The balance of the spine is the balance of the elements that build the spine axis. In vertebrology, the balance of the spine is one of the essential concepts, since the balance of the spine directly affects the result of treatment. The shape of our spine appeared as a result of evolution. The similar structure of the spine, we can see and our relatives - large monkeys. They can also take an upright position and walk on their hind legs, though not for long.
This is because as a result of evolution, a lumbar curvature (lordosis) was formed. Lordosis makes it possible to straighten the knee and hip joints and not to disturb the balance of the whole body. In other words, the special S-shape of our spine is the ability to perform various actions by hand.
The Spinal Column Functions as the Central Axis of the Body
The famous French orthopedist Adalbert Kapandji compared the spine to the mast. Instead of sails and equipment, our internal organs and the upper humeral girdle protrude. And maintaining the axis of the spine-mast depends on the muscles of the human body. Our physiological curves (cervical and lumbar lordosis, thoracic kyphosis) are aligned to ensure an even distribution of the load.
Naturally, with the displacement of some elements, the whole system will be violated. So the development of deformation of the spine leads not only to cosmetic defect but also to the suffering of the function of internal organs, such as cardiovascular system, respiratory system, etc.
The first studies on the balance of the spine appeared in the 17th century and are associated with Giovanni Alfonso Borelli, the "father of biomechanics of the spine." In the XX century, the emergence of fixation systems that could affect the shape of the spine provoked further severe studies of the problem of balance of the spine. French and American scientists have found out that the axis of the spine correlates with the center of gravity of the human body.
This fundamental knowledge led to the understanding that deformation of the spine changes the balance of the entire human body. To correct the imbalance of the body, compensatory mechanisms are included, movements in large joints are redistributed, the load appears in places not functionally designed for it.
American surgeon Frank Schwab and his colleagues linked the imbalance of the spine in the sagittal plane with a violation of the quality of life. According to these studies, excessive spinal inclination forward provokes changes in the spine-pelvis system and promotes the development of pain in the back and lower limbs.
Nowadays, the evaluation of the balance of the spine is based on full-length radiographs. Considered physiological and pathological bends, the displacement of the general axis, the position of the spine relative to the pelvis and large joints.
Understanding of the balance of the spine allows surgeons not to make mistakes that will lead to complications after surgery.