How to Treat Your Kyphosis: Exercises and Supports
All spines have a normal curve when viewed from the side. The thoracic spine has a normal kyphotic curve outward. But kyphosis is a term used by doctors to describe an exaggerated rounding of this curve. This can give the person a hump in their back, historically referred to as a “hunchback”.
3 Common Types of Kyphosis
Postural kyphosis is caused by poor posture and weak back muscles.
Scheuermann's kyphosis is the result of a structural deformity, causing the vertebrae to become wedge shaped.
Congenital kyphosis is the least common type of kyphosis. It’s caused by an abnormal formation of the vertebrae before birth.
Both postural and Scheurmann’s kyphosis can be improved by doing physical therapy exercises and maintaining better posture.
Exercises for Treating Kyphosis
Remember to always speak to a clinician or other health care professional before beginning a fitness program to determine if it’s right for you.
Foam rolling can increase spine flexibility and relieve tension in the muscles.
This roller is made out of closed cell foam. It’s highly durable and keeps its shape after multiple uses.
Place the foam roller under your hips, across your lower back
Lay on the floor with your feet planted on the ground and your knees bent
Make sure your hands are comfortably behind your head
Gently roll until the foam roller is just below your shoulder blades then roll back down to your lower back
Repeat this exercise three times
If you still feel any stiffness, roll back and forth on the area for 20 seconds
Research has proven that an exercise program involving TheraBand resistance bands can reduce kyphosis and improve spine strength. Another study found that elastic band exercises can prevent kyphosis from progressing further.
TheraBand resistance bands are great because they have a color coded resistance system. This lets you move up levels of difficulty as you progress and grow stronger. Non-latex bands are also available for people with latex sensitivities or allergies.
Lay down with your back on top of the foam roller so it is positioned vertically down your spine
Make sure your knees are bent and are your feet firmly on the floor
Hold one end of the TheraBand resistance band in each hand with your arms flat at your sides
Slowly raise one arm up and over your head as far as possible without pain
Hold this position for a few seconds before lowering your arm
Repeat five times
Return to the starting position and repeat this exercise using the opposite arm
Side-Lying Thoracic Rotation Exercise
TheraBand Resistance Bands or Theraband Resistance Tubing can also be used in this exercise to improve kyphosis. Side-lying thoracic rotation exercises increase your torso mobility while improving stability in your lumbar spine and the rotator cuffs in your shoulders.
Follow along with this video and add a resistance band to increase resistance.
Attach one end of the resistance band around a secure anchor
Lay down on your right side with right leg straight and left leg and hip at a 90° angle while adding the foam roller under your left leg for additional support
Grab the free end of resistance band with your left hand and raise your arm straight up towards the ceiling while placing your right hand on your left knee
With your left arm straight, pull your arm towards the floor driving the left shoulder blade into the floor before pausing and then rotating back to vertical
For an increase in range, remove the foam roller and drop your knee down to the floor while making sure your shoulder is able to reach the floor for proper form
Most types of kyphosis can be treated. These exercises and supports can help you feel better and improve the rounded appearance of your back.
References Ball, J. M., Cagle, P., Johnson, B. E., Lucasey, C., & Lukert, B. P. (2008, July 26). Spinal extension exercises prevent natural progression of kyphosis. Retrieved from https://bit.ly/2I27imh Katzman, W. B., DPTSc, Sellmeyer, D. E., MD, Stewart, A. L., PhD, Wanek, L., PhD, & Hamel, K. A., PhD. (2007, February). Changes in Flexed Posture, Musculoskeletal Impairments, and Physical Performance After Group Exercise in Community-Dwelling Older Women. Retrieved from https://bit.ly/2MZWUuc Types of Spine Curvature Disorders. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://wb.md/2Gc7dH8
Medical Disclaimer: The information provided on this site, including text, graphics, images and other material, are for informational purposes only and are not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other healthcare professional with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.
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