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We all have curves in our spines, but scoliosis causes the spine to curve in the wrong direction. It causes sideways curves, and those are different from the spine's normal curves. If you looked at your spine from the side, you'd see it curves out at your neck (cervical spine), in at your mid-back (thoracic spine), and out again at your low back (lumbar spine). Your back is supposed to curve that way.  However, if you looked at your spine from behind, you shouldn't see any curves. When there are sideways curves in the spine from the rearview, that's scoliosis. The curves can look like an "S" or a "C."

Bracing is one of the most common treatment options for scoliosis because it may fix the curve without spine surgery.

Sometimes, though, the curve is too extreme and bracing doesn't help enough. In that situation, you can have scoliosis surgery to correct the curve.


Kyphosis can refer to the normal curvature of the spine. However, this information is about abnormal kyphosis, which is spinal curvature causing a hunchback or slouching posture. This spinal disorder generally affects the thoracic spine and sometimes the cervical spine. Kyphosis can cause back pain, muscle fatigue, and stiffness on the mild side of the spectrum. In severe cases, it can cause chest pain and make breathing difficult. 

Symptoms may include fatigue, mild back pain, a rounded upper back appearance, spine tenderness and/or stiffness. In more severe cases, patients report shortness of breath, chest discomfort or pain, and/or numbness, weakness and/or tingling in the legs.

Dr. Cluck


Dr. Michael W. Cluck is a recognized expert in the surgical management of spinal disorders including herniated cervical and lumbar discs, spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, arthroplasty (disc replacement), and spinal stabilization and fusion for traumatic and degenerative spinal instability and deformity.

Dr. Cluck and the Bay Area Spine Care team are highly trained experts in minimally invasive spine surgery that will return you to an active, pain free, lifestyle in the shortest time possible.

If you're in need of a neck and back surgeon in San Jose don't hesitate to get in touch today!

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