California may enjoy an outdoorsy image, but for every wakeboarder and snowboarder, there are many Californians spending a lot of time on their rear ends. Whether it’s chained to a desk or sitting in the infamous traffic, many of the state’s denizens sit more than is healthy, wreaking havoc on their spinal health. The resulting issues, from the lower-back pain that afflicts millions to more serious conditions such as slipped disks, keep San Jose chiropractor offices busy year-round.
Before these conditions become serious, it’s important to have a general understanding of the spine. In fact, no less a figure than Hippocrates once said, “One should first get a knowledge of the structure of the spine; for this is also requisite for many diseases.” Read on for Groupon’s study of the many shapes our backs can take:
A Healthy BackViewed from the back, a normal spine runs straight up and down. From the side, it curves in gently at the neck, out between the shoulders, back in at the torso, and out again around the lower back. Deviations from this shape can cause stress on other parts of the body, and they generally fall into three categories: scoliosis, lordosis, and kyphosis.
ScoliosisPerhaps the most widely known spinal condition, scoliosis is a lateral, or side-to-side, curvature of the spine in either a C or S shape. Scoliosis usually sets in right before puberty and occurs more frequently in girls than in boys; a telltale sign of the condition is uneven hips and shoulders or a lean toward one side. Most cases are mild and require only regular observation to ensure that the curve doesn't worsen, though severe scoliosis can impede lung function.
LordosisAlso referred to as “swayback,” this condition occurs when the lower back curves excessively inward, creating a concave appearance from the side. Lordosis can cause stress on the lower back and is common in pregnant women and people who carry excess weight around their abdomens.
KyphosisThe flip side of lordosis is kyphosis, a condition that arises from excessive outward curvature of the upper back. This condition can give rise to the appearance of a hunched back, developing over time due to age and poor posture.
Luckily for those with the above conditions—or even everyday lower-back pain—San Jose chiropractic practices specialize in treating these and other spinal issues. The services at local outposts such as Milpitas Spine Center and Ultimate Health Chiropractic include exams, adjustments, and acupuncture, all rendered in an effort to help patients return to lives unencumbered by nagging back pain. Patients should consult with a chiropractor to figure out which treatments are best for them.