Kyphosis refers to an abnormal rounding of the back. The condition mostly occurs in young patients and adults. A small curve in your upper back is normal until it starts causing pain and discomfort. Kyphosis is often associated with lousy seating posture, spinal abnormalities, or age-related weakness.
Dr Akhil Tawari is a well-accomplished and certified orthopaedic doctor in western suburbs of Mumbai and has helped many patients get rid of problems associated with bones and joints. In this blog, we will give brief information about what Kyphosis is, what causes it, and what are the symptoms to get it treated on the initial stage.
What Causes Kyphosis?
Our spine is made up of bones called vertebrae, stacked upon each other. This specific structure is unique and provides support and flexibility to our spine. The spine is also vulnerable to damage and trauma.
Kyphosis occurs when the upper part of the vertebrae turns into a wedge-like shape. It often happens due to one of the following reasons:
- Developmental issues
- Maintaining Poor posture
- Abnormal shape of the vertebrae
What are the symptoms of Kyphosis?
The first symptom of Kyphosis is an abnormal curve in the upper region of your spine. The upper back might appear arched over with round shoulders bent forward.
During the initial stage, Kyphosis gets unnoticed. However, if the patient looks like they are bent forward while walking or standing, it might indicate they are developing Kyphosis.
Some other symptoms of Kyphosis include:
- Round back
- Pain and discomfort in your upper back
- Tight hamstrings
- Stiffness in the back
Types of Kyphosis
There are many types of Kyphosis, but some of the most common types are:
- Postural Kyphosis: It is the most common type of Kyphosis and mostly occurs in adolescents if their spine and surrounding muscles failed to develop abnormally. As a result, the patient will have a poor posture.
- Scheuermann’s Kyphosis: This type of Kyphosis also occur at adolescents but are severe than Postural Kyphosis. Experts are yet to find what causes Scheuermann’s Kyphosis.
- Congenital Kyphosis: As the name suggests, this type of Kyphosis occurs at the time of birth when the child’s spine is not developed generally in the mother’s womb.
What are the complications of Kyphosis?
If left untreated, Kyphosis can affect your daily motion and activities including:
- An irreversible lump in the back
- Persistent back pain
- Weak or numb arms and legs
- Difficulty breathing
- Unable to control bladder functionality
What are the treatments?
Dr Akhil Tawari focuses on correcting the patient’s posture and preventing it from getting worse. At first, he will perform some physical exams and tests (CT-scan and X-rays) to determine the type and severity of your case and type of treatment for best results.
Depending on the patient’s case severity, you shall be recommended either non-surgical or surgical treatment.
Where the non-surgical treatment includes medications and physical therapy to strengthen your abdominal muscles and back, the surgical procedure is recommended to patients with severe forms of Postural and Scheuermann’s Kyphosis. Also, the patients who failed to respond to physical therapy positively are ideal candidates for Kyphosis treatment
The most common type of surgery for Kyphosis is spinal fusion. The treatment is performed by welding several vertebrae together to form a single segment of the bone.
Other surgical procedures include inserting rods, metal screws, and plates in the spine to correct the posture and reduce the curvature in the upper spine.
There are many physical activities and exercises to maintain proper postures such as knee rolls and pelvic tilting. Discuss with your doctor what type of rehabilitation program shall suit you best, as no two patients are the same. Your doctor, depending on your healing response and health conditions, will recommend the best-suited after-care program for a speedy recovery.