Kyphosis is referred as curving of the spine that leads to rounding of the back. It can occur at any age, but it is commonly seen in older women. Kyphosis leads to a hunchback or slouching posture and may also cause back pain, stiffness, and an altered gait or walking pattern. Kyphosis often occurs in older age due to weak spinal bones. Kyphosis in infants or teens is due to malformation of the spine or wedging of the spinal bones. Severe kyphosis can cause pain and lead to disfiguring.
The types of kyphosis are postural, Scheuermann's, and congenital.
The symptoms of Kyphosis include:
Kyphosis occurs when the vertebrae in the upper back become more cured than normal. Usually, a normal curve is common in every individual but a curve of more than 45 is problematic. This can be caused by many reasons such as:
Some other causes of Kyphosis include, tumors, spina bifida, polio scoliosis, Paget disease, neurofibromatosis, muscular dystrophy, some endocrine diseases, connective tissue disorders, infections such as tuberculosis.
The diagnosis of Kyphosis involves a physical examination along with neurological examination to check reflexes. If numbness or muscle weakness is observed, doctors may recommend several tests to determine nerve impulses that travel between spinal cord and extremities. Some imaging tests that are helpful in the diagnosis of Kyphosis include:X-ray: X-rays help in determining the degree of curvature and help in detecting deformities of the vertebrae, which in turn helps identify the type of kyphosis.
The Kyphosis treatment depends on the cause and symptoms that are present. The doctors may suggest over-the-counter pain relieving medications such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen. If the Kyphosis is due to osteoporosis, then the treatment basically involves treating osteoporosis. Bone-strengthening drugs help to prevent additional spinal fractures.
Physical therapy exercises help in improving spinal flexibility and posture. The exercises usually include stretching and strengthening exercises. The progression of Scheuermann's Kyphosis in children can be stopped body bracing. It is called Kyphosis brace. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle (body weight and regular physical activity) will help in preventing back pain and relieve symptoms from kyphosis. Maintaining healthy bone density can decrease the risk of osteoporosis and eventually Kyphosis.