Kyphosis in Older People
A lot of seemingly natural consequences of aging, such as the stooped gait seen in elderly people, are really caused by diseases. We spine health specialists at Dr. Robert Larson’s Billings chiropractic office don’t just treat back injuries, we also work to prevent them. Patients at our office are advised on nutritional needs to prevent neurologic degeneration and vitamin supplements that help prevent osteoporosis.
Doctors use the word “hyperkyphosis” to describe an overly curved upper back. This is most often the result of osteoporosis. Bones are constantly breaking down and rebuilding, but in a person with osteopenia, they are dissolving more rapidly than they are being replaced. If osteopenia advances to osteoporosis, the patient’s bones will be filled with holes and be vulnerable to breaking just from ordinary jostling. These hairline-thin fractures are often too small to be felt, but if they accumulate, they can cause vertebrae to slowly cave in.
As vertebrae break down, the patient will stoop forward. Osteoporosis is most common in older women, but it is increasingly being seen in men. While we can assist patients who are in pain from it, the best preventive measure is a calcium and Vitamin D-rich diet. Natural sunlight is also an important source of Vitamin D, and core strengthening exercises will help to keep the spine well-supported and cushioned.
Dr. Robert Larson is located at 2110 Overland Ave, Suite 103, Billings, Montana, 59102. To schedule an appointment, visit Dr. Robert L Larson or call 406-655-0101.