Postural defects in children are an increasingly common and serious problem – not counting birth defects, related to deformations of the body – they are associated with the fact that, unfortunately, our children are sitting at a desk or in fron of a computer from an early age for hours, and they have far too little physical activity.
This favors problems with the spine, which is getting used to the sitting posture. From the moment of birth, the child first duplicates the embryonic position that it assumed in mom’s belly – the spine has a c-shaped profile. At the moment when the toddler starts to walk – to maintain balance, puts the belly forward, so the shape of the spine changes, which is about 5-6 the year of life reaches the correct shape of the double letter “s”. The following years are a period of stabilization of the spine and muscles – the final posture will be fixed around the age of 18.
Unfortunately, the school period, when the child wears a heavy schoolbag and overloads his back and his muscles, they do not keep up with the rapid development of bones, and therefore muscles are not sufficient support for the spine.
Additionally, postural defects develop in children who have problems with the hips, and even knees and feet – if any element of the skeleton causes pain – it begins unnatural, crooked position of your body to reduce this discomfort. This can lead to a complete deformation of the skeleton, as a consequence of other ailments, such as joint pain, headache, limping, and even problems with breathing.
Another age turning point, when the body undergoes enormous changes, is the period of puberty –when the proportion of the body changes – this is why young people often begin to slouch: girls, to hide their growing breasts, boys, because they can’t cope with the sudden spike in height. This is another moment when curvatures of the spine appear.
There are 3 types of spine curvatures:
Scoliosis – a lateral curvature that usually arises during the period of the fastest growth of a child (between 6 and 24 months, 5 and 8 years and then between 11 and 14 years of age). Bends can arise in every section – cervical, thoracic and lumbar. In children, it is most often noticed due to the asymmetrical arrangement of the blades. Scoliosis can be caused by pelvic deformities, unequal leg length, but also adopting an incorrect posture while sitting or carrying heavy items (backpacks, bags).
Lordosis – in the case of this defect, the spine has a characteristic forward lumbar curve. You can see it clearly when looking at the child in profile – it has a protruding belly and a concave back. Lordosis is most often the result of rickets, hip dislocation, paralysis of the back muscles, hip dislocations, but it can also be the result of overloading the spine and lack of movement.
Kyphosis – excessive backward bending of the thoracic spine, seen when the baby is watched from profile. The toddler’s back will be rounded, there may even be a hump. This kind of curvature arises most often as a result of rickets or as a result of crushing the vertebra, i.e. lifting too heavy item.
Early posture defects (up to 7-8 years of age) can be reversed through correction exercise and changing the child’s habits. It is therefore worth going with your toddler to an orthopedist who will order appropriate physical therapy or refer the child to rehabilitation. The doctor and physiotherapist will also indicate sports disciplines indicated for a given defect – thanks to this a baby’s muscles supporting the spine will be strengthened.
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