Common Causes of Spine Pain

Deformities of the Spine

Scoliosis is a condition that causes a complex curvature of the spine. Though its cause is unknown, it can occur as the result of a separate condition such as cerebral palsy or spinal muscular atrophy.


Kyphosis and lordosis are normal curvatures of the spine. Excessive kyphosis can occur when the spine is bent forward creating a noticeable curve in the upper back, typically the result of years of poor posture or osteoporosis. This type of kyphosis may cause mild to severe back pain, stiffness and fatigue. Excessive lordosis, also know as swayback, occurs when the spine is bent in an inward curve at the lower back. It primarily affects the lumbar spine, creating an exaggerated posture which protrudes the head forward and the buttocks backward. Both of these conditions do not cause pain directly, but may eventually cause vertebrae to impinge on surrounding nerves, resulting in pain.

Video Transcript

This condition is a deformity of the spine. With it, your vertebrae change from a cylindrical shape to a wedge shape. Your spine may begin to curve forward. Eventually, this gives your upper back a rounded appearance.


Several different causes can result in kyphosis. It may be caused by osteoporosis. This is a loss of bone density. It makes your bones weak and brittle. It can allow your vertebrae to fracture and compress. Kyphosis is also caused by degeneration of your spinal discs. It can be caused by cancer. And it can be caused by birth defects, diseases and syndromes that affect the spine.


If your kyphosis is mild, you may not notice any symptoms. As it progresses, your spine may curve forward. You may experience stiffness. You may have aches in your neck and back. Severe kyphosis may put pressure on your spinal nerves. And it may cause your organs to become compressed. This can cause a wide range of problems.


Treatment options include medications and exercise. Increasing your calcium intake can help strengthen your bones. You may benefit from a brace. Some people also benefit from surgery to straighten and stabilize the spine. Your healthcare provider can create a care plan that is right for your needs.