Hyperkyphosis is a chronic condition that affects the curvature of your spine. If you're diagnosed with hyperkyphosis later in adulthood, surgery may not be a treatment option. As a result, you'll have to focus on pain management techniques. Here are some of the options you should discuss with your doctor and the local pain management clinic.

Medication-Free Treatments

In the early stages of hyperkyphosis treatment, you may be able to minimize your pain and discomfort with a combination of non-medicated options.

Physical therapy addresses the muscle strain and weakness that can occur along your spine. It often includes a combination of things like aquatic therapy, stretching, and flexibility exercises. The therapist will encourage you to do many strength-based exercises to try to add more support to your spinal column.  

Abdominal stretches will help you maintain spine mobility at the same time that they tone your core muscles. The core muscles are vital for support. You can build those muscles up with stretches like Swiss ball workouts and foam roll stretches. Placing a foam support roll on the floor and laying with the roll in the center of the curve can help to stretch your spine back in the opposing direction.  

Back braces provide you with a lot of support to keep your spine straight. In early cases, bracing may be enough to stop the progression of the condition and help to reverse some of the curve that's already in place. It's important that you follow up with routine physical therapy if you wear a brace like this, though. The brace takes the demand off the muscles surrounding your spine, and they can weaken if you don't work them regularly through therapy.

Transcutaneous nerve stimulation is a method of redirecting the nerve response. By stimulating nerves around the area using a subtle electrical pulse, you can actually draw the attention of the nerves in the stimulated area, dulling the pain recognition in the area where you most commonly experience pain.

Chiropractic therapy can also help you to deal with some of the pain from hyperkyphosis. Targeted deep massage in the muscles around the spine and manual manipulation along the spinal column can help to ease some of the muscle strain. In addition, chiropractors can help with general spinal alignment to reduce the effects of postural problems since some cases of kyphosis can be caused by poor posture.

Medication Options For Pain Management

When hyperkyphosis progresses to the point where you are unable to manage the pain without medication, there are some options you can explore. A local pain management clinic can help you evaluate the situation and find the right choice for your pain levels.

Corticosteroids are typically prescribed to help you manage the inflammation. Since inflammation can cause pain, it's important to address this component. These medications react in a similar method to cortisone injections.

Opioid treatments are in the morphine family. They are typically only prescribed for short-term pain management, but can be prescribed in cautious doses for chronic pain management. They are sometimes prescribed following spinal fusion surgery, which is often done to minimize the curve from hyperkyphosis.

Nerve blocks are another option if you have pinched nerves. Sometimes, the curve becomes significant enough that it causes pressure on the nerves and results in severe nerve pain in your back. A nerve block is sometimes the best way to manage this. Nerve blocks actually stop the normal nerve response so you don't feel the same level of pain.

As you can see, there are a lot of options for dealing with the pain caused by hyperkyphosis. Talk to your doctor and a pain management specialist to see which choices are best for you.