What is Kyphosis?

Overview

This condition is a deformity of the spine. With it, your vertebrae change from a cylindrical shape to a wedge shape. Your spine may begin to curve forward. Eventually, this gives your upper back a rounded appearance.

Causes

Several different causes can result in kyphosis. It may be caused by osteoporosis. This is a loss of bone density. It makes your bones weak and brittle. It can allow your vertebrae to fracture and compress. Kyphosis is also caused by degeneration of your spinal discs. It can be caused by cancer. And it can be caused by birth defects, diseases and syndromes that affect the spine.

Symptoms

If your kyphosis is mild, you may not notice any symptoms. As it progresses, your spine may curve forward. You may experience stiffness. You may have aches in your neck and back. Severe kyphosis may put pressure on your spinal nerves. And it may cause your organs to become compressed. This can cause a wide range of problems.

Treatment

Treatment options include medications and exercise. Increasing your calcium intake can help strengthen your bones. You may benefit from a brace. Some people also benefit from surgery to straighten and stabilize the spine. Your healthcare provider can create a care plan that is right for your needs.