Spine curvature disorders

Our spine is made up of small bones (vertebrae) stacked along with discs on top of another. A healthy spine has gentle curves to it when viewed from the side. The curves help the spine absorb stress from body movement and gravity.

The spine should look straight down when viewed from the back. If there are any abnormalities of the spine occur, the natural curvatures of the spine are misaligned or exaggerated in certain areas.

What are the types of spine curvature disorders?

The main types of spine curvature disorders are:

  • Lordosis - also called swayback, the spine of a person with lordosis curves significantly inward at the lower back
  • Kyphosis - characterized by an abnormally rounded upper back (more than 50 degrees of curvature)
  • Scoliosis - sideways curve to their spine. The curve is often S-shaped or C-shaped

What are the symptoms & causes of spine curvature disorders?

Some of the symptoms of Lordosis are:

  • Appearing swayback, with the buttocks being more pronounced
  • Having a large gap between the lower back and the floor when lying on your back on a hard surface does not change when you bend forward
  • Back pain and discomfort
  • Problems moving certain ways

The causes of Lordosis include:

  • Achondroplasia - a condition where bones do not grow normally and resulting in short stature associated with dwarfism
  • Spondylolisthesis - a condition in which a vertebra, usually in the lower back, slips forward
  • Osteoporosis - a condition in which vertebrae become fragile and can be easily broken
  • Obesity or being extremely overweight
  • Kyphosis - a condition marked by an abnormally rounded upper back
  • Discitis - inflammation of the disc space between the bones of the spine most often caused by infection

Some of the symptoms of Kyphosis are:

  • Bending forward of the head compared to the rest of the body
  • Hump or curve to the upper back
  • Fatigue in the lower back or legs

The causes of Kyphosis include:

  • Abnormal vertebrae development in utero
  • Poor posture or slouching
  • Scheuermann’s disease - a condition that causes vertebrae to be misshaped
  • Arthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Spina bifida - a birth defect in which the spinal column of the fetus does not close completely during development inside the womb
  • Spine infections
  • Spine tumours

Some of the symptoms of Scoliosis are:

  • Uneven shoulder blades with one being higher than the other
  • An uneven waist or hip
  • Leaning toward one side

Scoliosis often runs in families and can be caused due to disease, injury, infection or birth defect

The spine is an important part of our body as it allows us to stand upright and engage in flexible movement. As the spine’s ability to function optimally is dependent on its health curves and alignment, we need to pay extra care and attention to it. If you notice you’re showing any of the symptoms mentioned above, kindly seek treatment with our specialist as soon as possible.

Find out how you can improve your condition with our Neurology medical experts at Regency Specialist Hospital.

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