3 Abnormal Curvatures of the Spine

Your spine is supposed to have a slight degree of curvature to it so it can absorb the daily stress of movement. If this natural curvature becomes too excessive, usually in the form of one of 3 conditions, you may experience misalignment and pain as spaces within your spinal canal become narrower at certain points and press on adjacent nerve roots. Beverly Hills spinal surgeons discuss the 3 most common spine curvature disorders.

1. Scoliosis

Affecting approximately 2 to 3 percent of adolescents during puberty, the most common type of spine curvature is scoliosis. This condition is characterized by a sideways curvature of the spine that typically appears as an “S” or “C” shape. When present during childhood, the curvature rarely becomes an issue during adulthood.

  • Signs of scoliosis may include:
  • A waist that appears uneven
  • Noticeable leaning to one side
  • Uneven shoulders

2. Lordosis

A spine that has significantly curved inward may be a sign of lordosis, sometimes referred to as swayback. In some cases, the curvature will be flexible enough to correct itself when moving forward, which often means there will be no need for medical intervention.

Possible signs of lordosis include:

  • Significant space at the bottom of the spine when lying down
  • Pain associated with movement
  • Buttocks appearing more prominent

3. Kyphosis

Curvature of the spine of 50 degrees or more is the main characteristic of kyphosis, which usually presents itself in the form of a severely rounded upper back. Most common in older women, this type of curvature can develop at any age.

  • Symptoms and signs may include:
  • Slight or pronounced spinal curvature
  • General stiffness
  • Back pain

Spinal curvature can be genetic and present at birth. If this is the case, the condition is usually monitored during regular exams unless there is pain experienced due to nerve pressure. A problematic curve may also develop from age-related degeneration or as a result of a severe injury or trauma. Treatment depends on the symptoms experienced and the extent of the curvature, but may include spinal fusion surgery.

The expert spine surgeons at The Spine Institute Center can determine if you have a spine curvature disorder and decide on the most effective plans for treatment. We specialize in spinal fusion surgery as well as fusion alternatives like Mobi-C artificial cervical disc replacement, Coflex surgery, and dynamic stabilization. Call 310-828-7757 today to learn more and to schedule a consultation.

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