Hyperkyphosis is a condition that leads to curvature of the spine. It often leads to posture resembling a hump in the upper back or shoulder area. If you've recently been diagnosed with hyperkyphosis, your doctor may suggest that you consider an orthopedic brace to help not only stop the progression but sometimes reverse the curve in your spine. Here's a look at what you should know about bracing as a treatment for this condition.
Who Are The Best Candidates For Bracing?
When determining if bracing is a good fit for your situation, your orthopedic specialist will consider several things. One of the first things that he or she will assess is how much growing you have left to do. If you have already finished growing, a brace will offer very little benefit. The goal of the brace is to support the spine through the growth periods to help straighten it out.
In addition, the severity of the curve and the chances of it worsening will play a factor. In most cases, bracing is only recommended for severe curvature or those that are at risk of worsening significantly during the growth periods.
What Can The Brace Really Do?
The brace offers support to your spine, which is something that patients with hyperkyphosis often lack. As the spine curves, the muscles along the spinal column become overworked and weaken. When extra support is important, whether permanent or temporary, the brace can supply that. In addition, when bracing treatment is started early enough in the progression, you may be able to avoid surgery.
How Do You Wear The Brace?
When your orthopedist recommends a brace for your back, you'll be given a series of instructions detailing how often and how long to wear it for. Depending on the severity of the condition, you may be advised to wear the brace at all times or for as little as a few hours a day. Some patients only have to wear it overnight. Make sure that you clearly understand the instructions for wear, how the brace should be put on, and how long you'll be expected to continue the treatment plan.
The more you understand about bracing, the easier it will be for you to adapt to this type of treatment for your hyperkyphosis. Before you commit to surgery for your spinal correction, talk with your orthopedist about the possibility of physical therapy and an orthopedic brace for your back.