When we look at the spine from the back, we see a straight column that is formed by the arrangement of vertebrae on top of each other and passes through the exact center of the head and pelvis. However, when we look at the human spine from the side, we see that there is no such straight line and that there are physiological curvatures formed by each vertebra making an angle with each other. For example, while we have a kyphosis (hump) in our chest and back region, we have a hollow in our following waist region.
The degree of kyphosis in the chest and back region varies widely among individuals. In other words, as you observe around you, some people have a more hunched posture while others stand more upright. There is a quantifiable physiological limit to this hump.
In a lateral radiograph taken in a comfortable standing position, this limit varies between 20 degrees and 55 degrees when measured at an angle. In other words, a person with a kyphosis of 20 degrees and a person with a kyphosis of 55 degrees are both considered within the normal limits of kyphosis. Therefore, it is perfectly normal for one member of a family to be more or less hunched than another.
WHAT CAN BE DONE TO PREVENT KYPHOSIS?
Exercises aimed at preventing kyphosis are generally related to poor posture. It is necessary to stretch the short abdominal, chest, and leg muscles, as well as to strengthen the muscles around the spine. In cases where the inclination is too high, surgical treatment should be applied. While the hump is corrected by the surgical operation, the progression of the curvature can also be prevented.
Especially in women, serious back pain and hunching can cause difficulty in breathing as well as psychological problems.
Initially, this hump is thought to be related to posture, but over time, it can progress and become permanent.
In cases where back pain persists and hunching is significant for a long time, it is essential to have a kyphosis measurement and to be monitored by a physician.
In addition, there are certain simple measures that can be taken for back pain and hunching due to sedentary lifestyle. Strengthening exercises for the back and abdominal muscles, as well as swimming, are particularly important.
What is Postural (due to poor posture) or positional kyphosis?
The positional kyphosis, for instance, increasing the kyphosis of a person with a physiological standing posture of 35 degrees to 55 degrees due to poor posture is a form of postural kyphosis. This is the most common cause of the hunchback complaint that parents observe in their children.
What is structural kyphosis or Schuermann kyphosis?
Structural kyphosis is a hump that is often due to an underlying bone or soft tissue pathology and is above 55 degrees even in a person’s physiological standing position. This kyphosis may be due to congenital spinal anomalies (congenital kyphosis), some bone diseases (skeletal dysplasia, neurofibromatosis, etc.), spinal infections (spinal tuberculosis, etc.), or various nerve and muscle diseases caused by damage to the vertebrae due to spinal fractures.
However, the most common cause of structural kyphosis in growing patients is the kyphosis called Schuermann’s disease, which is caused by an unknown influence and leads to the loss of rectangular shapes of the vertebrae and triangularization of them. If Schuermann’s disease is not treated, it can result in the increase of kyphosis to dangerous levels.”