Body postures, part 3: Kyphosis

Kyphosis is an unusually excessive convex kyphotic curvature of the spine. It also is called round back or hunchback.

A normal thoracic spin extends 1st to the 12th vertebra and has a 20-45 degrees angle. When the curve of the upper spine greater than 45 degrees it is called kyphosis or hyperkyphosis.

Most of the cases of kyphosis are not significant and only require routine check ups, serious cases can be debilitating. High degrees of kyphosis can cause serious pain and discomfort, breathing and digestion problems.

POSTURAL KYPHOSIS – this is the most common type of kyphosis. it can happen in old and young people which leads into slouching. It is treatable easily by correcting muscular imbalances. At old age it can be hyperkyphosis who have vertebral fractures.

SCHEUERMANN’S KYPHOSIS – it looks worse than the other one I mentioned above and causes a different level of pain. If someone has this type of kyphosis can not consciously correct posture and can be aggravated by exercise or long period of sitting or standing. Being tired is a very common symptom. Most of the people who need to have surgery to correct their posture have Scheuermann’s disease.

CONGENTIAL KYPHOSIS – can result in children whose spinal column has not developed accordingly in the uterus. It may causes further negative development as the child develops.
Surgical treatment can help at a very early stage to maintain a normal curve of the spine in coordination to monitor the improvments.

NUTRITIONAL KYPHOSIS – can happen from poor nutrition, especially during childhood , such as vitamin D.

Treatments

  • Body brace – shows benefit after long-term wearing. Braces called CAD/CAM are used in Europe while in USA they often use called Milwaukee brace. There are different types of brace in use with different advantages and disadvantages however, CAD/CAM are much easier to wear and have better results reported than the Milwaukee brace.
  • Physical therapy
  • Surgery