Kyphosis is a condition where the top of the spine is excessively curved and appears more rounded than usual. While some curvature is completely normal, generally a curve of more than 40 degrees is considered a sign of kyphosis.
Kyphosis is a condition that causes the upper back to curve excessively. This curvature is more rounded than normal and can be visible to the naked eye. A slight curve in the upper back is normal, but a curve of more than 40 degrees is considered kyphosis.
Kyphosis can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
- Poor posture: Slouching or maintaining a rounded back posture for extended periods can contribute to the development of kyphosis.
- Age-related degeneration: As we age, the spinal discs and vertebrae may undergo wear and tear, leading to kyphosis.
- Congenital conditions: Some people are born with spinal abnormalities that make them more likely to develop kyphosis.
- Osteoporosis: Osteoporosis is a condition that weakens the bones. This can make the bones in the spine more likely to fracture, which can lead to kyphosis.
- Injury or trauma: Severe injuries or trauma to the spine can cause structural deformities and result in kyphosis.
The most common symptom of kyphosis is a visible rounding of the upper back. Other symptoms may include:
- Back pain
- Stiffness and tenderness in the spine
- Breathing difficulties (in severe cases)
To diagnose kyphosis, a doctor will perform a physical examination and ask about your symptoms and medical history. They may also order imaging tests, such as X-rays, MRI scans, or CT scans, to get a better look at your spine.
The best treatment for kyphosis depends on the severity of the condition and the underlying cause. Mild cases of kyphosis may not require any treatment. For more severe cases, treatment options may include:
- Observation and monitoring: If your kyphosis is mild, your doctor may simply monitor your condition over time to make sure it doesn't get worse.
- Physical therapy: can help to improve your posture, strengthen the muscles in your back, and increase your flexibility. This can help to reduce pain and improve your overall quality of life.
- Pain management: Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, may be helpful for managing pain caused by kyphosis. In some cases, your doctor may prescribe stronger pain medication.
- Surgery: Surgery may be necessary to correct severe cases of kyphosis that are causing significant pain or deformity. The type of surgery performed will depend on the underlying cause of your kyphosis and the severity of the condition.
Benefits Of Treatment
Treatment for kyphosis can provide a number of benefits, including:
- Reduced pain
- Improved posture
- Increased flexibility
- Improved quality of life
- Reduced risk of complications, such as breathing difficulties
Risks Of Treatment
All medical treatments have some risks. The risks of treating kyphosis will vary depending on the specific treatment recommended by your doctor. However, some general risks of treating kyphosis include:
- Allergic reaction
- Nerve damage
- Recurrence of kyphosis
The recovery time from treatment for kyphosis will also vary depending on the specific treatment recommended by your doctor. However, most people are able to return to their normal activities within a few weeks or months.
There is no surefire way to prevent kyphosis. However, there are some things you can do to reduce your risk, such as:
- Maintaining good posture
- Exercising regularly to strengthen the muscles in your back
- Eating a healthy diet to keep your bones strong
- Avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption
If you have any concerns about kyphosis, please make an appointment so we can help you to determine if you have kyphosis and recommend the best treatment options for you.
Watch real patient stories to learn how London Norwich Spine has helped people with spinal pain regain their strength, flexibility, and mobility.
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Patient:Miss A, aged 16
Mr Rai's Notes
Miss A was referred to me with a painful kyphotic deformity of her thoracic spine that was getting worse with time. All conservative means had failed so the team suggested surgery.
I inserted screws into each vertebra and took out multiple wedges from behind. The deformity then was corrected by linking the screws to some rods to straighten the spine. The operation took about six hours and we used spinal cord monitoring to ensure the procedure did not cause any damage to the delicate spinal nerves.
I was being bullied at school because my shoulders were getting more and more rounded and I looked as if I was leaning forward all the time. I felt shy and found it hard to talk to people. Since the operation, life is so much better. I look like my friends now and don't stand out. I fit in and I'm not bullied any more. The operation has improved my life so much. Thank you.
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