Kyphosis of the Spine is a forward bend in the spine. Everyone should have a spine which has a slight thoracic kyphosis. It is completely normal for the upper part of the spine to bend forwards. However, problems occur if the spine bends forwards too much. Over the course of time, it can become quite stiff, and it’s not uncommon to see it in the elderly or even young children nowadays.
There Are a Number of Reasons Why It Happens:
1. Scheuermann’s Disease Although called a disease, it is actually a spinal deformity/dysfunction that causes a forward bending in the upper back. It usually occurs during childhood, especially in early-teenage years.
2. Hereditary Sometimes an increased kyphosis occurs in families with children sometimes developing the “same spine as their parents”.
3. Poor Posture: Years of forward bending can contribute to poor posture which can increase the kyphosis.
4. Lack of Exercise Sitting all day can contribute to an increased kyphosis. This is especially common in people who bend their necks forwards too much, seen in cases where people use laptops a lot.
5. Degenerative Disc Disease Wear and tear to the discs between the vertebrae can cause thinning of the discs due to dehydration.
6. Osteoporosis Although less common, an osteoporotic spine can lead to fractures of the vertebrae resulting from the bones being thin.
What can you do to help?
Osteopath, Chiropractors, Physiotherapists, Sport massage therapist or Acupuncture will help rehabilitate all of the postural changes and limitations that are associated with the condition.
Pilates/Yoga can be useful for preventing poor posture associated with an increased kyphosis. Both therapies help with flexibility and muscle strength.
Avoid repetitive forward bending if you do it a lot during the day.
Keep your posture in an upright position when sneezing or coughing.
Change the manner in which you get into and out of bed. Rolling onto your side when getting up will help to lessen the progression of your kyphosis. Also avoid sitting up in bed at a 45 degree angle to watch TV or read a book.
Make any necessary changes in your environment to help support the posture, such as using a supportive chair or back cushion when sitting. Speak with your therapist about any specific recommendations for your condition.
Avoid exercises requiring a great deal of bending forward, such as crunches, sit-ups.
Discuss with your therapist about posture correction exercises, or extension exercises.