Hunched back or medically termed as kyphosis is a condition involving the over curvature of the thoracic vertebrae. It is also known as round back or Kelso’s hunchback. The changes in the spine involve the loss of lordosis, which makes the spine overly bent forward. This results in a slouching posture or bowing of the back.
Most of the cases of hunchback is mild, however, some may be debilitating because of occurrence of symptoms such as discomfort, severe pain on the back, difficulty of breathing, indigestion, neurologic compromise and cardiovascular problems. Patients suffering from hunchback may have shortened lifespan because of organ affectation. These symptoms of kyphosis result from the disturbance in the anatomic position of the spine as well as subsequent affectation of the organs located on the thorax.
A lot of causes lead to hunched back including:
- Poor posture
Postural problems in the elderly and teens lead to persistent slouching. This causes muscle spasms in the back leading to hunch back. Postural kyphosis is usually reversible.
- Degenerative diseases
The presence of degenerative diseases such as arthritis leads to weakening of the joints and bones that further leads to excessive curvature of the spine.
Osteoporosis is the demineralization of the bones as a result of calcium resorption. Osteoporosis is one of the common causes of kyphosis is the elderly, especially in women.
- Compression fracture of the vertebrae
Presence of compression fracture especially in the thoracic spine leads to the abnormal curvature of the area. The spine is not able to support the normal curvature of the thoracic vertebrae leading to excessive bending.
- Developmental problems
Developmental conditions such as Scheuermann’s kyphosis can also lead to hunched back. Scheuermann’s disease is a juvenile disorder involving the spine leading to rigidity.
- Nutritional problems
Deficiency in Vitamin D and calcium during childhood leads to fragile bones and predisposes a person to a severely curved spine.
Treatments of Hunched Back
The treatment of hunched back is focused on restoring the normal anatomical position of the spine. These include:
- Chiropractic care
Chiropractic care, like that offered by your local Wesley Chapel chiropractor, involves the manual manipulation of the spine in order to return it to its original form. Chiropractic care is non-invasive and relatively safe to correct hunched back. It is available in the state of Florida in Tampa.
- Physical therapy
Physical therapy may also be employed to regain the functioning of the thoracic spine and help strengthen the back muscles for better support for the back. Physical therapy may be added to chiropractic care for a more improved posture.
- Back massage
Postural kyphosis in the young is commonly caused by muscle spasms. Relaxing the back muscles through massage helps prevent slouching and kyphosis.
- Use of Braces
Braces may be used to correct the excess curvature of the thoracic spine and allows the area to assume a normal position after wearing the brace. The Milwaukee brace is an example of which. Braces are required to be used throughout the day for more significant results.
The presence of hunched back significantly reduces one’s aesthetic look, so prevention and proper treatment should be ensured.