Trying on a twelve-year-old son a new shirt, you noticed that his back became round. We looked more closely and saw what we had not paid attention to before; the angles of the blades are very protruding. Now ask him to bend down and touch the floor with his fingertips. Not enough? So, you have reason to show your son to an orthopedic surgeon, since these three signs can indicate the onset of a spinal disease – juvenile kyphosis. It is called youthful because it is most often detected in adolescents, and boys are sick 3-4 times more often than girls.
“Kyphosis” – means “curved, curved.” But you need to keep in mind. that a normal spine is by no means straight, as it sometimes seems to us. He has physiological bends. The bend in the thoracic region is posterior (“kyphosis”), in the lumbar region it is anteriorly (“lordosis”). These bends are necessary, they increase the endurance of the spine, give it spring properties. The elasticity of the spine, the ability to absorb shock and tremors are also achieved due to intervertebral discs, which are a kind of lining of cartilage.
In case of posture disorders or spinal diseases, physiological bends are sometimes smoothed out, and can become more pronounced. This is exactly what happens with juvenile kyphosis.
The cause of the disease has not been fully elucidated, but it is believed that it is based on circulatory disorders in the sprout zones of the vertebrae – the apophyses. As a result, the tissue of the apophyses, as it were, delaminates, its structure is broken, and then the anterior sections of the vertebrae themselves are flattened, their growth slows down.
The formation of the spine occurs throughout childhood and adolescence. Therefore, under favorable conditions, the structure of the apophyses is sometimes restored, the height of the vertebrae reaches normal, and kyphosis is eliminated even without special treatment.
However, the disease can progress. Most often this occurs during a period of intensive growth, especially if the child is weakened. He is sick a lot, does not move much, does not engage in physical education. But overload during sports activities can aggravate the course of juvenile kyphosis and even become its cause.
If the disease progresses, the intervertebral discs are involved. They loosen, thin out, and under the influence of the load, the cartilage tissue penetrates the vertebral body, the so-called Schmorl’s hernia forms. Osteochondrosis joins kyphosis, in the vertebral bodies, coracoid growths appear, which no longer resolve, but remain forever.
In addition to the symptoms indicated at the beginning of the article, the disease is signaled by general fatigue, back pain, which disappears only after lying down.
It becomes increasingly difficult for the child to lean forward, the distance between the tips of the fingers dropped when the arms are tilted and the floor increases to 25 – 30 centimeters. And then the back pain begins to bother almost all the time, give to the hips, popliteal hollows, and rest less and less takes it off.
In some particularly severe cases, the progression of the disease leads to compression of the nerve roots, and even transient weakness of the lower extremities may occur.
To prevent all this from happening, it is necessary to begin treatment of kyphosis as soon as possible. The main thing is measures that contribute to the overall strengthening of the body. They will be advised by a pediatrician or a doctor in a teenage room.
The child should sleep on an even hard bed with a small flat pillow. It is best to place a plywood shield under a thin mattress.
Pay attention to the child’s posture while reading, preparing lessons. Let him sit on a hard chair with a back so that his legs rest on the floor, and not stoop. Often children sit down to work without releasing the table, and when writing, their elbows hang down. And it is necessary that the forearms are freely located on the table – then they serve as a support, unloading the spine.
In the regime of the day, provide for a 20-30-minute rest lying on your back, and be sure to walk in the fresh air. A child can and should play volleyball, basketball. in winter, swim in the pool, in summer – in the open water, and it is desirable to swim more on your back. Useful baths with sea salt (water temperature – 38 – 39 ° C), per course — 1 & -20 baths.
The morning should begin with a charge, including exercises to strengthen the muscles of the back and abdominals. We give a complex of morning exercises. If it doesn’t work out in the morning, it can be rescheduled for another time, but it must be done every day.
This is an approximate option, and more targeted exercises, depending on the condition of the child, will be advised by an orthopedist or a specialist in physiotherapy exercises.