Scheuermann Disease: An Overview of Symptoms, Diagnosis, & Treatment

Living with Scheuermann Disease can be a difficult process. This guide is intended to help patients and their families with the necessary information to understand and manage this condition. We will discuss diagnosis, possible treatment, lifestyle changes, managing pain and fatigue, finding support from other people living with the same disorder, and more.

Living with Scheuermann disease

What is Scheuermann disease (or Scheuermann’s disease)?

Scheuermann disease, also known as Scheuermann’s Disease or Juvenile Kyphosis, is a medical condition where the spine curves more than normal. Kyphosis is the medical term for an excessive outward curvature of the spine. This condition usually affects the mid and upper back, causing pain and decreased mobility.

This condition’s exact cause is unknown and mainly affects teenagers and young adults. However, it is thought to be related to an abnormality in the development of the cartilage in the spine. This can be mainly seen in the Thoracic spine (midback) but can also affect the cervical (neck) and lumbar (low back) spines.

What are the symptoms of Scheurmann’s disease?

Pain in upper back caused by Scheuermann’s disease

Progressive Scheurman’s disease can lead to chronic back pain, typically experienced in the upper back and shoulders. The condition can also cause reduced flexibility in the spine.

The most common symptom of Scheuermann’s disease is a gradual increase in the curvature of the spine (Thoracic Kyphosis). This may cause pain, stiffness and difficulty with standing and walking.

Other symptoms include fatigue, neck or back pain, and limited range of motion in the back or shoulders. In severe cases, there may be compression on the nerve roots that can cause weakness or numbness in the arms, hands and legs.

This condition’s exact cause is unknown and mainly affects teenagers and young adults. However, it is thought to be related to an abnormality in the development of the cartilage in the spine. This can be mainly seen in the Thoracic spine (midback) but can also affect the cervical (neck) and lumbar (low back) spines.

Scheuermann's kyphosis of the Thoracic Spine?

The spine of someone with Scheuermann’s Disease often has an abnormal shape. The Thoracic spine will be curved more than usual and tend to appear like a rounding of the back. This tends to cause an exaggerated rounding of the upper back, leading to a limited range of motion and pain when stretching or turning the body. It may also lead to a decrease in overall height as the curve of the spine pushes the head and shoulders forward.

Can it impact the lumbar spine?

Yes, Scheuermann’s Disease can also affect the lumbar spine (lower back). The lumbar curve may appear more pronounced than usual due to the increased curvature of the thoracic spine. This can cause pain and stiffness in this area as well. In severe cases, it can lead to nerve root compression in the lower back, which can cause pain, numbness and other neurological symptoms.

Vertebral Wedging and postural kyphosis

In patients with Scheuermann’s Disease, vertebral wedging of the Thoracic spine is common.

The bones in the spine (vertebrae) are usually rectangular and stack on top of each other with flexible cartilage between them. However, in children with Scheuermann’s, some vertebrae in the upper back grow less on the front edge than on the back edge. As a result, these vertebrae become wedge-shaped instead of the usual rectangular. This leads to the excessive curvature of the spine, known as Scheuermann’s kyphosis.

Are there any complications associated with Scheuermann’s Disease?

Yes, there can be some potential complications associated with Scheuermann’s disease. For example, if left untreated, the spine’s severe curvature can cause spinal cord and nerve root compression, leading to pain, numbness, muscle weakness and other neurological symptoms.

In some cases, the curvature may become so severe that it affects the alignment of the hips and shoulders, which can lead to a decrease in overall mobility and limitations with everyday activities.

Surgery is sometimes necessary to correct the curvature, but this is typically only considered as a last resort. It is essential to consult a doctor to determine the best course of action.

How is Scheuermann’s Disease Diagnosed?

X Rays can help determine if you have Scheuermann’s disease

Scheuermann’s disease diagnosis is through imaging tests such as X-rays and MRI scans that can reveal the extent of the spinal deformity. The diagnosis can also be supported based on physical examination findings such as limited range of motion, muscle weakness and pain, as well as a visible curvature of the spine.

What are the treatment options for Scheuermann’s Disease?

Treatment of Scheuermann’s Disease typically consists of conservative methods such as physical therapy, posture exercises and activity modification. Other treatments may include bracing or surgery (in severe cases).

Physical therapy can help to improve flexibility, strength and posture alignment. For example, posture exercises are designed to improve the curvature of the spine. At the same time, activity modification will help patients avoid activities that may aggravate their condition.

A back brace is sometimes used to limit curvature progression and provide support for weakened areas. However, surgery is typically only considered when other methods have failed and the curvature is causing severe pain or neurological symptoms.

Back brace is sometimes used to manage Scheuermann disease

Living with Scheuermann Disease

Living with Scheuermann disease can be challenging as it can limit mobility and cause pain and discomfort.

Patients must follow their doctor’s advice and take the necessary steps to manage their condition. This includes regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, getting enough rest, and avoiding activities that strain the spine. Additionally, it is important to practice good posture when sitting or standing up straight.

FAQs about Scheuermann disease

Are there any lifestyle changes that can help manage Scheuermann’s Disease?

Yes, some lifestyle changes can help manage the symptoms of Scheuermann’s Disease. Getting plenty of rest and avoiding activities that may cause further strain on the spine is essential.

Stretching, yoga, and low-impact exercise can also help improve flexibility in the spine and reduce pain. In addition to physical activity, it is important to focus on posture when sitting or standing for long periods. It is also beneficial to seek support from other people with the same disorder.

These lifestyle changes can help to manage symptoms and may even reduce the progression of the disease in some cases.

Is poor posture associated with Scheuermann’s disease?

Poor posture can be associated with Scheuermann’s disease because the curvature of the spine affects one’s ability to maintain good posture. Therefore, it is essential to understand good posture concepts when sitting or standing up straight to help reduce pain and discomfort. Additionally, stretching and yoga can help improve flexibility and minimise curvature progression.

Can physical therapy help with Scheuermann’s disease?

Yes, physical therapy can benefit people with Scheuermann’s Disease. Physical therapy can help to improve flexibility, strength and posture alignment. For example, posture exercises are designed to improve the curvature of the spine. At the same time, activity modification will help patients avoid activities that may aggravate their condition. A physical therapist can also provide guidance on how to safely perform everyday activities and help to improve quality of life.

Does Scheuermann’s commonly affect any stage in life?

Scheuermann’s disease typically begins during adolescence and progresses until adulthood. The condition’s onset is usually between the ages of 10 to 15. It is less common in adults but can occur in those who have experienced significant physical activity or trauma over time.

Regardless of age, it is essential to seek medical attention if any disease symptoms are present. Early intervention and treatment can help to reduce pain and improve any impact on posture.

Can Scheuermann’s Disease be prevented?

Unfortunately, there is no known way to prevent Scheuermann’s disease, as it is believed to be caused by genetic factors. However, practising good posture, engaging in low-impact exercise, and getting plenty of rest to help manage the symptoms are important.

Is there a cure for Scheuermann disease?

There is no cure for this condition, but there are treatments that can help relieve the symptoms. Physical therapy, massage, and exercises that strengthen the back and improve flexibility can all be helpful. Surgery may sometimes be necessary to correct deformities or relieve pain.

If you think you or your child may have Scheuermann’s disease, it is vital to see a doctor for an evaluation. Most people with this condition can lead everyday, active lives with proper treatment.

In Conclusion

Living with Scheuermann’s disease can be challenging. Still, with the proper treatment and lifestyle adjustments, it is possible to manage the condition and maintain an active and healthy lifestyle. Suppose you or a loved one has been diagnosed with this condition. In that case, it is important to speak to your doctor about treatment options and follow their recommendations closely. With proper care, patients can lead fulfilling lives despite their condition.

This guide provides an overview of Scheuermann’s disease, its diagnosis and treatment, and tips on living with the condition. It is important to remember that everyone’s experience with this condition is unique, and it is best to seek advice from your doctor regarding the best course of action for you or your loved one.

PLEASE NOTE

PostureGeek.com does not provide medical advice. This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical attention. The information provided should not replace the advice and expertise of an accredited health care provider. Any inquiry into your care and any potential impact on your health and wellbeing should be directed to your health care provider. All information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical care or treatment.