Do you experience back pain, discomfort, or trouble maintaining proper posture? These difficulties could be caused by a spinal deformity. At Innovative Spine, we can diagnose specific spinal deformities and help patients work towards a more comfortable spinal curvature. If you’d like more information about our practice or are interested in scheduling a consultation appointment, contact us today!
What are Spinal Deformities?
While the spine looks straight when observed from the back of the body, it becomes obvious that this structure has a subtle curve to it when it is viewed from the side. The cervical, or neck area of the spine, curves subtly towards the front of the body, the chest, or thoracic region, bends slightly backward, and the lower back, or lumbar portion, leans forward. This curvature allows the weight of the head to be evenly distributed along the length of the spine and pelvis in a way that allows the head to sit straight while expending only a minimal amount of the body’s energy.
For individuals with spinal deformities, this natural curvature is exaggerated or missing altogether, typically in the thoracic and lumbar regions of the spine. While these deviations from the standard structure of the spine often do not significantly compromise the affected individual’s quality of life, they can cause a great deal of pain if they restrict movement or reduce the amount of room in the spinal column. In severe cases, patients may have to undergo surgical procedures to restore functionality to their spines.
Scoliosis, kyphosis, and lordosis are three of the most common spine deformities.
Scoliosis is characterized by an abnormal side-to-side curvature of the spine, most often in the thoracic region. In most cases, the spine either resembles a “C” or “S” shape. This condition most commonly develops during the adolescent growth spurt, but can also begin to form in adulthood.
While a degree of forward curvature in the thoracic area of the spinal is normal and healthy, individuals with kyphosis have an exaggerated forward curvature in the thoracic region of their spines. Symptoms of kyphosis include:
- A hunched over appearance
- Mild to severe back pain
- A loss of height
- Difficulty standing upright comfortably
Also referred to as “swayback,” lordosis is characterized by a significant inward curve of the lumbar, or lower area of the spine. This inward curvature can lead to excess pressure on the spine; in severe cases, this excess pressure affects an individual’s ability to move comfortably.
Do you suspect that you or someone you love may have a spinal deformity? We can help! Contact Innovative Spine today to schedule a consultation appointment. During this appointment, Dr. Kuwamura will evaluate the patient’s spinal curvature, determine if they have a spinal deformity, and recommend treatment options if necessary.