Medically reviewed by Cameron White, M.D., MPH — created by Amber Erickson Gabbey — updated on September 5, 2019


Kyphosis, additionally known together roundback or hunchback, is a condition in which the spine in the upper ago has an excessive curvature.

The upper back, or thoracic an ar of the spine, has actually a herbal slight curve. The spine naturally curves in the neck, upper back, and also lower back to aid absorb shock and support the load of the head. Kyphosis occurs when this herbal arch is larger than normal.

If you have actually kyphosis, friend may have a visible hump ~ above your top back. Native the side, her upper earlier may be remarkable rounded or protruding.

In addition, people with kyphosis show up to be slouching and also have noticeable round off of the shoulders. Kyphosis deserve to lead come excess pressure on the spine, leading to pain. It may likewise lead come breathing difficulties due to press put ~ above the lungs.

Kyphosis in older females is well-known as dowager’s hump.

Kyphosis can affect people of any age. It hardly ever occurs in newborns since poor posture is usually the cause. Kyphosis from negative posture is dubbed postural kyphosis.

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Other potential reasons of kyphosis include:

aging, particularly if you have bad posturemuscle weakness in the upper backScheuermann’s disease, which occurs in children and has no recognized causeinjury come the spine slipped discs

The following conditions less generally lead to kyphosis:

infection in the spinetumorsdiseases the the connective tissuesPaget disease

Seek therapy if your kyphosis is attach by:

painbreathing difficultiesfatigue

Much of our bodily motion depends ~ above the health of the spine, including our:


Getting treatment to help correct the curvature of her spine may help you mitigate the danger of complications later on in life, consisting of arthritis and ago pain.

Treatment because that kyphosis will count on that severity and underlying cause. Right here are some of the an ext common causes and their treatments:

Scheuermann’s disease. A child might receive physical therapy, braces, or corrective surgery. Tumors. Typically, tumors are only removed if there’s problem for spinal cord compression. If this is present, your surgeon may try to eliminate the tumor, however frequently this destabilizes the bone. In such cases, a spinal blend is often likewise necessary. Osteoporosis. It’s necessary to treat bone destruction to avoid kyphosis from worsening. Medicines can good this.

The following treatments may help relieve the symptom of kyphosis:

Medication have the right to relieve pain, if necessary.Physical therapy can aid build stamin in the core and earlier muscles.Yoga may increase body awareness and build strength, flexibility, and range of motion.Losing excess weight deserve to relieve extra burden on the spine.Wearing braces may help, especially in children and teens.Surgery may be essential in severe cases.

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For most people, kyphosis doesn’t cause serious health and wellness problems. This is dependency on the cause of the kyphosis. Because that example, if poor posture is causing kyphosis, you may experience pain and breathing difficulties.

You can treat kyphosis beforehand by:

strengthening the muscles of the backseeing a physics therapist

Your goal will certainly be to improve your posture long term come decrease pain and also other symptoms.


Medically reviewed by Cameron White, M.D., MPH — composed by Amber Erickson Gabbey — to update on September 5, 2019