Understanding Cervical Kyphosis – Causes, Effects and Osteopathic Care

cervical kyphosis
Cervical kyphosis, sometimes also referred to as “military neck”, is a condition characterised by an abnormal curvature of the cervical spine. Read on to find out more...


The neck normally has a natural c-shaped curve, with the open bit behind you. We call this lordosis. However, when kyphosis is present that curve gets flattened out (or even reversed.) It’s earned its nickname “military neck,” because it causes that rigid, straightened neck posture reminiscent of a soldier’s stance. But it’s not “good” posture. In fact, it can cause reduced range of motion in your neck (even resulting in a permanent downward gaze), pain, headaches, difficulty swallowing and neurological symptoms if nerves are compressed. But don’t despair, at Tim Wood Healthcare we bring our knowledge of your musculoskeletal system to the management of cervical kyphosis. Give us a call on 01634 420046 / 01622 260101. We’re here to help. 

Causes and Risk Factors:

Cervical kyphosis can stem from various factors, including congenital abnormalities, degenerative changes, diseases such as Ankylosing spondylitis,traumatic injuries, spinal surgery, and postural imbalances. How? Congenital anomalies, such as abnormal vertebral development, may predispose individuals to cervical kyphosis from birth. While, degenerative conditions, such as disc herniation or osteoarthritis, can exacerbate cervical curvature abnormalities over time. Traumatic incidents, like whiplash injuries, might cause structural changes in the cervical spine, leading to kyphotic deformities. Meanwhile, chronically poor posture may cause ligaments in surrounding the spine to stretch and become ineffective in supporting the spine. Its causes are multifaceted, which means treatment needs to be too.

Symptoms and Complications:

The symptoms of cervical kyphosis can manifest as neck pain, stiffness, reduced range of motion, and muscle weakness. In severe cases, nerve compression or spinal cord dysfunction may result in neurological deficits, including numbness, tingling, and weakness in the arms and hands. Additionally, cervical kyphosis can impact posture, balance, and overall spinal alignment, predisposing individuals to chronic pain and functional limitations.

Osteopathic Approach to Treatment:

Osteopathic care offers a holistic approach to managing cervical kyphosis, focusing on restoring musculoskeletal balance, improving spinal mobility, and relieving pain. If your kyphosis is mild, especially if the cause is postural, osteopathic treatment alone may be enough to relieve pain, restore mobility and ensure balance and nervous function are not impeded. However, if disease or traumatic injury has occurred, or if the kyphosis is severe, a multi-disciplinary team of healthcare providers might be needed. Whatever the case, we’re looking forward to being on your team. We’ll employ a variety of manual techniques, including spinal manipulation, soft tissue mobilisation, and therapeutic exercises, to address underlying biomechanical dysfunctions and alleviate symptoms. By restoring proper spinal alignment and promoting optimal musculoskeletal function, osteopathic treatment aims to enhance overall well-being and quality of life for individuals with cervical kyphosis.

Invitation to Tim Wood Healthcare:

Here at our clinic, our team of experienced osteopaths provides compassionate, personalised care for individuals affected by cervical kyphosis. If you’re experiencing neck pain, stiffness, or discomfort associated with cervical curvature abnormalities, or if you’ve experienced whiplash or other neck trauma and just want to get it checked out – we’re here to help. Give us a call on 01634 420046 / 01622 260101 to schedule an appointment and take the first step towards relief and recovery.

Information provided in this email (including text, graphics, images, outbound links, and other material) is for informational purposes only. It is general in nature and is not to be used or considered as a substitute for personalised professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your qualified allied health provider regarding any symptoms, medical conditions, or treatments and before undertaking any new health care regimen.

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