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.