The Link Between Spinal Curves and Scoliosis
The link between scoliosis progression in patients with loss of their natural spinal curves is well-established but poorly understood. In this section of our site, we will provide critical information as it pertains to natural spinal curves and scoliosis. Unlike others, our clinical teams pay attention to the smallest of issues, and as such, we get results even when others fail. In the most basic terms, there are three abnormal spine curvatures:
- Scoliosis: An abnormal lateral curve (side bending of the spine)
- Kyphosis: Better known as either a “humpback” or “hunchback.” It is an abnormal (exaggerated) Thoracic Curvature (upper and mid back)
- Lordosis: Also known as the “swayback); an accentuated (abnormal) lumbar curvature (low back)
We will discuss these and why they matter in the coming sections of this page.
Your Spine Curvatures matter even more in Scoliosis Treatment
The successful treatment of the scoliotic spine is dependent on the proper alignment of the neck bones. Unfortunately, one of the most common clinical findings in scoliotic patients is a loss of the natural lordotic curve. The neck, better known as the cervical spine, must have a 30-degree curve to be considered healthy. When there is an absence of spinal curve in the neck or when the curve is reversed (reversed curve is medically known as hypolordosis or cervical kyphosis), the joints, spinal discs, muscles, and ligaments are under excessive stresses. The cumulative effects of these stresses are the leading cause of progression of curves located in the upper or mid back. Also, it is the primary cause of premature degenerative changes involving joints and spinal discs.
The Importance of the Lordotic Curve in Patients with Scoliotic Spines
We have noted reversed cervical spinal curves in patients with double scoliosis or scoliosis that involves the upper and mid back. Therefore, in our centers, we pay close attention to your lordotic curves. In the spine, there are two lordotic curves and one kyphotic curve. These are natural and needed for stability. The lordotic spinal curves are at the top (the neck or “cervical spine”) and bottom (the low back or “lumbar spine”) portions of your spine, whereas the kyphotic spinal curve is in the upper and mid back segments of the spine known as the thoracic spine.
Our clinical teams pay added attention to the lordotic curves of your spine (the spinal curves in your neck and low back) because correcting a scoliotic spine is difficult in the absence of improvements in the lordotic curves. Also, loss of the lordotic neck curve is the primary reason for flattening of the upper and mid back curves (the kyphotic spinal curve of thoracic spine). So, in our opinion, holistic scoliosis care is incomplete when attention and care are not provided for correcting the lordotic and kyphotic curves of the spine.
Get the BEST and MOST Comprehensive Scoliosis Treatment at Our Center
Our therapeutic goals are to improve the stability, function, and segmental motion of your spine. As such, the need for correction of the natural curves is critical to successful clinical outcomes. The efforts you get from us are through non-surgical means, where the efforts of orthopedic surgeons are through fusion and invasive procedures. Our philosophies in the treatment of scoliosis patients differ.
Can Surgery Fix Poor Curvature in the Neck?
Surgery for scoliosis is through bone grafts (fusion) and implanting of rods. The critical point of importance is the lateral spinal curve (the scoliotic curve and not the natural lordotic or kyphotic spinal curves of the spine. In short, most surgical interventions performed on a scoliotic patient forgoes corrections of the cervical lordotic curve. Surgeons avoid fusing the neck bones, as it will limit motion significantly and can have nasty complications down the line. So, surgery performed for scoliosis does not offer correction for the lordotic curves of the spine.
Facts of Spine Surgery and Changes in Agile Values
FACT: Medical recent research (March 2017), published in the Coluna/Columna Journal; a journal specific to Orthopedic Surgery and Rehabilitation in Brazil concluded the following:
Some surgeons have compared the spine to that of a bridge connecting an individual’s pelvis to his or her head; if this bridge were to collapse, the best approach, according to some surgeons would be to treat the collapsed segment by fusing the structure as a whole. However, our chiropractor and physiotherapists feel that fusing the spine may not be the best option.
We are of the opinion that non-surgical corrective means that targets tissues and spinal structures can have a significant impact when rendered through the efforts of clinical expert non-surgical teams such as ours. Our efforts of therapy are comprehensive, and the lordotic curve and the kyphotic curves mentioned on this page are just two examples of the efforts we put into our scoliosis treatment programs.
Why We Pay So Much Attention to the Curves?
Well, the normal curves of your spine help keep your body in proper alignment. Without them, weight bearing and mobility become a daunting task. Also, curves help disperse the weight of your body proportionately. So, when the spinal curves decrease, disappear, or reverse, your spinal joints, muscles, ligaments, and disc degenerate, leading to severer forms of scoliosis and even pain. In short, with the loss of your spinal curve (normal spinal curves), your spine buckles under load.
The reason why a spine would buckle when a curvature disappears from the neck involves physics. With the loss of the standard curves, your posture shifts. For example, your neck will shift forward in position about your shoulders and upper back. The forward head position will undoubtedly place additional stresses on your spine as it results in shifting of your center of gravity, leading to increased loading on the joints and spinal discs. Let us explain that in a better way: Alternations in the center of gravity will dramatically impact the weight of your head as it is dispersed onto the shoulders and upper back. FACT: every inch your head moves forward in relations to the center of gravity, the weight of your head doubles.
Why should you care about the natural curves?
The weight of a human head is about 3-6 kg (roughly about 6-13 lbs) with an average of about 4 kg (8.5 lbs). So, let’s assume that your head weighs 4 kg (average); when it moves one (1) inch forward in relations to your center of gravity, the actual weight dispersed on the joints of your lower neck and upper back will be 8 kg (17.5 lbs). And, with a two- (2) inch forward movement, it will be 16 kg or 35 lbs (the 4 kg weight doubling with every inch forward). But, for a three-inch anterior head carriage, the weight of your head according to simple physics is an astonishing 32 kg (70 lbs). Now, imagine the impact this has on your kids or those with scoliosis.
We hope you can now associate how critical the lordotic curve of the neck is and the need for targeted clinical scoliosis treatment and not surgical fusions or the typical randomized cut-and-paste treatments that so many offers in town. Visit one of our centers today for a comprehensive review of the best non-operative means of spinal curves correction and scoliosis treatment in Malaysia.