Having spinal deformity can greatly affect your life. The deformities cause severe pain, can affect function, self-image and the overall quality of life.
If you are affected by spinal deformity, you will require the services of a specialist in physical therapy and a surgeon. You will also require pain medication, orthotics and braces depending on the severity of the deformity.
Below are some of the most common spinal deformities
This condition is described as exaggerated curvature of the spine that forms a hunched or rounded back. There are several factors that can cause Kyphosis. Postural kyphosis forms as a result of posture and habit. Structural kyphosis on the other hand is caused by abnormalities that affect the bones, nerves, intervertebral discs, muscles or ligaments.
Structural kyphosis may be caused by rounded spine development which gets worse with time as a person grows. In the elderly, the compression fractures cause a person to stop growing taller and this is characterized by a naturally hunched back.
Signs and symptoms
• Excruciating back pains
• Stiffness and difficulty standing upright or stiffness
• Overtiredness of the back and legs
To diagnose kyphosis, physical examination and X-rays are needed. Your doctor may ask you to bend over so that he/ she examine your spine in the position of maximal extension to know whether the deformity is flexible and its structure.
The treatment of this condition is determined highly by the severity of the deformity. Flexible deformities can be improved through physical therapy and posture improvement. For those patients with rigid deformities, surgery might be required.
Surgery involves extending the curved spine, joining the vertebrae and using braces to uphold correction. In older patients with kyphosis, a non-invasive procedure known as balloon kyphoplasty maybe used. This procedure involves putting a small balloon through a small incision, into the curved bone to restore its shape. It is then filled with a substance that hardens and helps the bone expanded.
This condition is a side to side curvature that is common in adolescents but it can develop in adults as well. A research has shown that around 60% of the older generation has developed adult scoliosis. This number is expected to rise as people grow older and leave longer.
People aged between 50 and 60 years of age are more susceptible to adult scoliosis. This condition in adults comes as a result of degeneration of the spinal facet joints that help the spine bend.
Signs and Symptoms
• lower back pain
• back stiffness
Your doctor will want to record your medical history, family history of scoliosis and the symptoms you have been experiencing. A physical examination involves measuring muscular strength, reflexes and much more. X-rays of the back and side are also done while standing. CT scans and MRIs can be done to determine the condition of the disc above and below the curve.
This involves medication and physical therapy. Medication for the pain includes mild nicotine, epidural injection and other anti inflammatory drugs.
If the pain doesn’t respond to physical therapy and medication, surgery might be necessary. Although surgery for adults is difficult, it’s not impossible. Success depends on your health. People considering surgeries are encouraged to adopt a healthy way of life by maintaining a healthy weight and diet.