Thoracic hyperkyphosis

Thoracic hyperkyphosis is a condition where the thoracic (upper) spine curves forward, resulting in a slouched or hunched appearance. It can affect people of all ages for a variety of different reasons.

While most people have some level of curvature in the upper spine, a person is said to have hyperkyphosis if the angle of their curve exceeds 45 degrees. Common symptoms of thoracic hyperkyphosis include:
  • Back pain
  • Stiffness
  • Top part of the back looking curved or hunched over
Every case is different, but many thoracic hyperkyphosis patients also report feeling fatigued as a result of their condition. Furthermore, the visible effects of hyperkyphosis sometimes contribute to low self-esteem, a negative body image, and emotional and social issues.

What causes thoracic hyperkyphosis?

As mentioned above, thoracic hyperkyphosis can arise for a number of different reasons. The most common causes include:
  • Bad posture - If you frequently slouch or otherwise fail to sit properly in chairs, your poor posture may end up causing hyperkyphosis over time.

  • Scheuermann's disease - Scheuermann's is a condition (mostly affecting young people) that occurs when the vertebrae don't grow evenly. This can result in a hyperkyphotic spinal curve. Read more about Scheuermann's disease here.

  • Congenital issues - Sometimes, a baby's spine will develop incorrectly in the womb. This may result in the child being born with hyperkyphosis, with the condition progressing (getting worse) as they grow up.
Thoracic hyperkyphosis may also be caused by nutritional deficiencies, vertebral trauma, and a number of other problems.

How to treat thoracic hyperkyphosis

Just as hyperkyphosis has many different causes, it can also be treated in many different ways, including:
  • Bracing
  • Physical therapy
  • Spinal surgery
Here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic, we frequently treat thoracic hyperkyphosis patients who wish to reduce the angle and visibility of their curve and alleviate symptoms such as pain and stiffness. We do this using our ScolioGold method, an exercise-based alternative to surgical intervention that has repeatedly shown itself to be effective in cases of spinal curvature.

Click here to learn more about ScolioGold therapy, or get in touch to arrange a consultation with Scoliosis SOS.
Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis affects approximately 4 out of 100 adolescents worldwide. When the number's that high, it's perhaps unsurprising that we often treat adolescent scoliosis suffers from other parts of the world who do not wish to undergo surgery.

Scoliosis Patient from Malaysia

This was the case with Adha, who found out she had scoliosis through a clinic who visited her school in Malaysia in April 2016. Here's her story:

Scoliosis Case Study: Adha From Malaysia

Adha was diagnosed with scoliosis in April last year by local clinic staff who visited Adha’s school. Each pupil in the school was checked and Adha was one of the three pupils who received a scoliosis diagnosis. 

After she was diagnosed with scoliosis, Adha and her father visited three specialist hospitals to see 3 different orthopaedic surgeons, and each one recommended that Adha go in for surgery to correct her scoliosis. Because Adha’s curve surpassed 40 degrees, she was considered a severe case and a suitable candidate for spinal fusion surgery.

However, Adha and her family decided against surgery and instead looked for alternative means of combating her spinal curve. Through searching on the internet, they found the Scoliosis SOS Cinic in London and read about the treatment courses we provide for people suffering from scoliosis. Adha’s brother happened to be studying in London at the time, so they decided to come here for treatment.

Adha and her father arrived at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic for Adha’s first consultation in the summer of 2016. After an initial consultation, they decided to go ahead with a full four-week course and stay in our London-based accommodation.

After the completion of the four-week course, Adha's curvature has visibly improved and both she and her father are really pleased with the results.  Their advice for anyone else in Malaysia suffering from scoliosis is to try out the ScolioGold programme, as it is a great alternative to surgery. 

Here's an interview with Adha and her father that we conducted after she completed her treatment course:

No matter where in the world you live, if you are suffering from a curved spine, we would love to hear from you. Contact Scoliosis SOS today to arrange an initial consultation - this can be carried out via Skype or over the telephone if you don't live anywhere near London.
Here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic, we specialise in the non-surgical treatment of spinal conditions such as scoliosis and hyperkyphosis. Our approach combines a variety of different methods, including various types of exercise, physical manipulation and more.

For sufferers of scoliosis and other spinal conditions, uneven posture can be a persistent problem, causing pain and discomfort as well as impacting the individual's outward appearance. For this reason, postural correction is one of the goals we work towards during our ScolioGold treatment courses, the aim being to produce lasting posture improvement for the patient. 

How do we achieve posture improvement for our patients?

Successful posture improvement is achieved by tailoring treatment to the specific needs of the patient, depending on their individual condition and the symptoms they experience.

While scoliosis (a sideways curvature of the spine) can lead to postural problems, the idea that scoliosis is caused by bad posture is a common misconception. There is no evidence to suggest that poor posture can lead to the development of scoliosis, which sometimes arises because of an underlying neuromuscular/skeletal condition but which is idiopathic in the majority of cases. In contrast, hyperkyphosis (a forward curvature of the spine) can be caused by poor posture, with an estimated 20-40% of adults developing this deformity at some point in their life.

Since we treat different types of spinal curvature in patients of all ages and backgrounds, it is highly important for us to ensure that our treatments target the specific areas in need of improvement. We do this by using a selection of carefully-chosen corrective methods while also accounting for the impact and limitations caused by other aspects of the patient's condition. In addition, each patient is also provided with an exercise programme to perform at home in order to ensure lasting results.

What methods are used?

Here are some of the posture improvement methods we use here at Scoliosis SOS:

FITS Method

FITS Method

This programme of individually-adjusted exercises is used to eliminate myofascial restrictions and build a series of new, corrective posture patterns.

This technique is used to promote correct muscle movement patterns while also reducing pain and inflammation. The tape, which has been worn by such famous athletes as Serena Williams and Gareth Bale, works by acting as an elastic reminder for postural control.
Medical Acupuncture
This treatment involves the insertion of very fine needles into points of the body to reduce pain, improve blood flow and promote healing. Acupuncture is used to target pain caused by muscular imbalances and postural asymmetry. 

Looking for more information about posture improvement methods? Here are some exercises to try at home.

Contact Scoliosis SOS for more information about our treatment courses.