Scheuermann's kyphosis is a condition that causes an excessive curvature of the spine, usually in the cervical, thoracic and sacral regions, resulting in a visible back hump. Hyperkyphosis, much like scoliosis, can be caused by a number of different factors. In many cases, the exact cause is not known, whereas in others it can be traced back to conditions such as arthritis or osteoporosis.
One of the most common causes of hyperkyphosis in juvenile and adolescent patients is a disorder known as Scheuermann's disease, which is why it is known as Scheuermann's kyphosis. This is when the spinal vertebrae don't develop properly and assume a wedge shape, as shown here:
As you can see above, these wedge-shaped vertebrae end up giving the spine a pronounced hyperkyphotic curve. This, in turn, causes the back to take on a hunched/rounded appearance.
Scheuermann's Kyphosis Treatment Methods
When hyperkyphosis arises as a result of Scheuermann's disease, it can be treated via a number of different methods, many of which are also used to treat scoliosis. Back braces
can help to correct Scheuermann's kyphotic spinal curvature, although in more severe cases, spinal fusion surgery
may be recommended instead of/as well as a brace.
Quite often, however, neither a brace nor a surgical procedure is necessary. The Schroth method
, a type of physiotherapy that forms the basis for our own ScolioGold
treatment courses, is another very effective treatment for Scheuermann's kyphosis; the technique has been shown to reduce pain in Scheuermann's patients while also significantly decreasing the angle of their spinal curvature.
Scheuermann's Kyphosis Exercises (to try)
- Work opposite - this involves moving in a way that's opposite to your condition. Stand tall, tuck your chin in slightly and bring your head directly over your shoulders. Your shoulder blades should move backwards and down slightly, stretching the muscles in your back. If you start to feel pain, stop immediately.
- Laying head retraction - another great Scheuermann's Kyphosis exercise to try - simply lay on the floor and pull your chin back into the 'double chin' position. Repeat.
- Superman - another Scheuermann's Kyphosis floor exercise, lay on your front and stretch your arms and legs out straight. Lift your arms and legs up towards the ceiling. This will improve your flexibility, strengthen your core and reduce the appearance of your condition.
We have treated a number of Scheuermann's disease patients here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic
, and our unique spinal-specific exercise therapy courses help these people to combat their condition and greatly improve their quality of life. You can see the results of our physiotherapy courses on patients who have Scheuermann's kyphosis here
If you suffer from Scheuermann's kyphosis and are looking for treatment, please contact us today to arrange an initial consultation and find out whether the Scoliosis SOS Clinic could help you.