Spinal Deformities: Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatments

As a body organ just like every other, the spine can undergo various deformities due to age, fracture, external damage, etc., These factors can cause pain, mobility issues, or even neurological concerns if not treated promptly and appropriately. If you’ve been suffering from spinal pain or other spinal issues, this blog is for you. It talks about various spinal deformities, their causes, diagnosis, and treatments.

Importance of the Spine

The spine, as we all know, is a crucial part of the body. It is designed to provide structure and support to the body every moment and while in any pose and performing any movement. The spine also protects the spinal cord – a column of nerves connecting the brain to the rest of the body for efficient movement control.

In the absence of a spinal cord, moving the body or keeping the other organs functioning is nearly impossible. Even deformities in the spine can make life challenging, given the critical role of the spine in our lives. So, let’s delve into a few aspects of various spinal deformities, their causes, and treatment.

Common Spinal Deformities

A healthy human spine has a slight S-shaped curve. Spinal deformities cause a change in the curve or its alignment. These deformities occur as a result of an accident, fracture, age, or on account of congenital defects. They can cause pain, neurological disorders, or mobility problems. Spinal deformities affect the body in various ways. Some common ones include the following.

  • Kyphosis: Kyphosis causes the spine to curve outside excessively. It is more commonly experienced by older women. The common causes of kyphosis include vertebrae fracture due to osteoporosis. Nevertheless, kyphosis can affect people of any age. It can develop during childhood due to poor posture or slouching.
  • Scoliosis: Scoliosis causes a sideways curve. Often, scoliosis is diagnosed during childhood. However, some cases can go undetected until adulthood. Scoliosis during the onset of adulthood can result from the wearing of discs and weakening of the spine due to aging. The impact of scoliosis isn’t confined to the spine. It can worsen and cause long-term complications, including lungs and heart.
  • Lordosis: Lordosis causes an inward curve. It is one of the congenital deformities that can affect a developing fetus. However, it can affect people at a later age due to factors like excessive weight or poor posture.

Causes of Spinal Deformities

Spinal deformities can result from various conditions. Some include genetic effects, accidents, diseases, injuries, poor posture, and a sedentary lifestyle. Understanding the cause is necessary to treat the condition appropriately.

Diagnosing Spinal Deformities

Like every other condition, doctors diagnose spinal deformities to examine the cause, the extent of damage, and the course of treatment. A few common ways of diagnosing spinal deformities include the following.

  • CT-Scan

The procedure involves taking X-ray images from various angles around the body and creating cross-sectional images of the bones, soft tissues, and blood vessels. It provides more detailed insights into the condition than X-rays.

  • X-rays

X-rays are a conventionally popular diagnostic method. It can help detect fractured bones, tumors, spinal defects, etc. It is electromagnetic radiation that clicks images of the bones in your body. Although not as detailed, x-rays usually form the first line of diagnosis.

  • Myelogram

Also called myelography, it is a diagnostic imaging test conducted by a radiologist. The procedure uses a contrast dye with X-rays or computed tomography (CT) to see problems in the spinal canal.

  • MRI Scan

MRI is the abbreviation for Magnetic Resonance Imaging. It uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce images. The test shows the soft tissues, discs, nerves, and spine in the back. It is a detailed and radiation-free test.

Treatment Options for Spinal Deformities

Spinal deformities can complicate life for you. However, thankfully, in most cases, you can treat them through various surgical and non-surgical treatment options. Let’s look at some common treatment options to treat spinal deformities.

  • Pain Management

It can include managing pain via pain relievers, steroid shots, or pain medications. However, instead of taking pain relievers and seeking temporary relief, we recommend speaking to a doctor and getting a proper treatment plan.

  • Physical Therapy

Physical therapy can help relieve pain and restore spine functioning. Based on the person’s condition, it can strengthen joints and improve their motion.

  • Bracing

Bracing can work for mild spinal deformities and younger patients where the spine has a chance to grow straight. Braces also provide some relief to adults. However, they won’t correct the deformity.

  • Integrative Therapies

Some integrative treatment options or therapies include massage therapy or acupuncture. While acupuncture helps increase blood flow to expedite healing, acupuncture relaxes muscles and relieves stress by increasing blood flow. Nevertheless, you should undergo these therapies after doctor consultation.

  • Epidural Steroid Injections

These injections reduce pain and inflammation near the spinal nerves. They treat pain from the lower back into the legs. The relief usually lasts for two to three months. Accordingly, the treatment may provide enough time to recover, based on the intensity of the condition and the level of damage.

  • Surgical Spinal Correction

Doctors may recommend surgery in patients with medically refractory or neurologic symptoms like numbness or bowel or bladder dysfunction, weakness, and progressive worsening of the curvature.

We hope the above helps. But if you need specific consultation and treatment, call us at +91 – 20 – 24261530 to book an appointment and visit us.

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