DAVE WATTS, MD
Spine plays a critical role in providing balance to upper part of the body. It also helps us maintain balance and stay upright. There are series of irregular shaped bones which remain in the straight line to form a rigid and robust spine structure. The spine appears to be in straight line from a side angle with two curves. If these two curves become exaggerated, they can cause serious back problems including fatigue, breathing difficulties, and back pain.
These are the conditions responsible for spine deformities.
Kyphosis is a medical condition with abnormal spine curve. This curve occurs in the thoracic region, making the back look rounded. The treatment varies with the causes behind Kyphosis. Common treatments for Kyphosis include physical therapy, bracing, medications, and surgery. Bracing helps prevent curve from worsening, particularly if it has been caused by Scheuermann’s Disease. In some cases, physical therapy can also help. The physical therapy improves the range of motions, strength, and flexibility. Medication is prescribed in case of osteoporosis to help prevent possible compression fractures. Surgery is usually recommended when Kyphosis is very painful and the medical condition does not respond to any other treatment administered.
The abnormal excessive curvature of the spine is called Lordosis or Swayback. There are different types of treatments administered to the patients according to their age and neurological defects. A watch and wait approach is followed in case of a mild Lordosis. Patients are advised regular doctor checkups and follow ups every 4 or 6 months. If there is an increase in the curvature, the doctor immediately starts the treatment. Sometimes, physical therapy is recommended for increasing range of motion, strength, and flexibility. Bracing helps prevent Lordosis from getting worse. Surgery is suggested when the patient is suffering from serious Lordosis.
It is a medical condition where the spine is bent sideways. The curve is shaped like “S” or “C” shape. Small curves usually may not necessarily inconvenience the patient but large curves can be extremely painful. Treatment depends on doctor’s evaluation of a patient’s scoliosis. Mild scoliosis is 25 degrees which may not require treatment but needs continuous doctor follow up for every 4 to 6 months. The doctor may advice bracing for curves exceeding 30 degrees. In case of severe scoliosis, a curve exceeding 40 degrees, the doctor may suggest surgery. Common surgical procedures adopted for scoliosis include stabilization, fusion, and correction.