Posture is the position that you hold your body in while seated, standing or lying down. Training the body to stand, walk, lie and sit straight helps eliminate the strain placed on the ligaments and muscles surrounding your back. Many conditions of the skeletal system affect good posture. Kyphosis, scoliosis and lordosis are among the conditions that can cause a postural deformity. Consult your doctor if you believe you may have a postural deformity.
Kyphosis occurs as the forward rounding in the upper portion of the back. It’s normally an exaggerated rounding of more than 50 degrees, according to the National Scoliosis Foundation. This condition is also known as hunchback. Kyphosis can be a developmental problem or occur as the result of arthritis, osteoporosis, a fracture or trauma occurring in the spine. If kyphosis is mild, health problems are rarely a concern. People with severe kyphosis can incur damage in the lungs, nerves as well as tissues and organs. Severe kyphosis can be painful. Kyphosis can occur at any age, and treatment depends largely on your age. Exercise, anti-inflammatory medications, bracing and surgery are among the treatment options.
Scoliosis occurs when a person’s spine is curved from side to side. The National Scoliosis Foundation estimates that seven million Americans are affected. Scoliosis can affect infants, children and adults. However, it’s more likely to occur between ages 10 and 15. Females are eight times more likely to be diagnosed with scoliosis than males. Scoliosis can cause pain, limit activity levels, reduce respiratory functions and create self-esteem issues. Treatment for scoliosis is bracing. If bracing fails, a spinal fusion can correct the curvature of the spine.
Lumbar lordosis is an exaggerated curvature of the lower back. Lordosis can occur in children and adults, says Seattle Children’s Hospital. This exaggerated curvature of the spine can cause people to look as though their back is swaying, or it can make your lower body stand outward. Lordosis can be caused by cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy and spinal muscular atrophy. Weak or tight hip muscles can also develop into lordosis over time. Treatment can involve surgery or physical therapy.
Many other conditions can cause postural deformities. Spinal infections can weaken the surrounding bone and tissue, resulting in a curve. Before antibiotic treatment, tuberculosis was also known to create a curve in the spine. Polio was another condition that has caused curvatures of the spine. Spinal fractures and tumors can also lead to postural problems. Children who have not reached their full height who undergo radiation therapy may encounter a spinal curvature as a side effect. Radiation therapy can halt the growth of bones in children.