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Symptoms of Kyphosis

Symptoms of kyphosis vary depending on its cause, severity, and where it is in the spine.

Although kyphosis is most common in the thoracic spine, or mid-back, it can also form in the cervical spine (neck) and lumbar (low back).

Some symptoms of kyphosis are:

  • A visible hump on the back
  • Back pain, ranging from mild to severe, especially as the body compensates for the excessive bend
  • Chest pain and heart failure
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of bladder and bowel control, from nerve damage
  • Nerve impingement that leads to weakness or numbness in the legs
  • Rounded shoulders
  • Shortness of breath or other breathing difficulties from compression of the lungs
  • Spine stiffness
  • Tight hamstrings (the muscles in the back of the thigh)
  • Weakness, tingling, or loss of sensation in other areas of the body, depending on which nerves are impinged


A person with kyphosis in the cervical spine may also have:

  • Limited neck rotation
  • Neck pain, ranging from mild to severe
  • Visual shape changes in the neck, from mild to extreme deformity


Reviewed by: Kai-Ming Fu, MD, PhD
Last reviewed/last updated: June 2018