Posts made in June 2018

The Curvatures of the Spine

diagram of spinal column curvatureYour spine is made up of small bones, called vertebrae, which are stacked on top of one another in order to create the natural curves of your back. While a normal spinal column appears vertically straight if viewed from the rear, it should almost resemble a soft ‘S’ shape when viewed from the side. The natural curves of the spine that contribute to its shape are the cervical curve, thoracic curve, and lumbar curve.

The cervical curve is composed of seven small vertebrae that begin at the base of your skull and end at the upper chest. The thoracic spine is made up of twelve vertebrae that go from the upper chest to the middle back. The lumbar vertebra consists of five larger vertebrae.

The spine’s natural curves are important to our ability to balance and stand upright. If any of the curves become too large or small, posture may appear abnormal and it could be difficult to stand up straight. Spinal deformities (abnormal curvatures of the spine) include kyphosis of the thoracic spine (“hunchback”), lordosis of the lumbar spine (“swayback”), and scoliosis, a sideways curvature of the spine. In the presence of a spinal deformity, non-operative treatments such as physical therapy in Brandon, FL, or braces are recommended.

 

What is Frozen Shoulder?

woman holding shoulder in painFrozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, is a common condition in which the shoulder stiffens, thus reducing its mobility. While frozen shoulder is often mistaken for arthritis, these conditions are unrelated.

Your shoulder is composed of three bones that form a ball-and-socket joint. These bones are your upper arm (humerus), shoulder blade (scapula), and collarbone (clavicle). Holding everything together is the shoulder capsule, which is the tissue that surrounds your shoulder joint. When the capsule becomes so thick and tight that it’s hard to move, this is known as frozen shoulder. Bands of scar tissue form, and there’s less of the liquid formed that keeps the joint lubricated (synovial fluid). With this, motion is limited even more.

A person with a frozen shoulder will have a consistently painful and stiff shoulder joint. The pain may worsen at night, making it difficult to sleep. Frozen shoulder typically affects people between 40 and 60 years old.

Frequent and gentle exercise can prevent and possibly reverse shoulder stiffness. The American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons suggests the crossover arm stretch: Hold the upper arm of the affected side, gently pull the arm across in front of you, and hold for thirty seconds. Relax and repeat. If pain and immobility persist, contact a licensed chiropractor in Seffner, FL.