The spine has a natural series of curves, designed to evenly distribute weight through the body and ensure correct balance. A healthy spine has a subtle inward curve in the lower back and an outward curve at the top. The Hump refers to an exaggerated curve of the spine in a person’s upper back which can lead to stiffness, back pain and an altered gait.
The Hump, or increased thoracic kyphosis, can be caused by a multitude of factors such as poor posture, abnormally shaped vertebrae or damage to the spine that took place before birth. The hump can also be brought on by other medical conditions such as osteoporosis, spina bifida or muscular dystrophy.
Symptoms of increased thoracic kyphosis include poor posture, a hump at the top of the back, (more commonly known as ‘hunchback’), stiffness, pain and muscle fatigue. In the majority of cases these symptoms do not tend to escalate or become more severe over time.
In some cases, symptoms do progress and can lead to a multitude of health complications such as pulmonary and respiratory problems, which is why it is best to seek help early.