Congenital and Secondary Kyphosis: What Causes Poor Spine Curvature?

The human spine is an interesting and complex part of the body. Comprising 33 rectangular vertebrae and shock-absorbing cartilage, the spine keeps our bodies standing tall. While the spine has some slight front-to-back curves in it, some degenerative diseases and other ailments can cause the spine to have abnormally-large curves near the upper back, creating a hump-like appearance. This extreme curvature is called kyphosis.

In kyphosis, the thoracic spine, located in upper back section of the body, curves more than normal, creating the appearance of a hunch back and poor posture while sitting and standing. Kyphosis is not itself a disease but is a disorder that can be caused by a number of different things. There are two major types of kyphosis, postural and structural, and each have their own causes.

Postural kyphosis

Postural kyphosis is caused by poor posture in children, teens, or adults. Walking and sitting with a continuously-hunched posture can lead to a gradual rounding of the upper back, followed by muscle fatigue and back pain. The pain and rounded shape are usually caused by the weakening of the muscles in the upper back because they are not being used to sit upright.

Postural kyphosis usually keeps the spinal vertebrae intact and can typically be corrected on your own with everyday posture adjustment. With a conscious effort to keep the back straight and erect, the rounded back should fix itself over time.

Structural kyphosis

As opposed to postural kyphosis, structural kyphosis cannot be fixed on its own and is usually related to a bigger structural problem within the spine. There are multiple different causes of structural kyphosis, some of which occur on their own and others that are caused by existing medical conditions:

  • Congenital: Congenital kyphosis is present at birth, although the effects of kyphosis may not be noticed until the child hits a growth spurt. With this condition, parts of the spine may be formed incompletely or missing entirely, causing a hunched-over appearance.
  • Scheuermann’s kyphosis: Scheuermann’s kyphosis is a disease in which the front part of the spine grows slower than the back part, forming triangular-shaped vertebrae instead of rectangular. The angle of each vertebra causes the spine to curve forward dramatically. Experts aren’t entirely sure what causes Scheuermann’s kyphosis, but it is speculated to be a genetic disease.
  • Secondary kyphosis: Secondary kyphosis is different from congenital and Scheuermann’s kyphosis because it is caused by another disorder rather than occurring on its own. A few common spinal conditions such as connective tissue disorders, arthritis, osteoporosis and other degenerative diseases are known to cause secondary kyphosis by collapsing the front of the vertebrae. Additionally, certain back traumas including spinal fractures, torn ligaments and compression fractures can weaken the vertebrae, causing them to collapse and kyphotic curves to appear.

To diagnose kyphosis, your chiropractor will typically conduct a physical exam, then may need to take an X-ray of your spine and examine the curvature present. By examining X-rays, the chiropractor should be able to determine the type of kyphosis you have and recommend an appropriate treatment plan.

An Ideal Spine chiropractor will work through the Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP) modality for a kyphosis correction plan. This not only helps guide a proper realignment of the vertebrae, it allows for consistent and ongoing re-checks to make sure curvature is regressing normally.

Chiropractic BioPhysics® corrective care trained Chiropractors are located throughout the United States and in several international locations. CBP providers have helped thousands of people throughout the world realign their spine back to health, and eliminate a source of chronic back pain, chronic neck pain, chronic headaches and migraines, fibromyalgia, and a wide range of other health conditions. If you are serious about your health and the health of your loved ones, contact a CBP trained provider today to see if you qualify for care. The exam and consultation are often FREE. See www.CBPpatient.com for providers in your area.

Is Chiropractic Still an Option After Back Surgery or Spinal Fusion?

For patients suffering from extreme lower back pain caused by degeneration, herniated disks, and other injuries, surgery very well may be the best option. Spinal fusion surgery is often one of the last options a patient chooses after exploring medications, physical therapy, and chiropractic, all to no avail because it can be extremely intense and has a year-long recovery period.

However, many spinal fusion surgery patients still experience pain or discomfort after their surgery, which makes them question what treatment options are still available to them. Is chiropractic still an option, even after major spinal surgery?

While many doctors warn patients of the risks involved with receiving chiropractic treatments after surgery, chiropractic care has the potential to help people suffering with back pain after surgery, as long as they are adequately healed prior to beginning treatment. At Ideal Spine, we frequently consult with patients post-surgery about the efficacy of spinal manipulations moving forward.

How long to wait after surgery?

Spinal fusion surgery is when an orthopedic surgeon removes the disks between two or more spinal vertebrae and fuses the bones together with metal screws and plates. The point of the surgery is to correct conditions like herniated disks and degenerative diseases by allowing the spine to become immobilized in that area.

After a spinal fusion surgery, it can take a minimum of three months for the vertebrae to fuse together and create a fully immobilized graft. After the graft is complete, another few months of physical therapy are usually necessary to strengthen the muscles around the graft. Combining the initial recovery time with physical therapy time, most patients may expect to take a full year to recover. Patients should avoid any twisting and bending motions, or else they risk breaking the graft.

How chiropractic care can help surgery patients

Spinal fusion surgery is not guaranteed to solve the problem causing a patient’s back pain. Many spinal fusion patients experience discomfort or pain for a long while after surgery that might be aided by chiropractic manipulations. However, these patients should not endure rotational-type treatments.

In chiropractic care, manipulations are intended to adjust or realign bones in your spine or other body parts. Because chiropractic involves such intricate manipulations of the spine, many patients who have endured back or spinal fusion surgery are hesitant to consider seeking chiropractic treatment.

After a year, discuss the possibility of receiving chiropractic care with your physician and determine whether your surgical graft is strong enough to withstand spinal manipulations. Spinal fusion patients can be at a greater risk of injury if they are not healed correctly before receiving treatment from a chiropractor. Any controlled force on the spine could damage the graft and cause injury.

All of this does not mean that chiropractic care is out of the question. If your graft is adequately healed and your physician feels that you are strong enough to endure mild spinal manipulations, you can reach out to your Ideal Spine chiropractor to discuss Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP) treatment options.

Chiropractic BioPhysics® corrective care trained Chiropractors are located throughout the United States and in several international locations. CBP providers have helped thousands of people throughout the world realign their spine back to health, and eliminate a source of chronic back pain, chronic neck pain, chronic headaches and migraines, fibromyalgia, and a wide range of other health conditions. If you are serious about your health and the health of your loved ones, contact a CBP trained provider today to see if you qualify for care. The exam and consultation are often FREE. See www.CBPpatient.com for providers in your area.

Is Chiropractic Really Considered “Alternative” In Today’s Society?

Many patients who hear the term “alternative medicine” immediately assume the methods being practiced are less legitimate or useful than those used in conventional medicine. However, a lot of people are surprised to find out that chiropractic is considered an alternative practice, despite its ability to potentially develop successful results.

When it comes to musculoskeletal pain, surgery and medication are usually considered the two “conventional” forms of treatment. Outside of these methods are numerous other forms of alternative health care, including massage therapy, acupuncture and chiropractic. Even today, chiropractic is still referred to as alternative medicine. However, the term might not mean exactly what it appears to mean at the outset.

At Ideal Spine, we embrace the term “alternative medicine” because we believe in a non-invasive, holistic approach to wellness. Where traditional medicine involves surgery, pain medications, and extremely high treatment costs, chiropractic remains gentle and accessible.

What is alternative medicine?

According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), two different terms can represent medical practices outside mainstream or conventional medicine: complementary and alternative.

“Complementary medicine” refers to medical practices that are used alongside conventional medical approaches. For example, a patient suffering from lower back pain takes prescribed painkillers from their physician but also visits a chiropractor. The chiropractic treatment is complementary to the painkillers.

“Alternative medicine,” on the other hand, refers to medical practices that are used in place of conventional medicine, not in tandem with it. The NCCIH states that true alternative medicine is actually uncommon, as most patients use a blend of conventional and complementary approaches to ease pain and discomfort.

The confusion between the terms, then, is simply because people have grown to use the two terms interchangeably.

Why is chiropractic considered alternative or complementary?

Whether chiropractic methods are considered “alternative” or “complementary” depends on whether a patient is using chiropractic in tandem with or in place of medication or surgery. The reason chiropractic is not considered conventional is because, like other alternative forms of musculoskeletal treatments including acupuncture, yoga, or homeopathy, it is not taught in medical schools.

Medical Doctors (M.D.) are not licensed to practice chiropractic adjustment. Instead, chiropractors must undergo approximately four years of training in the classroom and working hands-on with patients to receive their Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree.

However, the label of alternative or contemporary does not mean chiropractic adjustment is less effective. In fact, numerous studies have suggested that chiropractic does benefit some people with lower back pain. Chiropractic is actually regarded as one of the most popular forms of alternative treatment among adults.

Will chiropractic work for you?

If you suffer from lower back pain, speak with your physician about chiropractic adjustments and whether they would be a good treatment to add or replace any existing conventional treatments. Many doctors will recommend chiropractic treatment to patients, particularly those who do not want to use strong painkillers to aid their discomfort. Always make sure to discuss any complementary treatments you are using to ease back pain with your doctor.

If you are interested in chiropractic treatment for your pain, consult with an Ideal Spine chiropractor regarding a tailored Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP) plan. Do not be deterred because it is not considered conventional medicine! Despite its “alternative” label, chiropractic treatment may help you ease joint pain and improve mobility in your back and neck through spinal readjustments.

Chiropractic BioPhysics® corrective care trained Chiropractors are located throughout the United States and in several international locations. CBP providers have helped thousands of people throughout the world realign their spine back to health, and eliminate a source of chronic back pain, chronic neck pain, chronic headaches and migraines, fibromyalgia, and a wide range of other health conditions. If you are serious about your health and the health of your loved ones, contact a CBP trained provider today to see if you qualify for care. The exam and consultation are often FREE. See www.CBPpatient.com for providers in your area.

Don’t Let Plantar Fasciitis Keep You from Exercising this Spring

In the springtime, people tend to flock outside wit their families, friends and pets to soak up some sunshine and have some fun. The dawn of spring is often a relief for many because it represents a fresh start, particularly when it comes to their exercise routines. So what happens, then, when you lace up your running shoes with the intention of hitting the trail, only to be met with a stabbing pain in your heel?

One of the most likely causes of your pain is plantar fasciitis, a very painful and very common injury due to overuse of the ligaments in your foot. When this pain hits, it can be enough to make people not want to walk around the house, let alone get up and exercise. But you don’t have to let this pain stop you.

At Ideal Spine, we make sure patients know that chiropractic care doesn’t just affect the spine. Through a few regular chiropractic adjustments and exercises, you can feel the difference in your feet and possibly even prevent the issue from happening later.

What causes the foot pain?

A ligament called the plantar fascia runs along the bottom of your foot and connects your toe to your heel. The plantar fascia absorbs shock and helps support your foot as you walk, but tension can build, particularly when you are on your feet for long periods of time. With too much tension, small tears may appear, and the fascia might become inflamed, causing a sharp pain.

Foot pain caused by plantar fasciitis is often experienced while walking or standing for a while, or immediately after waking up. While this condition could happen to anyone, it is more likely to occur and return in people who stand or walk all day. It’s especially common in athletes, such as runners and dancers, or in professionals who work while standing up for long hours each day.

As a side effect of the foot pain, people with plantar fasciitis are more likely to adjust their gait while walking to avoid feeling discomfort, which can stress other parts of the body such as muscles or joints and lead to injury.

How a pain in the foot is connected to a pain in the neck

Of those suffering from plantar fasciitis on a regular basis, it is likely that very few would think chiropractic could have any effect on foot pain whatsoever. In reality, chiropractic is an excellent way to treat plantar fasciitis and can promote whole-body health in the process.

When you visit a chiropractor, they will make adjustments to your feet, ankles and spine to reduce pain and relieve the pressure on the plantar fascia. As soon as the pressure is relieved, the ligament can begin to heal, which may take a few weeks.

By targeting the feet, ankle and the alignment in the spine, chiropractors seek out the root of the problem and avoid merely treating the symptoms. These adjustments can also help prevent injury to the back, joints, and muscles that might have been stretched or over-worked due to an abnormal gait. The result is often a healthier and happier patient who does not return with the same problems over and over.

Ideal Spine uses the Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP) method of care to help chiropractors serve patients to the fullest extent possible. Visit a CBP trained chiropractor for help with your plantar fasciitis and get back outside this spring.

Chiropractic BioPhysics® corrective care trained Chiropractors are located throughout the United States and in several international locations. CBP providers have helped thousands of people throughout the world realign their spine back to health, and eliminate a source of chronic back pain, chronic neck pain, chronic headaches and migraines, fibromyalgia, and a wide range of other health conditions. If you are serious about your health and the health of your loved ones, contact a CBP trained provider today to see if you qualify for care. The exam and consultation are often FREE. See www.CBPpatient.com for providers in your area.