Postural defects

Kyphosis

This is an abnormally increased outward curvature of the thoracic spine. In this condition the back appears round as the shoulders point forward and the head moves forward. A tightening of the pectoral muscles is common in this condition.

Lordosis

This is an abnormally increased inward curvature of the lumbar spine. In this condition the pelvis tilts forward and as the back is hollow, the abdomen and buttocks protrude and the knees may be hyperextended. Typical problems associated with this condition are tightening of the back muscles followed by a weakening of the abdominal muscles. Hamstring problems are common because of the anterior tilt of the pelvis. Increased weight gain or pregnancy may cause or exacerbate this condition.

Scoliosis

This is a lateral curvature of the vertebral column, either to the left or right side. Evident signs of this condition include unequal leg length, distortion of the rib cage, unequal position of the hips or shoulders and curvature of the spine (usually in the thoracic region).

Common pathologies of the skeletal system I0I

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N PRACTICE

In the case of a client with a joint disorder, position the client according to individual comfort. Remember that extra cushioning and support may be required.

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N PRACTICE

Avoid forcibly mobilising ankylosed joints and in the case of cervical spondylitis avoid hyperextending the neck.

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N

P

RACTICE

In the case of a client with arthritis, passive and gentle friction movements around the joint may be beneficial where there is minimal pain, but excessive movement may cause joint pain and damage. Always ask the client to demonstrate the range of movement possible at each joint and this will guide you as to the limitations of treatment.

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