Kyphosis (kye-FOH-sis) makes a person's spine rounded so the back looks hunched
over. Everyone has some rounding of the spine. But a larger rounding than normal can
cause health problems like pain and breathing trouble.
Doctors sometimes treat kyphosis with back braces and physical therapy. A larger
curve might need surgery.
What Happens in Kyphosis?
The spine is called “the backbone” but it's not just one bone. It's made of lots
of small bones (called
) that are stacked and connected by a type of elastic tissue called cartilage.
This gives us the flexibility to bend, stretch, balance, and walk.
The stacked vertebrae are slight rounded, making the upper back curve out a little
bit. When the curve is larger than normal, it's called kyphosis.