Scheuermann’s Kyphosis causes, symptoms & treatments

Scheuermann’s Kyphosis (also known as “round back” or “hunchback”) is a condition in which the upper back develops an exaggerated curvature, generally more than 50 degrees. In cases of kyphosis, patients cannot fully straighten their spine, causing them to live in a hunched-over position.

Causes & risk factors

There are a variety of different causes of kyphosis. Some of the most common include developmental issues and degenerative conditions. Though kyphosis can impact people of all ages, research shows that some people are at a higher risk of developing the condition than others. These include:

  • Adolescent girls with poor posture
  • Individuals with connective tissue disorders
  • Boys between the ages of 10 and 15
  • Older adults with conditions that have caused spinal fractures


Some patients with this condition may never experience any external signs of having kyphosis, while others will develop a visible hump. Though not all patients will experience the pain and other symptoms associated with this condition, those with severe kyphosis may have:

  • Back pain
  • Hunchback or a slouching posture
  • Fatigue
  • Stiffness and tenderness in the spine
  • Lung pain
  • Trouble breathing
  • Internal organ damage

Because many patients never develop these symptoms, mild cases of kyphosis often go undiagnosed. If you’re living with pain or other symptoms that may be associated with kyphosis, do not hesitate to contact your doctor about a diagnosis.

Treatment options

Because the severity of kyphosis can vary so widely, it is important to talk to your doctor before undergoing any treatment. For mild cases, conservative treatments are often recommended as the first step toward finding relief. These include swimming, physical therapy, low-impact exercise and massage. Surgery is generally reserved as a last resort for this type of condition. For more information, talk to your physician today.