Spinal deformities refer to a range of conditions that cause abnormal alignment or curvature of the spine. A healthy spine, when viewed from the side, has gentle curves. However, when these curves are exaggerated or deviate from side to side, they may indicate a spinal deformity. Alliance Orthopedics specializes in diagnosing, managing, and treating various spinal deformities to help our patients lead a pain-free and active lifestyle.
Common Spinal Deformities
Although many types of spinal deformities exist, some are more common than others. The following are the most common types of spinal deformities. To assist you in understanding these deformities, we will explain what they are and how to recognize them.
Scoliosis is the most common type of spinal deformity and is characterized by a side-to-side curvature of the spine. This spinal deformity typically develops between ages 10 and 15 but can occur at any age. It may cause low back pain, chest wall discomfort, difficulty breathing, and decreased range of motion. Scoliosis may be treated with physical therapy, bracing or surgery, depending on the degree of curvature.
Kyphosis is the medical term for a hunchback or rounded upper back. It usually develops slowly over time due to poor posture, osteoporosis, or injury to the spine. This condition may cause muscle fatigue, neck pain, and headaches. Treatment typically involves physical therapy exercises to strengthen surrounding muscles and improve posture. In severe cases, surgery may be required.
Lordosis is an exaggerated inward curvature of the lower spine. It often occurs due to weak abdominal muscles and tight hip flexors. Common symptoms include low back pain, discomfort when sitting for long periods of time, and difficulty engaging in physical activity. Treatment typically involves exercises that focus on strengthening the core and stretching the hip flexors. If necessary, additional treatments such as bracing and surgery may be recommended.
Flatback syndrome is a postural disorder that results in an abnormal flattening of the normal lumbar S-curve. This is often caused by excessive extension of the spine, leading to lower back pain and increased risk for injury. Treatment typically involves correcting posture, strengthening core muscles, and increasing flexibility. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, Alliance Orthopedics can help you find the right treatment for your condition.
Causes of Spinal Deformities
Spinal deformities may be caused by a variety of factors, from genetic predispositions to lifestyle habits. Identifying these underlying causes is vital for selecting the most effective treatment approach. At Alliance Orthopedics, our team of experts possesses the necessary tools and expertise to help you understand what’s causing your spinal deformity. We will conduct comprehensive evaluations to identify any underlying causes contributing to your condition. Common causes of spinal deformity include:
- Genetic Factors: Certain spinal deformities, such as scoliosis, can be inherited. If someone in your family has a spinal deformity, your risk of developing one may be higher.
- Age: Degenerative disorders like osteoporosis may lead to spinal deformities like kyphosis as we age.
- Poor Posture: Persistent poor posture may lead to conditions like kyphosis and lordosis.
- Injury: Spinal trauma, such as from a car accident or sports injury, can result in spinal deformities.
- Neuromuscular Conditions: Conditions that affect the nerves and muscles, such as cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy, may lead to spinal deformities.
- Infection or Disease: Certain diseases and infections may affect the spine and its alignment.
Symptoms of Spinal Deformities
There are a variety of symptoms associated with spinal deformities, depending on the type and severity of the condition. If you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms, contact our team at Alliance Orthopedics to find out how we can help.
- Low back pain
- Neck or shoulder pain
- Muscle fatigue and tension
- Difficulty breathing or chest wall discomfort
- Reduced flexibility and range of motion
- Uneven shoulders or hips
- Abnormal curvature of the spine
Treatments for Spinal Deformities
At Alliance Orthopedics, we understand everyone’s needs are different. That’s why we provide a comprehensive approach to treating spinal deformities. Our team will work with you to identify the best treatment plan for your condition. Depending on the type and severity of your spinal deformity, your treatment may include:
- Physical Therapy: Our physical therapists will develop an individualized exercise program to help strengthen the core muscles and improve posture.
- Chiropractic Care: Chiropractic adjustments can help reduce pain and increase mobility in the spine.
- Bracing: Bracing can be used to correct the curvature of the spine for conditions like scoliosis.
- Surgery: In more severe cases, surgery may be the best option to correct the spinal deformity.
No matter what type of spinal deformity you may be experiencing, Alliance Orthopedics is here to help. Our experienced orthopedic specialists will work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan that meets your individual needs and goals. Contact us today to learn how we can help you manage your spinal deformity and reduce your pain.