June 22, 2024


Outstanding health & fitness

An Inside Look into Kyphosis

Kyphosis is a spinal disorder whereby the spine excessively curves leading to an abnormal rounding of the upper back and may cause a hunchback in severe cases. Most of the time, Shrewsbury  kyphosis causes few problems and needs no treatment; however, a severe form of the disorder can be painful and cause significant spinal deformity. Your doctor may recommend treatment depending on your age, cause, and extent of the curvature. Below are the different types of kyphosis.

Congenital kyphosis

Kyphosis can be congenital, whereby it is present at birth; it occurs when the spinal column fails to develop normally in the womb. The series of vertebrae making up the spine may not form well, or several bones may be fused. Kyphosis present at birth (congenital kyphosis) usually worsens as the child ages. For patients with congenital kyphosis, surgical treatment is essential to stop the curve’s progression. Unfortunately, children with congenital kyphosis are more likely to have other congenital disabilities that affect other body parts, including the heart and kidneys.

Postural kyphosis

Postural kyphosis is the most common form of this spine disorder, usually noticeable during adolescence. It appears clinically as slouching or poor posture but does not involve severe structural abnormalities of the spine. The curve is typically round and smooth and disappears when the patient stands straight. Girls are more likely to have postural kyphosis; usually, it is not painful and does not lead to problems in adult life.

Scheuermann’s kyphosis

Scheuermann’s kyphosis becomes noticeable in adolescence, similar to postural kyphosis; however, it can cause severe spine deformity more than postural kyphosis. In patients with this type of spine disorder, a series of vertebrae have a triangular shape instead of the normal rectangular shape. The irregularity in shape causes the vertebrae to curve together towards the front, limiting normal disc space and creating an abnormal curve in the upper back.

Unlike postural kyphosis, which causes a smooth and round curve, the curve caused by this spine disorder is typically sharp and angular. It can also not be corrected simply by standing up because the curve is stiff and rigid. The spine’s thoracic region is more susceptible to Scheuermann’s kyphosis, but it can also develop in the lumbar spine. The spine disorder mostly develops in boys, and its progression stops once growth is complete.

Patients with Scheuermann’s kyphosis may experience pain in the most prominent part of the spine or the lower back. The above happens when the spine increases the natural inward curve of the lower back to compensate for the rounded upper back. Long periods of sitting or standing can worsen the pain, as can physical activity.

Symptoms of kyphosis

The signs and symptoms of kyphosis vary from person to person, depending on the cause and extent of the curve. But most patients with this spine disorder have:

  • A noticeable hump on the back
  • Rounded shoulders
  • Stiffness in the spine
  • Mild back pain
  • Tight hamstrings

If the curve progresses, it may result in other symptoms, including numbness or loss of sensation, breathing difficulties, bladder or bowel habits changes, and weakness and numbness in the legs.

If you need treatment for kyphosis, visit your doctor today at the Center for the Functional Restoration of the Spine.