Sometimes referred to as “round back,” kyphosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine that is more common in women. However, anyone can develop the condition, and it may even be present at birth. There are 7 specific types of kyphosis, with the most common form in adults caused by osteoporosis-related vertebral fractures and degeneration.
Spinal arthritis is often the underlying cause of this form of kyphosis. The curvature of the spine is usually the result of progressive wear and tear of the spine itself and related joints.
Often occurring in children with existing neuromuscular disorders, kyphosis in this form is sometimes linked to cerebral palsy, polio, and muscular dystrophy.
This type of kyphosis is associated with vitamin and nutritional deficiencies. In particular, it has been linked to a lack of vitamin D.
More common in women, postural kyphosis is not usually associated with noticeable pain. It can often be remedied with core muscle strengthening exercises or making adjustments to posture.
Possibly affecting anywhere from 4 to 8 percent of the population, kyphosis from Scheuermann’s disease (SD) often impacts adolescents. More common in males, SD is often treated with bracing because it tends to present itself at a time when the spine is still growing and developing. Surgery may be necessary to address curvatures of 70 percent or more or abnormalities that seem to be progressive.
Often linked to a spinal fracture that didn’t heal correctly, traumatic kyphosis occurs when healing results in some type of misalignment of the spine. It may also be caused by injury to supporting tissues.
This type of kyphosis is the result of a surgical complication. It often occurs when a patient is being treated for another condition, usually with some type of decompression surgery.
Mild kyphosis does not typically require spinal surgery. In fact, it often requires little or no treatment at all. More pronounced curvatures of the spine caused by kyphosis can be treated with anti-inflammatory medications, muscle relaxants, and pain-relievers, which are only meant for short-term use. Bracing may also be recommended to readjust spinal alignment as much as possible.
To learn more about kyphosis and its treatments, reach out to The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration. We specialize in the minimally invasive spine surgery Los Angeles patients receive to alleviate their back pain. Call our office at 310-828-7757 to schedule an in-person consultation.