Kyphosis is the abnormal curving of the spine that leads to a bowing or rounding of the back, resulting in a hunched back or a permanently slouched posture. Kyphosis in adolescents can also be called Scheuermann’s disease, where bones of the spine become wedged together.
What Are The Causes Of Kyphosis?
Typically, kyphosis is caused by chronic slouching during adolescence, which shifts the position of vertebrae. Other causes include imbalances in hamstrings or hip flexors, degenerative diseases like arthritis, compression fractures resulting from osteoporosis, trauma, or slipped vertebrae. Less commonly, it is caused by endocrine diseases, infection, muscular dystrophy, neurofibromatosis, polio, and spina bifida. In some cases, it is also caused by spinal tumors.
- Back pain
- Hunched back appearance
- Difficulty breathing
- Tenderness and stiffness in the spine
The first step to diagnose and receive kyphosis treatment is to observe and measure the curve of the spine. Our specialists may also recommend an X-ray.
- Observation: In some cases, especially for children, we may want to continuously check the spine growth to determine if future treatment will be necessary.
- Bracing: A brace may be worn to prevent further curving in patients still growing.
- Physical therapy: Physical therapy is the leading approach used to strengthen the core and back muscles. This helps to alleviate pain associated with kyphosis.
- Surgery: For patients who have severe pain or extreme spinal curvature, spine fusion surgery can fix the shape of the spine.