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>Thanks for the further details, Ron. Would/could you give the list a
>definition of kyphosis? Is it simply exaggerated curves at the lower neck
>and lower back, or is there something more specific?

Hi All,
In response to the post quoted above, I am sending another post to the list. I should have offered a definition and further explanation in my first post. I apologize for the necessity of a second post.

Scoliosis, kyphosis, and lordosis are all distortions of the spine.

Scoliosis is the most common, and is a lateral bending of the spine (to one side or the other, with a corresponding correction, resulting in a curve). This causes an appearance of leaning. Often, one shoulder is higher than the other (and is sometimes thought to be caused by one leg being shorter than the other).

Kyphosis is a spinal malformation that causes a stooped, or hump-back appearance. The curve forces the person to lean forward, often resulting in a chronic craning of the neck to allow forward vision. The dowager hump, which is often found in osteoporotic women, offers a clue as to one common cause of this condition.

Lordosis is yet another spinal malformation. It is sometimes found in conjunction with one or both conditions listed above. The result of this distortion is a sway-back appearance.

All three of these categories are textbook simple. The complex variations that happen to real people are not so easy to decipher and differentiate. Because I suspect that they are all variations of the same set of conditions, I've included all three of them in this discussion.

Common causes of these conditions are:
advanced osteoporosis;
chronic sciatica;
malformed vertebrae;
and tuberculosis of the spine.
Pregnancy has also been offered as an explanation for some cases of these conditions, especially lordosis.

The top 4 conditions are over-represented among celiacs. Cooke & Holmes, in _Coeliac Disease_, have devoted a large part of one chapter to the skeletal implications of metabolic abnormalities found in celiac disease.

Since ours is a condition of malabsorption, this connection should not be surprising. In pregnancy the fetus is utilizing many of the mother's nutrients. However, shortages of the vitamins and minerals that often underlie osteoporosis and rickets should not occur, assuming an adequate diet, and appropriate absorption of nutrients by the mother. Even in pregnancy, I would suspect some degree of deficiency due to other factors such as malabsorption, when the onset of lordosis or another spinal malformation accompanies pregnancy.