Kyphosis is a curvature of the spine in the upper and middle part of the back.
Mild kyphosis usually isn't visible, doesn't cause any other problems, and doesn't
need medical treatment. Larger curves look like a hunched back or poor posture. The
curvature can be painful. In severe cases, it might cause problems with breathing
or weakness or numbness in the legs.
Kids and teens with severe kyphosis often need back braces and physical therapy.
A few might need surgery. Those who do have surgery usually can resume an active lifestyle
Students with kyphosis might:
feel embarrassed about wearing a back brace to school
miss a lot of class time if they need surgery (up to a month)
need extra time to complete assignments and make up tests
benefit from having a 504 education plan that calls for seating accommodations
and extra time getting to and from classes
need to visit the school nurse for pain medicine or brace adjustments
need to be excused from or accommodated for physical education and sports
be at risk for bullying
What Teachers Can Do
Kyphosis does not affect students' ability to learn, but it can affect the quality
of their lives. Wearing a back brace to school or having physical limitations can
make students feel self-conscious.
You can support them by encouraging their participation in the activities they
can do and being understanding about any pain or fatigue they might feel in the classroom.