Hyperkyphosis Treatment

Whereas scoliosis is a sideways curvature of the spine, hyperkyphosis is the medical term for an excessive forward spinal curve. This causes the top of the back to become more rounded than usual - you might know this condition as 'dowager's hump' or simply a 'hunchback'.

Hyperkyphosis can develop due to bad posture (postural kyphosis), as the result of another underlying condition (such as Scheuermann’s disease), or because of spinal fractures. Hyperkyphosis is considered severe if the curve angle exceeds 45 degrees, but even mild cases can cause back pain, stiffness, fatigue, and a number of other symptoms. As with scoliosis, there are a number of different hyperkyphosis treatment methods in use, including both surgical and non-surgical options.

Non-surgical hyperkyphosis treatments

Bracing

During adolescence, bracing may be required to stunt the progression of the hyperkyphosis in moderate to severe cases. Bracing aims to ensure that the degree of the curvature does not develop any further than it already has. The patient may be required to continue wearing the brace until their spine stops growing at around 16 years of age.

Pain management

As is the case for many health problems, pain management is often a central part of hyperkyphosis treatment. Painkillers such as ibuprofen or paracetamol can help to relieve the aches and pains that derive from having a curvature of the spine. If the patient is in a lot of pain, stronger pain relief medications may be prescribed.

Physical therapy

Though it does require some work on the patient’s part, physiotherapy is a great way to treat hyperkyphosis. Physical therapy courses such as our own ScolioGold method can straighten the back, reduce pain, and improve the patient's quality of life in general - see before and after photos here.

Surgical hyperkyphosis treatment

If the curvature becomes so severe that the patient is having difficulty going about their day, surgical methods of hyperkyphosis treatment become available. Hyperkyphosis surgery corrects the appearance of the curvature, but there is also a small risk that it will lead to further complications such as infection, nerve damage or even - in a tiny minority of cases - paralysis.

Spinal fusion is the standard surgical procedure for hyperkyphosis. This involves fusing the vertebrae together to correct the spine's curvature. Method rods, screws, hooks and bone grafts are used during the operation to fuse the bones together. According to the NHS, the operation takes 4-8 hours, and a back brace may need to be worn for up to 9 months while your spine heals.

Here at Scoliosis SOS, we provide non-surgical physiotherapy courses for those suffering from scoliosis and hyperkyphosis. If this sounds like something that could help you improve your condition, please don't hesitate to get in touch today.

Scoliosis correction

While scoliosis cannot truly be 'cured', there are a number of ways to treat the symptoms of this condition and reverse the progression of the Cobb angle. Scoliosis correction is always dependent on the severity of each case; for some patients, surgery may be the only option, but in most cases, non-surgical treatment methods can be highly effective.

In either case, the main aim of any scoliosis correction effort should be to improve the quality of life for the patient.

Scoliosis Correction Surgery

If the patient's Cobb angle is greater than 40-50 degrees, surgery will likely be recommended. In especially severe cases, this may be the only way to stop the condition from worsening.

Spinal fusion surgery

Spinal fusion surgery corrects scoliosis by anchoring the spine to a series of rods. These rods act as a splint, which holds the spine in place and reduces the angle of the problematic curve. Once this has been done, a bone graft (sometimes real, sometimes synthetic) is used to fuse it with the spine, hopefully preventing the curve from progressing any further.

If you want to learn more about the actual surgery process, you can read all about it here

Scoliosis Correction Treatments

Although spinal fusion is generally a safe procedure with proven benefits, there are always risks associated with any surgical procedure. As a result, many scoliosis sufferers choose not to undergo surgery, and that’s why we offer a range of non-invasive treatments for scoliosis correction.

Scoliogold treatment

The ScolioGold Method

Our ScolioGold method is made up of a combination of well-established scoliosis treatments, including the Schroth method. These non-surgical techniques are scientifically proven, and used together, they ensure that each and every aspect of the patient’s condition is treated. Our personalised treatment programme can help reduce your Cobb angle, relieve pain and lessen the appearance of the curve, which can boost self-esteem and body image. In order to effectively improve scoliosis symptoms, we assess each individual case and create the treatment plan around the patient's specific needs.

To learn more about the various treatments that make up the ScolioGold method, please click here.

We have successfully reduced our patient's Cobb angles, which improves posture and overall quality of life. We do this without any invasive surgical procedures, so if you are worried about the risks of surgery for any reason, we are happy to help. To have a look at the results of our ScolioGold treatment, view our before and after pictures.

Here at Scoliosis SOS, we assess every patient’s condition and create a plan tailored to help improve their individual symptoms. To find out more about what we can do to help correct scoliosis, please contact us today.

Does Scoliosis Get Worse Over Time?

Scoliosis is an excessive sideways curvature of the spine. There are a few different types of scoliosis, including:

  • Idiopathic - The most common form of scoliosis usually appears during adolescence. The cause is not known, although it is thought to be genetic.

  • Congenital - This form of scoliosis occurs from birth due to the baby's bones not developing properly in the womb.

  • Degenerative - Degenerative scoliosis occurs with age and the deterioration of the vertebrae in the spine.

Will my scoliosis get worse over time?

Being diagnosed with any form of scoliosis is difficult, and it’s natural to wonder if your spinal curve will progress in the future. Unfortunately, the answer is very often yes - if scoliosis is left without treatment, it will usually get progressively worse over time unless the patient seeks treatment for their condition.

Especially in younger patients whose bodies are still growing, it is very likely that - without intervention - the degree of the curvature will increase as time goes on. This is due to the asymmetrical loading of the vertebrae on one side limiting bone growth in this area. In these cases, bracing is usually recommended to stunt the progression of the curve; if necessary, spinal fusion surgery may be recommended once the patient has stopped growing.

Can scoliosis progress even in adulthood?

It is a common misconception that, as the patient reaches adulthood and their body stops growing, scoliosis cannot progress any further. This is untrue; while the change may occur at a slower pace in a mature adult than in a child or adolescent, a scoliosis curvature can still progress by one to three degrees per year.

Case Study: 60-Year Old Max

Max was diagnosed with scoliosis when he was a teenager but, unfortunately, no treatment was offered to him at that time! Max is now 60-years old and, as we might expect, his scoliosis has got progressively worse over the course of his life. He visited chiropractors & physiotherapists but found that they only relieved his pain temporarily. ScolioGold Therapy has helped him make incredible progress & much of his scoliosis has now been completely cured! Watch our full interview with Max here:

What can I do to stop scoliosis getting worse over time?

Luckily, mild to moderate cases of scoliosis do not typically require surgical intervention. If the right steps are taken before the curve progresses too far, it is possible to improve the degree of curvature and your quality of life without undergoing an operation.

The progression of a scoliotic spinal curve can be halted via a number of measures, such as:

  • Soft and hard bracing
  • Postural improvement
  • Physical therapy to improve muscle balance

Here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic in London, our ambition is to help those suffering with scoliosis to improve their condition over time. We aim to reduce the degree of the curvature, reduce pain, improve flexibility, and boost the patient’s overall quality of life. We do this through a combination of different physical therapy treatments on our 4-week ScolioGold courses.

Contact Scoliosis SOS to book a consultation with one of our scoliosis experts.

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Hyperkyphosis is a spinal condition that causes the upper back to curve forwards. Although some instances of the condition only appear visually (the rounding of the upper back), the condition can lead to a range of secondary issues for the sufferer, including back pain and fatigue.

Due to the fact that postural issues are commonly linked with hyperkyphosis, many people who are concerned about their own spinal health or that of a loved one will be keen to search for prevention methods that will combat this forward curvature.

When looking into how to prevent hyperkyphosis, it is important to keep in mind that not all forms of hyperkyphosis are the same! Like other forms of spinal curvature, hyperkyphosis doesn't have one single cause, with the condition developing for a number of reasons (some of which are preventable).

What different types of hyperkyphosis exist (and are they preventable?)

  • Scheuermann's kyphosis - This condition is caused by abnormally shaped vertebrae that fail to develop and slip out of position. Although the reasons behind the disruption are not fully understood, it is true that this condition cannot be prevented with lifestyle changes. There are, however, methods for successfully improving the impact of the condition, as is manifested by Axel's experience after seeking non-surgical treatment for his condition.
  • Congential kyphosis - Again, this is a non-preventable form of kyphosis, due to the fact that it emerges due to abnormal development of the spine whilst in the womb.
  • Postural kyphosis - Postural kyphosis develops as a result of poor posture, which means that it can be prevented by avoiding damaging behaviours and maintaining good posture.
  • Kyphosis as a result of osteoporosis (pictured below) - Hyperkyphosis can also be caused by bone degeneration, which is why it is often seen in those who are older, as well as those who have suffered repeated impact to the spine. Healthy bones can prevent this degeneration, which can be achieved by observing a healthy diet and performing weight-bearing exercises.

Hyperkyphosis over time

Advice on how to prevent hyperkyphosis:

  • Avoid rounding your shoulders and make an effort to observe your posture when sitting, walking or standing.

  • Perform exercises which increase bone mass - rebounding on a trampoline is very effective for this, and is even used by astronauts preparing for space travel.

  • Eat a diet rich in Calcium and Vitamin D, such as spinach, fatty fish and fortified foods.

  • Perform exercises to improve your posture at home, especially if you work in a job that requires you to sit for long periods of time or lift heavy objects. Here are few moves to try, without the need for specialised equipment.

  • Seek physical therapy from a qualified professional who will be able to identify the cause of your poor posture, and tailor their treatment method accordingly.

Here at Scoliosis SOS, we have treated a number of patients with hyperkyphosis and other postural issues, using our combination of non-surgical treatment methods to address all aspects of their condition. 

To find out more or to arrange a consultation, simply get in touch with us today!