According to the American Chiropractic Association, 31 million Americans experience lower back pain at any given time.
Often, back pain stems from sitting at a desk all day or working out. But in some cases, back pain stems from a spine curvature disorder. There are three main types of spine curvature disorders: scoliosis, lordosis, and kyphosis.
What does it mean to suffer from a spine curvature disorder? How do you know if you have a spine curvature disorder? Below, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about these three main spine disorders.
What is a Spinal Deformity?
When you view someone from the side, their spine should stand upright and slightly curve inward toward the top, then outward, and then inward once more toward the bottom- this is what a healthy spine looks like.
In other words, it makes an “S” shape. The “S” shape allows the spine to provide support and balance to the rest of your body. It also provides your body with shock absorption by distributing the impact of everyday activities, such as walking. However, when a spine is deformed, it looks different from the side.
Scoliosis, lordosis, and kyphosis are all spinal deformities that cause the spine to deviate from the traditional “S” pattern. Let’s take a closer look at what each of these spine disorders entails.
Scoliosis occurs when the spine has abnormal side-to-side curvature. The sideways curvature of the spine typically occurs when someone has a growth spurt, or just before puberty hits.
Around 3% of adolescents suffer from scoliosis, and while some cases are mild, others are more severe and continue into the child’s adulthood. In some cases, children will need to wear a back brace or undergo surgery to correct the spinal deformity.
However, some adults also suffer from degenerative scoliosis. In this case, your doctor might recommend that you see a physical therapist or scoliosis chiropractor.
Lordosis occurs when a patient’s spine curves inward deeper than normal. Typically, the condition appears in the lumbar region of the body. The disorder is also commonly referred to as swayback.
Lordosis can be caused by a variety of conditions, including dwarfism, osteoporosis, achondroplasia, and spondylolisthesis. It can also be caused by obesity. Treatment for lordosis typically involves medication to reduce the pain and swelling, as well as daily physical therapy.
Children and teens may need to wear braces, and in severe cases, surgery may be necessary.
Kyphosis occurs when there’s a forward rounding of the back. It’s also known as a “hunchback.” While kyphosis can occur in anyone, it’s most common in older women.
Often, the condition develops due to weakness in the spinal bones that cause them to compress and crack. Kyphosis can also be caused by birth defects, osteoporosis, fractures, and disk degeneration. Treatment typically involves medication and therapy.
Spine Curvature Disorders: Time for a Diagnosis
If you think you or someone you love may be suffering from a spine curvature disorder, it’s time to schedule an appointment with your physician. Your physician can diagnose the disorder and recommend you to a spine specialist.
In the meantime, you should do what you can to take care of your health. You can browse our blog for more healthcare tips and guides.