Trying on a twelve-year-old son a new shirt, you noticed that his back was round. They looked more closely and saw what they had not previously paid attention to; the angles of the blades are very prominent. Now ask him to bend down and touch the floor with his fingertips. Not enough? This means that you have reason to show your son to an orthopedic doctor, since these three signs may indicate the onset of the spinal cord disease – juvenile kyphosis. It is called adolescent because it is most commonly found in adolescents, and boys are 3–4 times more likely to be sick than girls.
“Kyphosis” – means “curve, crooked.” But we must bear in mind. that a normal spine is not straight, as it sometimes seems to us. He has physiological curves. Bending in the thoracic region facing posteriorly (“kyphosis”), in the lumbar – 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 shocks and shocks are also achieved through intervertebral discs, which are a kind of cartilage pad.
When violations of posture or diseases of the spine physiological bends sometimes smooth out, and may become more pronounced. This is exactly what happens in juvenile kyphosis.
The cause of the disease is not fully elucidated, but it is assumed that it is based on impaired blood circulation in the growth zones of the vertebrae – the apophyses. As a result, the tissue of the apophyses seems to stratify, its structure is disturbed, and then the anterior sections of the vertebrae themselves become 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 the norm, and the kyphosis is eliminated even without special treatment.
However, the disease may progress. Most often this occurs during a period of intensive growth, especially if the child is weakened. it is ill much, moves a little, is not engaged in physical culture. But overload during sports activities can aggravate the course of juvenile kyphosis and even cause it.
If the disease progresses, intervertebral discs are involved in the process. They are loosened, thinned, and under the influence of the load, the cartilage tissue penetrates into the body of the vertebrae, the so-called Schmorl’s hernia is formed. Osteochondrosis joins the kyphosis, in the vertebral bodies appear coracoid growths that no longer dissolve, but remain forever.
On the disease, in addition to the signs mentioned at the beginning of the article, there is a signal of general fatigue, back pain, which disappears only after lying down to rest.
It becomes more and more difficult for the child to bend forward, the distance between the tips of the fingers when the arms are tilted and the floor is increased to 25 – 30 centimeters. And then the pain in the back begins to bother almost all the time, to give to the hips, popliteal cavities, and rest removes it less and less.
In some severe cases, the progression of the disease leads to compression of the nerve roots, and transient weakness of the lower limbs may even occur.
To prevent this from happening, it is necessary to begin treatment of kyphosis as early as possible. The main thing – these are measures that contribute to the overall strengthening of the body. They will be advised by a pediatrician or teenage doctor.
The child should sleep on a flat hard bed with a small flat pillow. It is best to put a plywood shield under the thin mattress.
Pay attention to the pose of the child while reading, preparing lessons. Let him sit on a hard chair with a back so that his feet rest on the floor, and do not slouch. Often, children sit down at work without having set the table free, and when writing, their elbows are hanging down. But it is necessary that the forearms are freely placed on the table – then they serve as a support, unloading the spine.
In day mode, provide and 20-30-minute rest, lying on his back, and be sure to walk in the fresh air. The child can and should play volleyball, basketball. in the winter to swim in the pool, in the summer – in an open reservoir, and it is desirable to swim more on the back. Baths with sea salt are useful (water temperature is 38 – 39 °), for a course — 1 & -20 baths.
Morning should begin with a charge, including exercises to strengthen the muscles of the back and abdominals. We present a complex of morning exercises. If it does not work out in the morning, it can be postponed for another time, but it must be done every day.
This is an approximate option, and more targeted exercises, depending on the state of the child, will be advised by an orthopedic surgeon or a physiotherapy specialist.