A kyphotic curve looks like the letter "C" with the opening of the C pointing towards the front.

The normal amount of curve is considered to be from 20 to 40 degrees within the entire thoracic spine.

A congenital spine problem affects the development of the spine.

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Diagnosis History In order to make a proper diagnosis and rule out other possible conditions, the first step is to take a history.

If kyphosis is suspected, your doctor will want to know about the following specific things: Family History - Some types of kyphosis tend to run in families, so it may have a genetic cause.

Symptoms Symptoms of kyphosis can range from unattractive posture, to pain, to severe problems of pressure on the lungs and abdomen.

The pain occurs primarily in the area of the kyphosis.

This is extremely important because it could signal the presence of pressure on the spinal cord or the nerves that go to the pelvis.

Motor Function - Has there been a change in how your muscles work?

Osteoporosis is a condition that leads to major losses of bone mass, leaving the bones brittle and prone to fractures.

Learn about the various types of kyphosis and what causes them.

This usually comes from irritation of the nerves as they leave the spine.

Bowel or Bladder Dysfunction - Are you having problems knowing when you have to urinate or have a bowel movement?

There is a range because the amount of "normal" curve varies from person to person.