upper part is in a state of hyperextension because the brain automatically sets the neck in a position that eyes can see forward. In this posture, the distance between the base of the skull and cervical spine is enhanced, leading to the stretching of spinal nerves and spinal cord. This causes severe pain.
Advanced Treatment of All Postural Disorders
Complications of spinal deformities
Pain that comes as a result of spinal deformities may spread to other parts of the body, having a negative impact on the quality of life of the sufferer.
Additionally, some of these abnormalities may lead to further problems within the spinal column, such as one or multiple herniated disks, changes to the shape and space of the spinal canal (including spinal stenosis), compression of the nerve roots, and other issues.
Author: Spinal Backrack