Kyphosis is a spinal cord condition that often makes the back have a curvy shape and structure. This is commonly known as hunchback as it gives the individual a poor posture. In this article, we are going to discuss the kyphosis causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and available treatments. Click here if you wish to know how kyphosis is diagnosed and treated.
This spinal cord condition reveals an outward curve or odd shape of the upper spinal cord. Due to this, individuals who are suffering from kyphosis tend to have a “hunchback” and poor posture. This spinal cord disorder can occur at any age, but most of the time, older women are more prone to it. Kyphosis causes extreme discomfort, muscle fatigue, and back pain. Overall, kyphosis is a disorder that causes severe curvature in the back and requires immediate medical attention.
The major causes of kyphosis include the following:
- poor posture (sometimes even due to oversized breasts)
- spinal deformation
- old age
- Scheuermann’s disease- mostly seen in children
- bone diseases
- weak bones
- spine injury caused by accidents or events
- slipped discs
- infected spine
- defects by birth
- muscular dystrophy
Note that these are just some of the causes of kyphosis and there are several factors that could lead to this spinal disorder.
Before consulting a doctor, it would be important to observe yourself first so that you will be able to describe your symptoms. You are potentially suffering from kyphosis if you are manifesting the following symptoms:
- extreme pain
- difficulty in breathing
- unexplainable exhaustion
- hump appearance of the back
Usually, the signs and symptoms are steady and do not progress rapidly. In most cases, the symptoms stay stable, however, it could get worse with poor lifestyle and health condition.
Different methods are used to diagnose and determine the cause of kyphosis. Machines like x-ray and MRI are commonly used to see the full structure of the spinal cord and its current status. Before recommending you to a laboratory test, your doctor will initially perform a basic physical examination to determine your flexibility and contemplate on your spine condition.
Other factors like your muscle strength, your physical sensitiveness, and mechanical functions will also be tested.
- Computed Tomography or Magnetic Resonance Imaging.
This test can show all anomalies in your spinal cord.
- Nerve Tests.
This is done to determine if your nerves are being affected by the spinal cord disorder.
This is to examine the actual figure and form of the spine. For more accurate x-ray results, you will be asked to pose in different angles and positions.
Types of Kyphosis
Kyphosis can be differentiated into three categories: Scheuermann’s kyphosis, congenital kyphosis, and postural kyphosis. Each of these has its own identity and root causes.
- Congenital kyphosis. This type of kyphosis takes place when something hinders the regular development of the spine prior to birth. Congenital kyphosis is often diagnosed in children and its root cause is still unknown.
- Postural kyphosis. Out of all the types of spinal cord disorder, postural kyphosis is the most common type that occurs in young and old patients. From the root word itself “postural”, this kyphosis is caused by poor posture and frequent slouching.
- Scheuermann’s kyphosis. The precise causes of Scheuermann’s kyphosis are still under debate as of this writing. Nonetheless, according to researchers, this can be a genetically inherited condition where the bone growth is obstructed causing spinal abnormalities. It is also believed that height and weight are huge contributors to the progression of Scheuermann’s kyphosis.
The kind of treatment that will be recommended to you will rely on the severity of your kyphosis, your age, its root cause, and your medical history. Most of the time, minor cases do not necessarily require medical treatments. Treatments can be either non-medical or medical depending on your situation.
Listed below are the available treatments for a kyphosis:
- Physical therapy. If the cause of your kyphosis is poor posture, you will be endorsed for physical therapy treatment. In this procedure, you will be tasked to exercise to strengthen your bone and muscles along with correcting your posture.
- Back brace. Severe hunchback conditions might need a back brace to correct the alignment of the spinal cord. Most of the time this is recommended to young patients that are still in the stage of bone development.
- Pain medication. In some cases where extreme pain occurs, anti-inflammatory drugs are prescribed to relieve pain.