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General Practice 2023

Spinal deviation: 3 main types of deviation, symptoms and treatment

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Spinal deviation: 3 main types of deviation, symptoms and treatment
Spinal deviation: 3 main types of deviation, symptoms and treatment

The main spinal deviations are kyphosis, lordosis and scoliosis, which are not always severe, requiring treatment because in certain cases these deviations are mild and do not have major consequences for the individual.

Spinal deviation may not present any symptoms or cause pain at certain times, and the doctor may recommend performing exercises to strengthen the local muscles, as well as physiotherapy sessions and, in some cases, surgery.

The vertebral column has 33 vertebrae, 7 cervical, 12 thoracic, 5 lumbar, 5 sacral and 4 that form the coccyx. When viewed from the side, the he althy spine has smooth curves in the chest area and lower back.When viewed from the back, the spine should be exactly in the middle of the back, but when the vertebrae are misaligned, scoliosis can be observed. When viewed from the front, despite not being able to see the spine, it is possible to observe the changes that the deviations in the spine cause: uneven shoulders and/or hips.

1. Kyphosis

Kyphosis, also known as hyperkyphosis, happens when the vertebrae in the thoracic spine bend backwards, forming a 'hunchbacked' appearance, with the shoulders drooping forward. This deviation is more common in older people and is also closely related to osteoporosis in the bones of the spine. Learn more about kyphosis.

Main symptoms: in addition to the appearance of a hunchback, kyphosis can have as main symptoms pain in the upper back, difficulty keeping the body straight, and there can be a lot of pain when this position is forced, weakness or tingling in the arms and legs and difficulty breathing in some cases.

How to treat: to treat kyphosis, it is important to have the guidance of an orthopedist and a physical therapist, and corrective exercises that strengthen the muscles are usually recommended. back and stretch the pectoralis major and minor, in addition to positioning the head better. Clinical Pilates and RPG (Global Postural Reeducation) exercises are highly recommended, achieving excellent results.

In more serious cases, when the baby is already born with this alteration, or when the curve is very pronounced, the orthopedic doctor may indicate the need to perform surgery to help correct the spine, however, as a way of complementary to this treatment, the use of orthopedic braces and physiotherapy sessions for long periods is still indicated.

2. Lordosis

Lordosis, or hyperlordosis, happens when the vertebrae of the lumbar or cervical spine curve inward. Thus, when it affects the cervical vertebrae, it is possible to notice the elongation of the neck, which is more forward, while in the case of lumbar lordosis, the pelvic region is positioned further back and the abdomen further forward, forming the appearance of " upturned butt".

Lordosis can be noticed since childhood and adolescence, and may be related to other alterations such as protruding abdomen, which is more globular, due to weakness of the abdominal muscles, and flat foot, although not always all these alterations are present at the same time.

Main symptoms: in addition to changes related to posture, it is possible to have pain in the lower back, decreased movement of the spine and weaker abdomen. Learn how to recognize lordosis.

How to treat: The most suitable treatment for lordosis is corrective exercises, being important to strengthen the abdomen, stretching the lumbar. Spinal manipulation can be performed by the physical therapist, helping to correct the curvature. Exercises that can be performed on the ground as in Pilates with or without equipment, or in water, in the case of hydrotherapy or hydro Pilates are a great option to improve overall posture and correct the curvature of the spine.Performing RPG can also be part of the treatment.

3. Scoliosis

Scoliosis happens when the vertebrae of the thoracic spine are laterally deviated, rotated, forming a C or S, which can affect the cervical, dorsal, and/or lumbar. This change can be serious when it affects infants and children, and surgery may be required.

Main symptoms: due to deviation of the thoracic spine, it is possible to observe some signs and symptoms such as one shoulder higher than the other, muscle pain, feeling of fatigue in the back, one leg shorter than the other and one side of the hip higher than the other.

How to treat: When the curvature is very severe, the doctor may recommend surgery to correct the deviation, with the treatment being complemented by physiotherapy, strengthening exercises, manipulation of spinal joints, clinical pilates, and/or GPR. In many cases it is possible to cure scoliosis, especially when it is mild and does not have serious consequences for the individual's he alth.See more details about scoliosis treatment.

What causes spinal deviation

Deviations in the spine do not always have their cause clarified, but they can happen due to postural changes or serious diseases. These deviations can cause symptoms such as back pain, stiffness in the spine, and when the nerves are affected there can be tingling symptoms in the arms, hands and fingers, or legs, feet and fingers.

Treatment is not always necessary, it is left to the doctor's discretion. Painkillers may be recommended to relieve symptoms, physiotherapy sessions, specific exercises to do at home, use of orthopedic braces, and in more severe cases, surgery may be recommended, especially when there are large deviations in the spine since childhood.

When column deviation is dangerous

A small deviation in the spine is not serious and can only result in back pain at certain times, such as when standing or sitting for a long time.However, in the most severe cases, when the deviation in the spine is severe and can be observed with the naked eye, the individual may experience intense back pain, paresthesia, when the nerves are affected, which gives rise to symptoms such as muscle weakness, tingling or burning. These people are more likely to develop herniated discs and parrot beaks, presenting intense discomfort.

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