What is Kyphosis and how is it treated?

Kyphosis or “round back” is a spinal deformity that is characterised by an excessive outward curve of the spine which results in an abnormal rounding of the upper back. This exaggerated forward rounding of the spine can occur at any age but is typically seen in adolescents or older women. Age-related kyphosis is caused due to weakened spinal bones which become compressed or cracked. Adolescent kyphosis is caused by the malformation of the spine.

Kyphosis causes a series of health complications such as severe back ache, breathing problems, digestive problems, limited physical functions and psychological issues such as body image problems and depression.

The treatment of kyphosis depends on the severity of the condition and the patient’s age. Doctors might recommend stretching exercises and physical therapy to relieve back pain and improve spinal flexibility. Bracing is a good option in children as it can arrest the progression of the curvature. Surgery is recommended in cases where the curvature is pinching the spinal cord or nerves. Spinal fusion is a surgical procedure performed to reduce the curvature degree and bring the spine to a straight position using bone material, metal rods and screws.

What is an Kylosing Spondylitis?

Ankylosing spondylitis is a type of arthritis that affects the spine and its neighbouring joints. This condition causes the spinal joints to become inflamed, leading to severe and chronic pain. It can spread to shoulders, ribs, hips, heels and the joints of hands and feet, causing inflammation, pain, swelling and stiffness. It can also affect the eyes, lungs and heart in rare cases. There are no known causes for ankylosing spondylitis, but specialists believe that genetic and environmental factors play a role.

The symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis often appear in late adolescence or early adulthood. They typically include severe back pain and swollen joints. A rheumatologist is the best person to diagnose and treat ankylosing spondylitis. Diagnosis involves a physical exam with X-rays to determine the location and possible cause. Blood work, especially the HLA-B27 test, is also necessary to confirm ankylosing spondylitis.

Staying active is a good way of keeping ankylosing spondylitis at bay. Exercise and physical therapy are important in managing and treating this condition. The doctor may prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce inflammation and pain.

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