Kyphosis is a medical condition that affects an individual's spine, causing the spine to curve. It is a relatively common condition and is frequently cause by poor posture and slouching. The upper portion of an individual's spine in known as the thoracic spine. When this portion of the back becomes curved, it is known and thoracic kyphosis. There are a number of different types of kyphosis, which vary depending upon the severity of the condition and the cause of the condition. In addition to slouching, there are a variety of different reasons that an individual may develop kyphosis. It may be related to vitamin D deficiency or arthritis. The cause will frequently vary based on the age of the individual who is suffering from this condition. For example, arthritis more commonly affects elderly individuals, while in infants, this condition is more likely to develop from nutritional deficiencies.
Kyphosis can occur regardless of an individual's age. The symptoms that are associated with this condition will range depending on how extensive the curvature is. If an individual is only suffering from a minor case of kyphosis, he/she may only experience cosmetic symptoms, with no associated pain. However, if an individual is experiencing significant spinal curvature, he/she may feel a great deal of pain. In addition, he/she may become extremely fatigued, as the muscles must exert a substantial amount of energy to allow the individual to sit or stand. In the most severe cases, kyphosis restricts the space available within the chest cavity. This has serious implications for the lungs and the heart, and in instances such as this, kyphosis can be fatal.