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Aside from a visible hunch, kyphosis may also cause symptoms like fatigue, back pain, tenderness/stiffness of the spine, leg weakness or even difficulty breathing. Depending on the severity of a person’s kyphosis, it may be extremely mild and perfectly manageable, or it could be quite significant, painful and embarrassing.
Fortunately for sufferers, the majority of kyphosis cases and related symptoms can be treated with simple, non-surgical options, such as:
- Bracing, to stop the progression of the curvature
- Pain medications
- Regular exercise to strengthen trunk muscles
- Osteoporosis medications (if necessary)
- Physical therapy
For more severe cases in which an extreme curvature pinches the spinal cord or otherwise causes serious disability, surgery may be recommended. Surgical treatments are generally similar to those used for scoliosis; commonly, vertebrae are fused together permanently to correct posture and prevent further curvature of the spine.
To prevent kyphosis in old age, you should protect yourself against the onset of osteoporosis in the following ways:
- Keep a regimen of daily exercise
- Obtain sufficient vitamin D from sunshine, food or supplements
- Obtain sufficient calcium from low-fat dairy products, dark leafy greens, and other foods
If you are suffering from pain or disfigurement due to kyphosis and would like to speak to Dr. Neece about your treatment options, please give us a call at our Frisco, TX office.