Kyphosis (Hunchback) Treatments

Kyphosis (Hunchback) is an abnormal spinal curvature of that is caused by an excessive curvature of the cervical and thoracic segments. Kyphosis is also known as dogwager's hump. Like most issues involving the spine, prevention will often be the best treatment. Kyphosis may result from a deficiency in bone density, a congenital problem, or due to a degeneration of the spine due to aging. Women are more susceptible to this disorder because patient's with osteoporosis are more susceptible kyphosis. Women are more susceptible to osteoporosis then men, due to bone density loss associated with menopause. When a bone loses bone density, it becomes more susceptible to fractures when forces are applied to it. Since the vertebral bones of the spine are constantly under stress during our waking hours, they are particularly susceptible to fractures. Osteoporosis of the spine can cause on or more of the vertebrae to collapse. The result of this collapse may be a loss of height or abnormal curvature of the spine. When this structural dysfunction occurs in the upper back, it can result in Kyphosis. When bone fractures occur in the lower back, it is known as Lordosis.



In patients with severe osteoporosis, patient's may sustain compression fractures to their vertebral bones with from something as innocuous as bringing in the groceries or even coughing. Some patients may even sustain these micro fractures in their spine and not even know it initially. More than half of all compression fractures in the US are reported to go undiagnosed. back pain as a result may present shortly after the structural damage or even months or more later. The pain may come on later and may even occur quite suddenly . The resulting back pain from kyphosis may be localized to the damaged vertebra bone(s) or it may radiate from associated nerve roots.

There are 5 main types of kyphosis, classified on molecular pathology, nutritional deficiency, or behavioral deficiency (bad posture). The main categories of kyphosis include Gibbus Deformity, Nutritional Kyphosis, Congenital Kyphosis, Scheuermann's kyphosis, and Postural Kyphosis. Treatment programs for kyphosis will depend on how long the individual has been suffering from the disease and the type of kyphosis that the person has. For example, postural kyphosis may be corrected by exercises to restore muscle balance in the upper and middle back and neck.

The prognosis for pediatric kyphosis is good when it is treated early enough. Children are first diagnosed with kyphosis when they have a C curvature that exceeds 45 degrees. Once discovering the problem (usually confirmed through X-Ray radiographs) the clinicians involved will select a treatment protocol appropriate to its cause. In most cases, affected children respond very well to physiotherapy aimed at strengthening the back muscles. Physical therapy to strengthen the back muscles is appropriate for patients determined to have postural kyphosis.

Patients with congenital kyphosis may have one or more vertebral bones that did not develop properly in early childhood or prenatally. Treatment protocols for mal-developed vertebral bones often include spinal fusion surgery to try to correct the problem. Vertebral fusion may be a fallback option when weight loss programs and physical therapy has not produced sufficient results, or when the main cause of the problem has found to be in the intervertebral discs.