What Is Kyphosis?
The thoracic spine should have a normal forward curvature when viewed from the side, which is called a normal kyphosis. Hyperkyphosis is condition of excessive rounding of the middle or upper back. The common name used for this condition is called “hunchback”. It is often seen in conjunction with people who also have a forward head posture. This condition causes a collapse of the anterior chest wall along with a diminishment of overall height.
A forward head posture can also cause significant strain to the muscles in the upper and mid back that are under tension to try and counter balance the head by bowing backward. The weight of the head is about the weight of a bowling ball. Like a bowling ball, if that weight is held close to the center of the body, it’s not a big deal but the farther it is held away from the body, the greater the lever arm and the more muscular effort is needed to hold it up.
Hyperkyphosis can also accompany neuromuscular deformities where there is poor control of the head. Another more common cause of hyperkyphosis is Scheuermann’s Disease, which is caused by a structural collapse of the anterior portion of one or more vertebra in the thoracic spine.
Once the spinal curvature is present, gravity and poor posture provide the impetus for further postural collapse and the structures in the anterior chest wall and rib cage adaptively shorten worsening of the deformity.
Rigid bracing has traditionally been thought to be ineffective for the treatment of hyperkyphosis, yet recent advances in dynamic bracing and specific corrective postural exercise has been found to more effective.
Dynamic Bracing For Hyperkyphosis
The SpineCor corrective orthosis has been shown to be quite helpful in reducing the symptoms associated with hyperkyphosis and in many cases can also help reduced the degree of the deformity. While SpineCor is most often associated with the use for scoliosis it also has specific kyphosis set-ups that work to reduce the postural collapse gently encouraging movement of the body and head towards a more upright position.
SpineCor is a flexible orthosis that is composed of elastic bands that fasten to a pelvic base that looks like bike shorts. The bands allow freedom of movement but give a gentle reminder to the body to move into the direction of correction.
Kyphotic Specific Exercise
Exercise for hyperkyphosis are aimed at opening up the specific muscles of the anterior chest wall, shoulder girdle and rib cage that have adaptively shortened. Additionally, muscles in the anterior portion of the cervical spine are also targeted to help reduce the forward head posture.
Since hyperkyphosis is a condition of excessive forward posture of the thoracic spine these exercises are designed to restore a more neutral posture that is quite effective at relieving pain and reducing the postural collapse caused by the abnormal curvature of the spine.
Find Out If Our Hyperkyphosis Therapy Programs Are Right For You
Give us a call at (800) 943-1254 for a Free Phone Consultation and we will discuss your case of hyperkyphosis to find out if our treatment programs are right for you.