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Back to Health: Thoracic Kyphosis

Back to Health: Thoracic Kyphosis

What is it?

Kyphosis is the normal curvature of the thoracic spine.  However, if it becomes exaggerated (hunchback-like), it is not only a visible distraction, but it can be a sign of an underlying condition such as scoliosis.  Excessive kyphosis is usually attributed to poor posture but can also be related to an autoimmune condition or even a sign of a compression fracture.  The curves of the spine are vital to our spine health because they give the muscles a mechanical advantage to absorb the forces to the spine.  Too much curve in the spine, however, can overload the muscles and predispose a person to a muscular strain/spasm.

How can chiropractic treatment help?

Chiropractic manipulation will improve joint motion, reduce deep muscle tension and overall pain due to kyphosis.  Adjusting alone will only reduce the symptoms for rapid improvement of the condition; you must combine the manipulation with proper stretching and strengthening to reduce symptoms associated to the excessive kyphosis.

How can you improve excessive kyphosis?

To compensate for our everyday bias toward slumping in a chair, frequent stretching of the chest and shoulders with the Doorway Stretch and lying on a ½ foam roll are two of the best stretches to gain postural correction.  Strengthening of the back extensors can be achieved with a Birddog exercise or back extension exercises.  Through awareness of using proper posture, stretching and strengthening, long-term improvement of the kyphosis can be achieved.

Dr. Custer is the owner/operator of Better Care Chiropractic& Physical Therapy with locations in Willis and Montgomery.   Dr. Custer graduated from Texas Chiropractic College in 2005 with highest honors, Summa Cum Laude.  He combines his 15 plus years of experience in injury rehabilitation (as an athletic trainer) with his chiropractic education to promote a fast and efficient recovery process.  If you have questions or would like to request an article topic please send correspondence to:  [email protected].

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