By: Sabrina VanKirk For those who do not know what kyphosis is, it is a rounded curvature of the human spine. There are several different sections in the spine. There is the cervical region, the thoracic region, and the lumbar region. If a person had a rounded curvature near their upper back and neck, kyphosis would be near their cervical area. A rounded curvature in the middle of their back would be thoracic kyphosis, and their lower back would be Lumbar kyphosis. There are two types of kyphosis, which are structural and postural kyphosis. A well-known example of a person who had suffered from kyphosis was, “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.” Even though the example is drastic, the character was born with a spinal deformity, called Structural kyphosis. Structural kyphosis is sub divided into Primary and Secondary. Primary structural kyphosis isn't caused by another condition. The best example of primary structural kyphosis is Scheuermann's kyphosis. It affects adolescents, and it develops when the front of the vertebrae don't grow as quickly as the back of the vertebrae. Instead of being rectangular, they become wedge shaped, and the spine starts to curve too much. The other type is Secondary Structural kyphosis, which is caused by another condition. For example, osteoporosis in the spine may weaken to the vertebrae to the point of fracturing. Postural kyphosis is the most common type of kyphosis. It typically appears during the teen years and is more common in girls than boys. Postural kyphosis can happen when bones and muscles develop in an abnormal way as they grow, possibly because of slouching or poor posture. Postural kyphosis can cause mild discomfort but rarely leads to problems later in life. There are many different causes for kyphosis. Certain endocrine diseases can cause kyphosis. Connective tissue disorders, infections, such as tuberculosis, can cause kyphosis. Muscular dystrophy, neurofibromatosis, Paget’s disease, polio, spina bifida, and tumors are also different conditions that can cause kyphosis. Osteoporosis, which is thinning bones, can weaken the spine, causing kyphosis from any fractures that may occur. Disk degeneration can cause kyphosis, as well as arthritis. Cancer and cancer treatments can cause kyphosis. Scheuermann’s disease can cause kyphosis. Birth defects can also be a cause of structural kyphosis. Depending on the cause of the kyphosis, it will greatly affect the treatment given to the patient. Genetics play a big role in kyphosis. It can be passed down through heredity.
If left untreated, that individual will have back pain for the rest of their life, and depending on how severe it is, it can cause them the inability to participate in certain physical activities, due to the pain in their back. The symptoms of kyphosis can range from simply being ugly to causing pain to severely affecting the function of the lungs and heart. One of the symptoms that are included in kyphosis is difficulty in breathing, which is usually only a problem in severe cases. Fatigue may occur from kyphosis. Most patients have mild back pain and have a “round back” appearance, making their body image not normal. Tenderness and stiffness in the spine is another