All spines curve slightly inward at the lumbar (lower back) region and outward at the top of the spine, below the neck.
Both conditions usually correct themselves without treatment. But if the curve progresses, our spine specialists will choose the best treatment option to correct the curve or minimize further curvature, and have your child standing tall.
Most children with lordosis do not experience any symptoms other than slight muscle strain caused by the curve in their lower back. An easy way to determine if your child has lordosis is to have him or her lie flat on the floor. Look at the space between the floor and your child’s lower back. If there’s a significant gap, your child most likely has lordosis.
There are three types of kyphosis. The most common type is postural kyphosis, caused by poor posture or slouching. It’s most common in adolescent girls and rarely causes problems other than minor discomfort and possibly a slightly rounded top part below the neck. Treatment for this type of kyphosis usually includes teaching proper posture and physical therapy to strengthen back muscles.
Structural issues cause the other two types of kyphosis, meaning the vertebrae develop unnaturally. These more severe types of kyphosis include:
A comprehensive medical evaluation by a Spine Center specialist may include the following:
Both lordosis and kyphosis usually warrant only observation to make sure the curves are not getting worse. In both cases, surgery is very rare. If your child’s spinal condition progresses to where a non-operative treatment is necessary, our spine experts will choose the best treatment to heal your child’s back as quickly as possible. Non-operative options include:
Learn more about diagnosis and treatment.