What is kyphosis?
Kyphosis, an excessive spinal curvature, is marked by slouched or hunched posture. The rounding of the spine associated with kyphosis can cause pain, , loss of function, embarrassment, and low self-esteem for its sufferers. If you have kyphosis, we have good news for you at McNulty Spine. According to our very own orthopedic surgeon and spine specialist, Patrick S. McNulty, MD, FABSS, FABOS, kyphosis is both preventable and treatable.
Common types of kyphosis
- Degenerative kyphosis is caused by age-related narrowing of the disks and is very common.
- Postural kyphosis is caused by poor posture and weakened back muscles, and it’s becoming increasingly common. The more we slouch at our work desks and over our devices, the worse our posture becomes.
- Congenital kyphosis occurs when something interferes with proper spine growth in the womb. Genetics is thought to be a significant contributing cause of this abnormality.
- Scheuermann’s kyphosis is a condition where the vertebrae are shaped like wedges instead of discs, causing the spine to round. This type of kyphosis typically isn’t recognized until adolescence.
Early diagnosis and treatment
As with most medical conditions, the prevention and treatment outcomes of kyphosis are best if the symptoms are recognized early on. To improve function and decrease pain, Dr. McNulty recommends that you undertake regular stretching and strengthening exercises to help increase spinal flexibility, rebuild muscles to support the spine, improve posture, and alleviate any pain you might be feeling. In unusual cases, especially in children, a brace may be prescribed.
A proper diet and vitamin supplements can enhance patient outcomes for those with kyphosis, particularly those with lower bone-density or kyphosis caused by poor nutrition. Studies show that a diet full of vitamin-D and calcium leads to better bone density in adolescents and adults.
In more severe cases of kyphosis, minimally-invasive surgery enhancing traditional open surgical techniques can be used as a last resort to correct the rounding of the spine. Surgical intervention is only necessary when the severity and progression of the spinal curvature is causing extreme pain, or if it is interfering with the functioning of vital organs, such as the heart or lungs.
If you suspect you have kyphosis, or if you already have a diagnosis, it is imperative to work with a spine specialist who fully understands the condition and the toll it takes on your health and your confidence. Here at McNulty Spine, Dr. McNulty has the experience and expertise to help properly treat your condition. Book online today or give us a call at either 702-637-2058 or 702-637-2035 to discuss your treatment options.