Refers to the abnormally excessive convex kyphotic curvature of the spine as it occurs in the cervical, thoracic and sacral regions. Normal inward concave curving of the cervical and lumbar regions of the spine is called lordosis. While most cases of kyphosis are mild and only require routine monitoring, serious cases can be debilitating.
Symptoms of Kyphosis
High degrees of kyphosis can cause severe pain and discomfort, breathing and digestion difficulties, cardiovascular irregularities, neurological compromise and, in the more severe cases, significantly shortened life spans.
There are several kinds of Kyphosis.
Postural kyphosis, the most common type, normally attributed to slouching can occur in both the old and the young.
Scheuermann’s disease is significantly worse cosmetically and can cause pain. A patient suffering from Scheuermann’s kyphosis cannot consciously correct posture. The apex of the curve, located in the thoracic vertebrae, is quite rigid. Fatigue is a very common symptom, most likely because of the intense muscle work that has to be put into standing and/or sitting properly. The condition seems to run in families.
Congenital kyphosis can result in infants whose spinal column has not developed correctly in the womb. A congenital kyphosis can also suddenly appear in teenage years, more commonly in children with cerebral palsy and other neurological disorders.
Nutritional kyphosis can result from nutritional deficiencies, especially during childhood, such as vitamin D deficiency (producing rickets) which softens bones and results in curving of the spine and limbs under the child’s body weight.