Kyphosis describes the forward curvature of the spine. However in some cases this curvature can become abnormal in size. Our mid back or thoracic spine is normally shaped in a kyphotic curve, our neck and low back are curved the other way and we call this lordosis. An abnormally large kyphosis limits our ability to load (axial load) the spine and this can lead to excessive wear and tear on the joints of the spinal column. In extreme cases it may lead to nerve compression and spinal cord compression.
Symptoms of Kyphosis
In most cases kyphosis will cause not symptoms however may increase the feeling of stiffness or limit someone’s ability to sit for long periods of time due to back pain and stiffness. Others with more extreme cases may injury a nerve (radiculopathy) or their spinal cord (myelopathy). Both of these can cause pain, numbness, tingling, muscle weakness and other neurological symptoms.
Treatment of kyphosis
In the majority of cases simple treatments by our chiropractors and physiotherapist will be enough to control and reduce any pain or limited function a hyperkyphotic posture has produced. Sometimes a brace pay be given with large amounts of strengthening exercises, along with hands on treatments such as spinal mobilisations and muscle therapy. In rare cases our chiropractors and physiotherapists at Sydney Spine & Sports Centre (S3C) may send patients for orthopedic assessment by a surgeon, especially in the case of any neurological symptoms.