Could this be the cause of your back pain?

I have had many adults come into my office with back issues and were told that they have a scoliosis. Quite a number of these had a spinal kink and not a scoliosis. In this blog we are looking at Chronic Low Back Pain – the cause often missed. 

What is a Scoliosis?

This is a sideways bend in the spine of over 10 degrees and with rotation in the vertebrae (spinal back bones.) Most scoliosis are idiopathic which means that there is no known cause.

The spine should be straight in the front to back view. Curves are normal when looking at the spine from the side, these act as shock absorbers, similar to springs in a bed.

In adults, abnormal curves can develop due to two main reasons;

  1. Undetected or uncorrected childhood scoliosis
  2. Adult Degenerative DeNovo scoliosis, where the wear and tear of the spine causes side bends

What is a kink?

A spinal kink is a side curve less than 10 degrees and where there is not rotation present in the vertebrae. Causes of this can include:

  • Poor posture
  • Uneven leg length
  • Bad bed and poor sleep posture
  • Injury to one leg, resulting in uneven walking and standing posture

How can you find out if you have a kink or a scoliosis?

The definitive way to find out is with imaging such as X-rays. Observing for changes in the posture   can give you a strong indication, such as:

  • severe rib hump in the forward bent position
  • low back hump in the forward bent position
  • Observable large curve in the spine
  • Large discrepancy in shoulder or hip height

How can altered curves cause back pain?

Changes in the normal front to back alignment creates load and strain in the curve and around it. This does, over time, add strain to soft tissues, such as muscles and to the nerves and bones, leading to stiffness and quite often pain. This will help you understand ‘Chronic Low Back Pain – the cause often missed’.

What to do if you are concerned?

Seeking professional help is important if you suspect you or someone close to you has a scoliosis. Not all musculoskeletal practitioners are experienced in this area, so you do need to find someone who understands scoliosis and spinal curvatures. 

Early detection is important:

It is well documented if severe postural changes and back issues are present that best clinical results, do seek professional help straight away. Scoliosis is a progressive condition, especially in children and teenagers and also in the elderly. Early detection means early treatment and that can improve the enjoyment of life and minimise any surgical intervention.

Lisa Smycz 

If you would like to know more about what ideal posture looks like, then CLICK HERE.   Find out more about what is a scoliosis, CLICK HERE.

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