The human spine is a rather fragile thing, despite the fact that it is the support for our entire skeleton.
The spinal column carries significant loads on a daily basis, and when such loads are associated with pathological disorders or excessiveness, it can be deformed.
Such deformations lead to the formation of bends of different nature.
For example, one of these bends is kyphosis.
Kyphosis is of two types: physiological (each of us has it, this is a kind of evolutionary depreciation of our spine) and pathological (deviation from the norm). It is the pathological form of kyphosis that needs treatment.
What is kyphosis?
Kyphosis is a disease of the spinal column, which is characterized by its deformation in the anteroposterior plane. The appearance of humpback indicates the presence of kyphosis in an already sufficiently developed state.
If we take a more standard (not quite yet neglected) case of kyphosis, then visually it will look like an arcuate back, in which the upper part is slightly tilted forward (slight stoop), the stomach is also slightly protruded forward, while the thoracic region is slightly pulled back.
In kyphosis, the main “blow” falls on the thoracic spine, therefore, it is the thoracic kyphosis that is most often encountered in medical practice. There are cases of kyphosis in the neck and sacrum, but they are more rare.
It should also be borne in mind that kyphosis has varieties. It can be physiological and pathological.
Physiological kyphosis is a universal “burden”, it is present in all people to one degree or another since by its nature it is the result of evolutionary changes in the human skeleton. Physiological kyphosis is a kind of shock absorber for our musculoskeletal system, which over time receives more and more stress and is forced to somehow adapt. The rate of curvature in physiological kyphosis varies from 15 to 30 degrees.
Pathological kyphosis is already a deviation from the norm, i.e. the level of deformation has reached a mark that exceeds 30 degrees. This type requires diagnosis and treatment, as a too active progression of the disease can lead to disability.
Of course, the main symptom is a clear impaired posture. Even with a slight deviation from the norm, a slight hunchback can be noticed in the patient.
The main symptoms of kyphosis are :
- Deformation changes in intervertebral discs and vertebral cartilage;
- Fast fatiguability;
- Discomfort in the chest and chest area;
- Recurrent pain in the upper back ;
- Numbness in fingers and toes;
- Hypertonicity of the muscles of the back and thoracic region;
- Posture disorders, inability to maintain correct posture;
- Headaches and dizziness;
- Noise in ears;
- Constant feeling of lack of air, inability to fully breathe deeply;
- Failures of blood circulation in the brain;
- At advanced stages, pathology of internal organs may appear (development of diseases of the respiratory system, gastrointestinal tract, cardiovascular system, nervous system, etc.).
Like any other disease of the spine, kyphosis has a number of standard therapeutic measures that are prescribed to treat this pathology. Usually, this list includes drug treatment, physiotherapy, massage, exercise therapy, and folk recipes (non-traditional methods).
Drug treatment of kyphosis
Treatment of almost all degenerative-dystrophic diseases of the spine includes a standard list of medications. Kyphosis in this case is no exception.
In the presence of kyphosis pathology, the patient is usually prescribed three types (three groups of drugs) :
- Preparations containing chondroitin (a component that restores bone and cartilaginous tissue of the spine: Chondroxide, Capsicam, Chondroflex);
- Vitamin complexes and supplements (their task is to replenish the lack of potassium, iodine, calcium, and magnesium in the body, as well as to support the normal functioning of the body :);
- Local anesthetic drugs (usually prescribed if the patient has severe pain; such drugs can reduce pain when moving, and some can even relieve soft-tissue edema, which in turn improves blood circulation and prevents severe pain in the future: No-Spa, Baralgin, Pentalgin, etc.).
All of these drugs come in three different forms :
- tablet form;
- injections and droppers;
- ointments, gels, rubbing.
All medications are prescribed by a strictly attending physician. The same applies to the form of admission, the duration of the course. Remember that many drugs have a fairly extensive list of contraindications and side effects, so be sure to consult with your doctor before using them .
Massage in the treatment of kyphosis
Therapeutic massage is a good helper in the fight against diseases of the spine. With kyphosis, massage sessions can help reduce pain, relax muscles and cope with their hypertonicity, improve blood circulation in tissues and accelerate metabolic processes in the body.
However, remember a few important points :
- Massage can be included in a therapeutic complex or can act as an independent therapeutic therapy. It all depends on the degree of neglect of the disease and medical recommendations;
- Massage sessions should not be too frequent and long, 5-6 sessions within a month will be enough;
- Be sure to keep in mind that you cannot prescribe massage therapy to yourself. You need to clearly know the stage of your disease, its features. Therefore, only the attending physician can prescribe this therapy after an appropriate examination;
- Massages should only be performed by a professional. Amateur work can lead to injury and complications
Physiotherapy for kyphosis
The title of the most effective method of kyphosis treatment rightfully belongs to physiotherapy exercises. But it is important to remember that you need to be very careful with it, because the wrong set of exercises can harm, not benefit your body.
In the early stages of kyphosis, physical therapy can completely cope with the disease on its own, so it is advisable to take care of your health as early as possible.
Your doctor will select the correct set of exercises for you, based on an individual clinical picture.
Here are some basic exercises that you can do as a preventive measure against kyphosis or for medicinal purposes (after talking about this with your doctor) :
- Stand against the wall, rest your palms and chest against it. Now bend your back as much as possible and stay in this position for 2-3 minutes. This exercise should be done daily;
- Stand with your back to the wall, raise your hand and throw it back, rest your hand on the wall. At the same time, the back should bend, hold in this position for 20-30 seconds, then change your hand and do the same;
- Lie on your stomach, bend your arms at the elbows, and set at the level of the chest. Now start lifting your torso up. Lean on your hands while doing this. Try to rise so that the load is transferred to your back, and not to your arms. Keep your head straight. Bend down and stay in this position for 15-10 seconds, then slowly lower yourself down and relax. Repeat 5-6 times;
- Place your feet and palms on the floor and take an even horizontal position (your body should look like a single line). Hold this position for 15-10 seconds and then relax.
Physiotherapy for the treatment of kyphosis
Physiotherapy measures are considered auxiliary in the treatment of diseases of the spine. There are different types of therapy, which are usually prescribed to the patient on an individual basis, based on his personal picture of the disease.
The essence of this method is as follows: the diseased part of the spine is affected by multipolar magnets, which stimulate blood circulation and contribute to its normalization. In addition, magnetotherapy activates the natural regeneration of bone tissue.
Electrotherapy is used in areas where the greatest curvature angle is noted. In this area, plates are placed, through which small doses of current are applied. The patient feels a slight tingling sensation at this time. This procedure can relieve pain and make the spine more mobile. Electrotherapy is contraindicated in acute kyphosis pain.
This technique is somewhat similar to electrotherapy, only unlike it, during electrophoresis, the drug is delivered to the curved area using galvanic current. This method is good in that medicine is directly on the affected area.
The essence of this method is as follows: the main area of the curvature is affected by ultrasonic waves, which have a therapeutic and stimulating effect. This allows you to strengthen the muscles, relieve hypertonicity.
This therapeutic technique has been widely known for a long time. Tibetan monks had the ability to cure many diseases by properly driving needles into the patient’s body. They could relieve pain, swelling, muscle hypertonia. Over time, the technology, of course, has been somewhat modernized, but the principle of operation has remained the same. But you need to understand that such a subtle technique is subject only to a highly qualified specialist, an amateur can harm your body, and irreparable.
This procedure is prescribed to maximize blood flow to the affected area. Heat can be both contact (for example, thermal plates or dry compress) and non-contact (for example, ultraviolet radiation).
In addition to the listed methods, there are such common options as hydrotherapy and mud therapy. Usually, they are used in boarding houses and dispensaries.
Surgical intervention is used only as a last resort – when conservative treatment does not help, and the disease progresses by leaps and bounds. Such a progression usually threatens the internal organs and the spinal cord and, accordingly, leads to disability. The operation can only be prescribed by your doctor, after an extensive examination.
There are several methods of surgical intervention for kyphosis :
- Osteotomy (dissection directly at the site of maximum curvature);
- Kyphoplasty (with the help of special instruments, the vertebrae are returned to their normal position, and then a special substance is injected into the vertebral capsule, which allows the vertebrae to remain immobile).
Treatment with folk methods
Traditional recipes are not able to completely relieve you of kyphosis, but they can be a good help in complex treatment. They reduce pain, relieve swelling and muscle spasms, and improve blood circulation.
Here are some of the recipes used to treat kyphosis :
- Take natural propolis, grind and mix in equal parts with sea buckthorn. Apply the resulting mixture in a thin layer to the spine, and then massage gently into the back. After the procedure, wrap your back in woolen or downy cloth;
- Take natural mutton fat (preferably fat from an adult). Put the fat on the thoracic spine, and cover the top with cold mashed leaves of young cabbage. Wrap it all up with an elastic bandage.
Prevention of kyphosis
Preventive measures for diseases of the spine are usually standard: change your lifestyle. Eliminate smoking, strong alcohol, fatty, spicy, and too salty foods from your life. Be sure to dilute your life with moderate physical activity: go in for sports, start running or do some simple exercises. Watch your posture, equip your workplace correctly (set the light correctly, buy a comfortable chair with a high back), adjust your daily routine.
Kyphosis is a fairly common condition. Along with scoliosis, it poisons the lives of many young people, as well as older people. In the early stages, kyphosis is fairly easy to treat, so keep a few important things in mind if you suspect you have this disease :
- Kyphosis has two main forms : physiological and pathological. Every person has physiological kyphosis; this is a kind of norm. Pathological kyphosis is considered a disease and requires treatment;
- Kyphosis has a fairly pronounced symptomatology , so do not hesitate to see a doctor if you notice at least a few symptoms. In the early stages, the disease is much easier (and cheaper) to treat;
- For the treatment of kyphosis, a standard set of therapeutic measures is used : drug treatment, exercise therapy, massage, physiotherapy. All exercises and medications can only be prescribed by your doctor since independent experiments can result in aggravation of the situation and complications;
- Any disease is easier to prevent than to cure. Kyphosis is no exception. Therefore, try to reconsider your views on your own lifestyle: start eating right, playing sports, adjust the daily routine, and no illness will take you!
List of references
- Diseases of the spine and joints. L. Viilma – 2018.
- Diseases of the joints. V. Mazurov – 2017.
- The nature of the intelligent body. All about the spine and joints. S. Bubnovsky – 2019.
- System “Healthy spine”. V. Pikulenko – 2017.