Kyphosis refers to the increased roundness of thoracic curvature that is specifically common in older people. Age-related kyphosis is caused due to weakness in the spinal bone that makes them to crack. Elder people with medical history of osteoporosis, tuberculosis of the spine, rickets, or osteomalacia are more likely to develop Kyphosis. Other types of kyphosis can occur in infants or teens due to deformity of the spine over time.
On the basis of causative factor, kyphosis is grouped into three categories that are namely;
- Post-traumatic kyphosis
- Age-associated kyphosis
- Scheuremann's kyphosis.
As the name suggests, post-traumatic kyphosis is abnormal dorsal curvature of thoracic region due to fracture or injury of mid-lower back. Age associated kyphosis occurs in elderly people due degenerative disc, weakened muscles and osteoporosis. Scheuermann’s kyphosis develops in younger people due to presence of abnormally shaped vertebrae.
Kyphosis reduces the mobility in older people and increases the episode of falls and fractures. Affected individuals may develop persistent pain, breathing problems due to compression of lungs by spine, numbness in limbs and disturbed bowel control.
- Degeneration of spine
- Back pain due to pinched nerve
Diagnosis And Treatment
A complete physical examination and neurological assessment will help the doctors diagnose kyphosis. After evaluating symptoms certain tests are also recommended which include X-ray, MRI, nerve tests and bone density test.
Treatment of kyphosis aims to reduce pain by administration of anti-inflammatory drugs and muscle strengthening through physiotherapy. Tailored exercise regimen helps in improving the posture and strengthen muscles to prevent further progression of the condition.
In severe cases, spine surgery is recommended to improve the deformity of spine and to reduce the pain by decompression of nerve roots.