Kyphosis is the medical term for the forward exaggerated rounding of the upper back, and it is also well-known under names round back and hunchback. Kyphotic rounding is more than 50 degrees and that is not normal. Apart from kyphosis, there is also one more condition which is related to the deformity of the spine, the condition when it bends to the right or left and, and it is called scoliosis.
Kyphosis can appear in all ages, and the spine may even look normal in mild cases, but it is usually visible if we look at the person from the side. The main causes for the occurrence of kyphosis are developmental problems, arthritis of the spine, and trauma to the spine, as well as osteoporosis with compression fractures of the vertebrae. Kyphosis can be mild, which is not so dangerous and has a few symptoms, whereas the main symptoms of severe kyphosis are visible and noticeable hunchback and pain in the back. There are the cases when the spine is rigid, stiff or tender and when the person with kyphosis experience constant fatigue.
Complications of kyphosis
Because the symptoms of mild kyphosis are usually unnoticeable, the only way to establish the disorder is through the regular examination. If some of the symptoms appear, it is very important to consult the doctor and to begin the treatment on time, because kyphosis can lead to very serious complications that affect lungs, nerves, many tissues and organs. The most frequent complications are body image problems, physical deformity, pain in the back, serious difficulties in breathing and some neurological symptoms.
The development of poor body image in adolescent is one of the consequences of kyphosis, and it occurs either because of rounded back, or because of wearing a brace to correct the disorder. Physical deformity caused by kyphosis includes the hump on the back that is visible and may even become worse. Furthermore, kyphosis can induce constant pain in the back, which is uncomfortable, and in some case even endurable and disabling.
One of the serious consequences of kyphosis is the difficult breathing. Because of the rounding of the spine, rib cages compress the lungs and the person has troubles to breath normally. Moreover, kyphosis may be one of the causes for the appearances of some neurological signs and symptoms. Leg weakness and paralysis occur because of the pressure that the curve creates on the spinal nerves.