Kyphosis can develop at any age. In adolescents, it may be diagnosed as Scheuermann’s disease, in which several vertebrae become wedged together. In adults, kyphosis can be caused by:
If the curve is mild, kyphosis may result in few issues. More severe kyphosis can be disfiguring. It may cause nerve problems, stiffness, chronic pain and difficulty breathing. It can even affect how your heart works.
The most common sign of kyphosis is a rounding of your upper back. Other symptoms include:
To diagnose kyphosis, your doctor will perform a physical exam and observe how you walk and move. You may be asked to bend in different directions to test your flexibility and to observe your spine more clearly. Your doctor may also test your reflexes, sensations and muscle strength.
Additional tests can confirm the condition:
Treatment options for kyphosis may include: