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Back Pain Health Center

Select An Article

Types of Spine Curvature Disorders

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What are the symptoms of spine curvature disorders?

Symptoms vary depending on the type of spine curvature disorder and the severity of the condition.

Symptoms of lordosis may include:

  • Appearing swayback, with the buttocks being more pronounced
  • Having a large gap between the lower back and the floor when lying on your back on a hard surface that does not change when you bend forward
  • Back pain and discomfort
  • Problems moving certain ways

Symptoms of kyphosis are usually visible in nature and include:

  • Bending forward of the head compared to the rest of the body
  • Hump or curve to the upper back
  • Fatigue in back or legs

Postural kyphosis does not typically cause back pain; however, physical activity and long periods of standing and sitting can cause discomfort for people with Scheuermann's kyphosis.

Symptoms of scoliosis may include having:

  • Uneven shoulder blades with one being higher than the other
  • An uneven waist or hip
  • Leaning toward one side

How are spine curvature disorders treated?

In general, treatment is determined based on the severity and type of spinal curvature disorder you have. Mild spinal curvature, as occurs with postural kyphosis, may not be treated at all. More severe spinal curvature may require the use of a back brace or surgery.

Treatment for lordosis may include:

Treatment for kyphosis may include:

  • Exercise and anti-inflammatory medication to ease pain or discomfort
  • Wearing a back brace
  • Surgery to correct severe spine curvature and congenital kyphosis
  • Exercises and physical therapy to increase muscle strength

Treatment for scoliosis may include:

  • Observation. If there is a slight curve your doctor may choose to check your back every four to six months to see if the curve gets worse.
  • Bracing. Depending on the degree of the curve, a back brace is sometimes prescribed for kids and adolescents who are still growing. Bracing can help prevent the curve from getting worse.
  • Surgery. If the curve is severe and is getting worse, surgery is sometimes needed.

Exercise programs, chiropractic treatment, electrical stimulation, and nutritional supplements have not been proven to prevent the worsening of scoliosis. It is still ideal to keep as much as strength and flexibility to maintain normal function. This may require more effort and attention in someone with scoliosis.

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