Symptoms of Kyphosis

When kyphosis first sets in, you may not notice the external (and internal) side effects. Depending on the individual, further progression of the curve may halt naturally or through a variety of applied interventions. If the condition progresses, however, the C-curve of the spine will continue to exaggerate. Moreover, this will lead to an increased probability that concerning symptoms will arise.

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Types of Kyphosis

In addition, subtypes of kyphosis may include:

Postural: Caused by slouching or poor posture, this type of kyphosis emerges primarily in adolescents, teenagers, young adults, or desk workers. Weak muscles in the back combined with poor posture often causes this form of kyphosis. However, postural kyphosis does not typically leave lasting health problems. You can often remedy this condition through education about proper posture and strength-building exercises that tighten the back and core.

Degenerative: One of the main causes of kyphosis, degeneration of the spine leads to tissue breakdown, reduction of the space between vertebrae, and spinal deformities. An age-related condition, degenerative kyphosis correspondingly worsens with conditions such as osteoporosis, arthritis, or spinal stenosis.

Scheuermann’s: The precise cause of Scheuermann’s Kyphosis is still under study and debate. Researchers believe that a genetic predisposition may lead to improper spinal growth during the adolescent and teenage years. Further, researchers speculate that this abnormal development leads to a rapid loss of cartilage, as well as wedge-shaped vertebrae. In combination, these factors contribute to the 45 to 70-degree curvature that defines this condition. Disputed causes include loss of blood flow to the cartilage (precipitating cartilage loss), mild osteoporosis, and muscle irregularities.

Post-Surgical: Not a particularly uncommon occurrence, spine surgery to fix other spine conditions can sometimes lead to post-surgical kyphosis. New areas of weakness and instability caused by subtractive surgeries, such as microdiscectomies, osteotomies, and foraminotomies, can cause this.

Congenital: Less common but no less severe, congenital kyphosis results from a genetic error that affects the development of the spine in utero. Of particular significance, this disorder leads to the most cases of kyphosis-related paralysis that did not result from a traumatic injury. In addition, researchers have determined that this condition often co-occurs with disorders of the urinary collection system, primarily the kidneys.

Adult Scoliosis Treatment Options

Conservative Treatments

Conservative treatments to address mild kyphosis may include: kyphosis bracing; visiting a physical therapist to work on strength-building exercises; lessons in maintaining healthy posture; and/or NSAID medications to reduce pain and inflammation.


An Osteotomy involves reconstructing the spine by removing slivers of adjacent vertebrae. This process alters the angles between spinal vertebrae, decompresses the heart and lungs, and restores the curvature of the spine as a whole.Read more...


Used to restore vertebral height when fractures are present, a kyphoplasty involves the insertion of a balloon into the collapsed vertebra. Once the balloon is inflated, your doctor will inject a fast-drying cement into the vertebral body to reinforce the spine. Read more...

Spinal Fusion

Spinal fusions are minimally invasive techniques that use screws and rods to buttress the spine and correct severe spinal curvature. More specifically, post-surgical or degenerative kyphosis may require this specialized form of surgical intervention. Read more...