How to Know If You Have Kyphosis

Kyphosis can have symptoms that range from mild to severe. The mildest symptom could simply be the presence of a slightly rounded or humped back. The most severe symptoms that could occur are chronic pain and breathing problems. You’ll be able to know if you have kyphosis by visiting a spine doctor.
Orthopedic spine doctors and surgeons at NJ Spine & Orthopedic can help evaluate your medical records to diagnose and confirm the presence of kyphosis. Once we determine that a kyphosis disorder exists and what type it is, we can tell you the best course of action to handle your condition. Our Concierge Team can also help coordinate everything for you to streamline the treatment process.

Signs and Symptoms to Know If You Have Kyphosis

The signs and symptoms of kyphosis will sometimes depend on the type you have. While postural kyphosis can present the mildest symptom, like a slight rounding of the back, other types can have more serious issues. Other types of kyphosis can include symptoms like:

  • Pain in the shoulder blades, middle, or lower back
  • Dull, achy pain
  • Sharp shooting pain
  • Pain after extended periods of standing or sitting
  • Fatigue
  • Tenderness and stiffness in the spine
  • Weakness or numbness in the arms and legs

All of these symptoms can get worse with time if the deterioration of the spine is not slowed. It’s important to see a spine doctor if you’re experiencing these symptoms sooner rather than later.

Congenital kyphosis can exhibit the same symptoms as degenerative kyphosis if the congenital disability causing the kyphosis was not known about or wasn’t fixed. With cerebral palsy, the curve can get so severe that it could present breathing problems because of the compression the kyphosis can cause on the airways and lungs. When this happens, surgery is the most viable option in this case. 

How Physical Exams and Imaging Tests Can Help Diagnose Kyphosis

When you see a medical professional about your back issues, they will start with a physical exam. The doctor will look at and feel your spine for abnormalities. They might also discover if there are any tender or painful spinal muscles during the examination.

Next, the doctor will view your body from the side, with you standing straight or bending forward at the waist. This view can help determine if the kyphosis is postural or another type. Postural kyphosis will show a rounded back, while other types may present with a more angular curve. The doctor will then test your range of motion by asking you to bend forward, backward, sideways, and twist. Some with kyphosis find it challenging to perform these movements.

Other Possible Tests to Determine If You Have Kyphosis

The doctor may perform a nervous system exam if you have experienced symptoms like numbness or weakness in your limbs. Reflex tests show how well your nerves are communicating with your muscles. The doctor may also test your sensory nerves by touching parts of your skin with different objects to test how well you can feel touch, hot and cold temperatures, vibrations, and pain.

Imaging tests, such as X-rays or MRIs, may also be conducted to take a detailed look at all the spine formations, not just the bones.

The Orthopedic Spine Doctors at NJ Spine & Orthopedic Are Experts on Kyphosis Disorders

At NJ Spine & Orthopedic, orthopedic spine doctors can help diagnose kyphosis conditions by conducting physical exams and taking X-rays and MRI scans to confirm vertebrae abnormalities, structural defects, and nerve problems. We will then recommend treatments that will slow the progression of kyphosis or help you treat the present symptoms.

Others in the spine medical profession look to our orthopedic spine doctors and surgeons at NJ Spine & Orthopedic for instruction, guidance, and leadership regarding spinal disorders. If you have signs and symptoms of kyphosis, call our team at (866) 553-0612 or complete our contact form.

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