In a pathological kyphosis, usually of Scheuemann disease type, as time passes and the center of gravity moves forward, the deformation of the frontal part of the discs begins.
The consequences are:
- further increase of the kyphotic angle and
- the development of degenerative lesions on the final plates of the vertebra bodies, which develop into degenerative spondyloarthritis, involving also posterior vertebral joints.
When the kyphotic angle increases, lordosis also increases in the lumbar spine for balance reasons, while the cervical spine also participates by straightening and losing its natural lordosis.
In the long run, the result is that the lumbar spine is affected by degeneration of the discs, and the cervical spine is affected by the development of cervical syndrome and the degeneration of the cervical discs.
As a conclusion, kyphosis is a condition that affects all three curves of the Spine.
By reducing kyphosis to a point, the other two curves return to normal, on condition that degenerative spondyloarthritis has not bridged through the produced osteophytes to adjacent vertebrae
In young patients and up until about 30-35 years of age, the intervertebral discs are simply compressed in their frontal parts and a deformation is created in them that do not affect the composition of the disc at this stage; degeneration has not yet begun. The deformation has the properties of a plastic deformation, whereby if the mechanic conditions and the directions of the forces change, then the intervertebral disc is decompressed.
At ages of up to 30 years old, the pain is minimal and it is apparent after hours of standing. The sense of hunching is more apparent when standing, and the need to stretch the back for relief. Up until this age, where there are no degenerative lesions, it is the best time to achieve the best results as far as correcting the kyphotic angle is concerned. The results are usually good but also reversible, as long as the cause of the kyphosis remains and the vertebra are deformed by the Scheuermann disease.
In the case of more elderly people, who have already demonstrated degenerative lesions, things are difficult. If there is no frontal bridging of the vertebra bodies, then a suitable treatment may change the kyphotic to a certain extent. When the vertebra bodies have bridged, then we cannot intervene correctively, but only supportively. However, with the application of a brace and a better body posture, we have reduction or even elimination of the pain in all cases.
In the case of young people without the presence of degenerative lesions, the aim of the treatment is to modify the plastic deformation of the intervertebral discs.
Thus, we have the SPONDYLOS program for adult kyphosis with minimal or no degenerative lesions.
The program has two parts.
These are special exercising programs (Spondylos – Schroth – SEAS), personalized for every patient and their capabilities
2- Special dynamic SPONDYLOS kyphosis brace.
The role of the kyphosis brace in adults is to preserve the effects of the exercises.
We have observed that the effects of the exercises are maximized if the patient wears the special kyphosis brace immediately after the exercises and for a period of 8-12 hours.
Following the completion of the treatment, the patients must attend 2-5 sessions on a Med-X machine for further reinforcement of the muscular groups.
Finally, patients must follow a maintenance program with exercises.