Kyphosis is the rounding or curving of the spine. There are three types of kyphosis:
- Postural kyphosis – the most common condition that is caused by poor posture
- Congenital kyphosis – babies are born with this condition
- Scheuermann’s kyphosis – this type runs in families and typically appears during the teenage years and it’s cause is unknown
- Bad posture
- Fractures of the vertebrae
- Spinal trauma
- Spine infection
- Abnormal fetal development
- Certain diseases, including Marfan syndrome, cancer, tuberculosis, cerebral palsy and polio
Diagnosis of kyphosis typically includes an X-ray of the spine – referred to as IVP – that uses radiation to photograph structures inside the body. A breathing test may also be conducted because in some severe cases kyphosis can impair breathing.
Postural kyphosis is commonly treated by correcting the patient’s posture while sitting and standing as well as through strengthening exercises for the back muscles. In some cases, surgery may be necessary. Kyphoplasty is minimally invasive spinal surgery to treat vertebral compression fracture that may be caused by kyphosis. Also, severe forms of congenital kyphosis are treated with surgery. In some cases, a physician may prescribe a back brace, medications or physical therapy.