Kyphosis, lordosis and scoliosis are three different words that are used to describe three kinds of deformities or abnormalities in curvature of the spine. There are presently over seven million people in the United States that have one of these abnormal curvatures of the spine. These abnormal curvatures can be a congenital defect or they may arise as the result of a spinal injury or poor posture. When such curvatures of the spin occur it causes the hips to be misaligned as well. This causes a pelvic imbalance and can also cause one leg to appear longer than the other. A normal spine is one that is straight. An abnormal spine will have a “C” shape or an “S” shape to it. These curvatures can cause muscle and back pain in other places in the body as well as the back.
Kyphosis, lordosis and scoliosis can create imbalances and can cause the muscle to pull the body out of shape as well. When you look at the person who has one of these abnormal spin curvatures their hips may be elevated on one side. If you look at the person from the side their hip may be rotated forward and give the appearance of a sway back. If the hip is rotated backward it will cause the lower back to flatten.
Kyphosis is a word derived from the Greek language that means hump. The person who has this condition will have a hunch back. The hump is located in the upper spine causing the body is bend forward. If you look at the person from the side you can see that the spine has a “C” shape to it. People who have this condition are said to have a dowager’s hump. This condition is common in a lot of older people and is usually the result of degenerative diseases. It may also be a result of osteoporosis which has led to a compression fracture of the vertebrae.
Lordosis is the word that is used to refer to the curvature of the spine that causes the back to have the appearance of a swayback or saddle back. This is an inward curvature of the lower spine. Lordosis causes the body to be bent backward. An excessive inward curvature of the spine can contribute to disc problems in the lower back. This condition may become increasingly evident by the time the person is in their mid twenties. Lordosis can cause the person to have weak hamstrings and psoas, which are tight hip flexors. The causes for this can be too much visceral fat, pregnancy or tight lower back muscles. This condition can cause really severe back pain as well.
Scoliosis is the word used in reference to a spine that curves away from the middle or sideways. Scoliosis most often happens just before puberty during a growth spurt for unknown reasons. It can also be caused by muscular dystrophy and cerebral palsy. Severe scoliosis can be disabling, but most cases are mild. In severe cases the spinal curve can cause difficulties with the lungs because of the normal lung space is made smaller by the curved spine. Scoliosis can be diagnosed by an x-ray and then monitored in children if it is mild. The doctor will watch for changes in the spine to see if the curve is worsening. If it is worsening the child may have to wear a brace to stop the curve from becoming worse. In some severe cases surgery may be necessary. Symptoms of scoliosis are; shoulders that appear uneven, uneven hips, uneven waist, spinal curves to the side, fatigue, backache. If the person sits for long period of time or stands the back becomes fatigued. In severe cases of scoliosis the spine can rotate or twist as well as curve to the side. When this happens the ribs can be affected and stick out on one side.