herniated spinal disc

Spinal Curvature Disorders

A spinal curvature disorder is a deformity of the spinal column resulting from a genetic defect or trauma. The most common spinal curvature disorders are scoliosis, lordosis and kyphosis. The most common causes of the formation of spinal curvature disorders include abnormal bone formation in-utero, poor posture, osteoporosis, arthritis, infections, tumors, trauma or injury, cancer, some cancer treatments and genetics. Spinal deformities do not normally cause pain unless the curved structure restricts function and movement, compresses nerves in the spinal canal or invades the space of other body structures or organs.

Types of Spinal Curvature Disorders

Scoliosis is the most common type of spinal curvature disorder and takes the appearance of a persistent lateral, or "S" shape curve. This condition is commonly diagnosed in children during a routine physical exam but can also appear in adults due to another underlying condition.
Kyphosis, or "hunch back", appears with an increased, rounded curve in the thoracic spine. This condition is most noted by the head appearing to be bent more forward in relation to the body.
Lordosis, also referred to as "sway back", is distinguished by an increased curve in the lumbar spine. The main characteristic of this condition is the buttocks appearing more pronounced.

Treatment for Spinal Curvature Disorders

Generally, treatment for an abnormal spinal curvature is determined based on the level of severity and type. It is ideal to maintain as much strength and flexibility to preserve normal function. Mild spinal curvature may not be treated at all, while more severe spinal curvature may mandate the use of a back brace or a surgical procedure.
In many cases, lordosis is caused by excess weight in the abdominal region. This is often corrected through weight loss. Treatment for both lordosis and kyphosis begin with conservative measures including oral anti inflammatory medication to relieve pain and swelling and light exercise to promote muscle strength and flexibility. A back brace may also be useful to stabilize and straighten the spine while easing pain or discomfort. If a spinal curvature is severe or is getting worse, surgery may be necessary to maintain normal function.
Scoliosis is usually determined during childhood and begins with observation. Mild scoliosis is examined by a pediatrician about every 4-6 months to determine any changes. Back braces are often prescribed for children who are still growing to prevent worsening and to maintain the spine in alignment. In cases of severe or worsening scoliosis, surgery will be considered.
Spinal Fusion
Artificial disc replacement

Oral anti inflammatory medication
Light exercise
Physical therapy
Back brace
Weight loss
Chiropractic manipulation
Electrical stimulation

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Did you know?

Compromised lung function is a possible complication of kyphosis.

There are two forms of scoliosis that can appear during adulthood: adult degenerative scoliosis, sometimes seen in progressed degenerative disc disease; and adult idiopathic scoliosis, an uncommon spinal deformity resulting from a failed back surgery.

Lordosis is often seen during pregnancy as a temporary structural adjustment the spine must make to accommodate the dramatic shift in weight.

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