Spinal deformities: Many different conditions can cause or contribute to spinal deformities. Spinal deformities are symptoms that result when the normal spinal curvatures become too severe, or when the vertebral column develops a lateral curve. The most common of all spinal deformities is scoliosis.
Scoliosis is a spinal deformity in which the spinal column is curved laterally. Most often, this occurs in the thoracic or middle portion of the spine. Many times, scoliosis is idiopathic. This means the reason scoliosis develops is unknown. Some spinal deformities are congenital, or present at the time of birth. Other reasons for spinal deformities include unequal leg length, chronic leg or lower back pain, muscle paralysis on one side of the back, or vertebrae that are abnormally formed.
Other common spinal deformities include kyphosis and lordosis.
Kyphosis is a spinal deformity in which abnormal curvature of the spine causes a humpback. The upper portion of the spine normally has a slight forward curvature, but in this spinal deformity, the curve is excessive. In rare cases, babies are born with this spinal deformity, but usually it develops later in life. The most common cause of kyphosis is Scheuermann’s disease.
Lordosis refers to the inward curvature of the lower or lumbar spine. Hyperlordosis occurs when there is excessive inward curvature caused by spinal deformity. This condition is sometimes referred to as “swayback.” In this spinal deformity, the buttocks appear quite prominent, and when an individual with lordosis lies on their back on a flat surface, there will be a large space underneath their lower back.
Lumbar lordosis may be congenital spinal deformity, or the condition may develop with other conditions of the spine such as arthritis or spondylolisthesis. Less commonly, this spinal deformity occurs in children as a result of: