Synopsis: Age-related hyperkyphosis is an exaggerated anterior curvature in the thoracic spine that occurs commonly with advanced age. This condition is associated with low bone mass, vertebral compression fractures, and degenerative disc disease, and contributes to difficulty performing activities of daily living and decline in physical performance. While there are effective treatments, currently there are no public health approaches to prevent hyperkyphosis among older adults. Our objective is to review the prevalence and natural history of hyperkyphosis, associated health implications, measurement tools, and treatments to prevent this debilitating condition.
Level of evidence: Diagnosis/prognosis/therapy, level 5.J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2010;40(6):352-360, Epub 15 April 2010. doi:10.2519/jospt.2010.3099.