21 Feb Can Cervical Kyphosis Actually Cause Headaches?
Cervical kyphosis is a fairly common condition that can be caused by disc degeneration, injury, or even bone loss. Some cases are actually congenital. What many people don’t know is that kyphosis can lead to a variety of symptoms that may seem disconnected until a pain management doctor has the opportunity to make a diagnosis.
For example, we often get questions about whether cervical kyphosis can cause headaches. Simply put, it can. Such headaches are known as cervicogenic headaches due to the fact that they originate in the cervical spine. It is not a common symptom of mild cervical kyphosis, but headache pain is more common when kyphosis is more severe.
The Basics of Kyphosis
The human spine has two natural curves built into it. In the upper spine, the natural curve faces toward the back. In the lower spine, the curve faces front. Cervical kyphosis is a condition in which the curvature of the upper spine is in excess of what is considered normal parameters.
A person with a severe case of cervical kyphosis might appear to have a hunched back. On the other hand, the curvature in a mild case might not even be noticeable without a medical exam. The good news is that mild kyphosis rarely causes symptoms. The bad news is that mild cases can grow progressively worse and, when they do, result in uncomfortable symptoms.
Common Kyphosis Symptoms
The most notable symptom of cervical kyphosis is a change in posture. With that change of posture is often an abnormal or unsteady gait. The more severe the curvature, the more difficult it is for a person to move around normally.
Other symptoms include:
- neck and back pain
- muscle weakness
- general instability
- loss of mobility.
The original question posed by this post was whether cervical kyphosis can cause headaches. It can. But the headaches are not actually a direct result of spinal curvature. Rather, they are the result of how kyphosis affects posture.
A person with moderate to severe cervical kyphosis may have difficulty keeping the shoulders back and the head held high. This puts undo stress on shoulder and neck muscles. In turn, a person can experience a noticeable amount of tension in the back of the neck and the base of the spine.
All this working together can cause headaches. Kyphosis-related headaches tend to be dull headaches that last over an extended period of time. They do not tend to be acute headaches that come on suddenly, throb for a while, and then go away just as quickly.
Kyphosis Headache Pain Relief
Many kyphosis patients will go their entire lives without experiencing related headaches. But for those for whom headaches are a problem, there are options for pain relief. From pain medications to injection therapies, pain medicine doctors can offer relief in a variety of ways.
It has been our experience that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to kyphosis-related headache pain. If we can offer one piece of advice that applies to all patients, it would be this: talk to your doctor about any form of chronic pain you experience. Whether it is related to kyphosis or some other condition, talking about it is the first step toward successful treatment.
Have you been diagnosed with cervical kyphosis? If so, is it causing you discomfort? The Lone Star Pain Medicine clinic in Weatherford, TX is here to help. Our experienced pain medicine doctors are fully trained to diagnose conditions and offer viable treatment options. Please do not hesitate to pay us a visit. We want to help you feel better.