Kyphosis is a forward rounding of your upper back. Some rounding is normal, but the term "kyphosis" usually refers to an exaggerated rounding — sometimes called round back or hunchback. While kyphosis can occur at any age, it's most common in older women where the deformity is known as a dowager's hump.

Age-related kyphosis often occurs after osteoporosis weakens spinal bones to the point that they crack and compress. A few types of kyphosis target infants or teens.

Mild kyphosis may cause few problems. But severe cases can affect your lungs, nerves, and other tissues and organs, causing pain and other problems. Treatment for kyphosis depends on your age, the cause of the curvature and its effects.

Jun. 14, 2012