Thoracic Hyperkyphosis Treatment
Thoracic hyperkyphosis is a condition where the spine becomes excessively rounded in the middle back. It is sometimes crudely referred to as “Hunchback posture”. The condition can result from genetics, injury, or trauma to the spine, and long-standing poor posture.. In adulthood, it may be associated with scoliosis or osteoporosis.
While there are different types of hyperkyphotic conditions and treatment options for each, thoracic hyperkyphosis treatment at Advanced Spine & Posture focuses on the non-surgical correction of this condition.
Here is how we will help:
- We will first diagnose the condition
- Determine the underlying cause
- Then administer a comprehensive treatment plan and therapies
Brief Overview of Thoracic Hyperkyphosis
With thoracic hyperkyphosis, patients have an increased curvature of the spine. The curve is more pronounced in the side view X-ray. This can usually be seen on the outside as slumped posture. This may lead to pain and restriction in the neck, upper back, and shoulder movements.
Thoracic hyperkyphosis can lead to the compression of nerves, blood vessels, and other structures that run through this area of the spine. These spinal nerves exit the mid back and run along the ribs. Irritation of these nerves can lead to pain along the ribs and into the chest, or sternum. The spinal nerves also have branches that go to the vital organs of the body. When these nerves become irritated, dysfunction of certain organs can also result.
Although the cause of this condition is often unknown, there are many reasons a person may develop Thoracic Hyperkyphosis. Two of the most common causes include:
- Long-standing poor posture (slumping)
- Long-standing poor posture (slumping)
Regardless of how the curve starts, once it is there the aging process will usually lead to the progressive worsening of the rounded back. Curves can get severe enough that surgery is the only thing that can help. However, when identified in time, conservative non-surgical treatment is usually effective at reducing the curve. Home exercises are often prescribed to help the condition from worsening over the years.
How we diagnose Thoracic Hyperkyphosis
Thoracic hyperkyphosis diagnosis is based on history, physical examination, and radiography. History should include a description of the patient’s symptoms and their onset. A family history of thoracic hyperkyphosis is also important to consider.
Physical examination includes inspection of the chest wall and palpation of the costotransverse and costosternal joints. Important findings in this area include a prominent costochondral junction, flattening of the sternum, and visible rounding of the back.
Spine X-rays reveal the abnormal alignment of ribs and vertebrae with increased space between them. This is due to anterior displacement or posterior displacement of ribs. Properly taken X-rays are essential to help determine the cause of the rounding and to develop an effective treatment plan. All of our Advanced Spine & Posture centers have state-of-the-art X-ray machines to obtain the best quality X-rays.
Treatment of Thoracic Hyperkyphosis
Thoracic hyperkyphosis can cause pain, discomfort, and daily life problems. Left untreated, it may even lead to complications like breathing difficulties and abnormal heart function. While many different types of treatments are available, we will focus on thoracic hyperkyphosis here because it requires more than just adjustments to fix the problem.
Our team of providers manages thoracic hyperkyphosis by combining spinal adjustments, with rehabilitation methods, including spinal traction and corrective exercises. This combination of non-surgical interventions can be effective in reducing thoracic hyperkyphosis. When curves become very severe, corrective bracing may also become an option.
Advanced Spine & Posture Center Can Help Treat Your Condition
If you suffer from a herniated disc, thoracic hyperkyphosis, or any other spine condition, Advanced Spine & Posture Center can help. We offer the most advanced physical therapy and orthopedic treatments in the area. We provide state-of-the-art treatments to patients suffering from chronic pain and other debilitating conditions. Contact us today.