Kyphosis is the name that is given to the natural curvature of the spine at the level of the upper back. It starts at the beginning of the thoracic vertebrae and subsequently curves backwards, as opposed to the other spinal curvatures of the neck (cervical vertebrae) and lower back (lumbar). Kyphosis gives the back a slightly rounded posture. When the dorsal curvature is exaggerated, it is called hyperkyphosis. To simplify things, "kyphosis" is sometimes used to to denote "hyperkyphosis". Hyperkyphosis may be due to chronic poor posture, deformities of the spine, neurological diseases and the development of rheumatic diseases. Essentially, a person with kyphosis will be shorter and have a bent back with his head bent forward. Kyphosis can be associated with a lateral deviation of the spine, called scoliosis. The character of Quasimodo is the typical example of kyphoscoliosis.
Hyperkyphosis is characterized by:
- An exaggerated curvature of the upper part of the back, providing the appearance of a bump;
- Pain sometimes in this area.
A particular form of kyphosis is called Scheuermann's kyphosis, a painful adolescent disease. It can lead to deformities.
In the case of kyphosis, a physical examination will be performed and an X-ray used to establish a diagnosis and to quantify the degree of the curvature. In the case of painful adolescent kyphosis, intraspongieuses hernias will appear on an X-ray.
When growth is not complete, the use of a corset that will help keep the back in a good position may be used. Refraining from sports and carrying heavy loads are also recommended. The affected person may also need physical therapy or rehabilitative gymnastics. In elderly patients with kyphosis, the deformity is often too advanced for a corrective treatment to be used.
When the kyphosis is not due to illness, a congenital malformation, trauma or injury, but to poor posture and the excessive lifting, we can prevent it by correcting bad habits early on.
Original article published by
. Translated by Jeff