Sometimes the bones of the spine are mis-shaped. These are developmental conditions and usually, they do not pose a problem. We call these mis-shaped bones “vertebral anomalies.”
An example of a common anomaly is pictured below. This woman injured herself while doing side-bending yoga exercises. We all know that yoga is supposed to help our backs become stronger and reduce pain. So why did yoga hurt this person? After examining her, I opined that x-rays would be a good idea. I suspected a vertebral anomaly and that is exactly what we found on the film. The film set below demonstrates her vertebral anomaly.
A vertebral anomaly is when a bone in the spine has an abnormal shape or extra parts. In this case, the right side of L5 (the last bone in the spine) had an usual configuration on it’s right side. The configuration was so odd that it actually interfered with normal movement. When she did her side bending maneuver, it stressed the malformed pieces and an injury resulted.
Patients who have vertebral anomalies need to be extra careful to keep regular chiropractic wellness visits. Their spines are more sensitive and minor corrections are essential to keeping the spine healthy and pain free.