Some rounding in your back is perfectly normal, but kyphosis refers to a more pronounced rounding. Kyphosis occurs most often in older women, but anyone can experience it at any age.
The Causes of Kyphosis
A healthy spine is comprised of individual bones or vertebrae that are cylindrical in shape and that stack neatly in a column. Kyphosis happens when these cylindrical bones morph into a more wedge-like shape. There are several conditions that can lead to this deformity, and they include:
- The bone-thinning disorder of osteoporosis
- Degeneration of the discs
- Scheuermann’s disease (a childhood disease that is most common in boys and that usually begins during the pre-puberty growth spurt)
- Birth defects
- Certain childhood syndromes
- Cancer and cancer treatments
- Finally, the increased curve in the upper spine of kyphosis can also be caused by simple slouching of the kind your teenagers probably engage in.
Symptoms of Kyphosis
Kyphosis presents itself in the visible curvature of the spine, and for some, it can cause back pain and stiffness. Mild cases of kyphosis often have no discernible symptoms and cause no discomfort. In more severe cases, the spine’s misalignment can cause back pain that can range anywhere from mild to severe. In very extreme cases, the pronounced curvature can lead to compression of the abdomen and a decreased appetite.
Treatment of Kyphosis
As with many back conditions, engaging in a healthy lifestyle plays an important role in diminishing any discomfort caused by Kyphosis and in regaining a healthier posture. This protocol includes:
- Engaging in regular exercise, including stretching exercises;
- Employing a body brace (the progression of the curvature in children with Scheuermann’s disease may be halted by a body brace);
- Maintaining a healthy body weight; and
- Maintaining healthy bone density by eating a well-balanced diet that is rich in vitamin D and calcium.
Surgical or invasive medical treatments are rarely necessary for kyphosis. Kyphosis can, however, contribute to negative body-image issues (especially in teenagers). If you or your child is experiencing the effects of kyphosis, a knowledgeable chiropractor can help you to stand tall again.
Contact a Tampa Bay Chiropractor About Your Kyphosis Today
Kyphosis can cause back pain and stiffness, but it can also contribute to issues related to body image as the spine gradually continues to curve. If you are experiencing kyphosis or think you might be, you should not hesitate to contact Tampa Bay Spine & Injury for an appointment today. We are here to help. Because we provide truly integrated physical medicine, we endeavor to fully understand your physical condition, to provide you with relief from pain, and to help you regain your best posture. We have two offices that are conveniently located in Brandon (813-381-3852) and St. Petersburg (727-898-3852), so please call us – or email us through our online contact form – for help with your kyphosis.