Best Exercises for Kyphosis
Poor posture is common. We slouch at our desks or on the couch and aren’t necessarily aware of the damage we could be doing. Kyphosis, also known as “roundback” or — in severe cases — “hunchback,” is a common spinal disorder in which an excessive outward curvature of the spine causes an abnormal rounding in the upper back.
Kyphosis can affect anyone, regardless of age, but usually manifests during adolescence. Postural kyphosis, the most common type of the disorder, occurs when bones and muscles develop do not develop properly. Slouching or poor posture may exacerbate the condition.
In most cases, kyphosis does not require treatment, but, in some instances, a back brace may be needed to help improve posture. Kyphosis exercises can also help strengthen the spine, reducing the abnormal curve in the back. In severe cases, kyphosis can be painful. It can also result in significant deformity and may even make breathing difficult. In these rare but serious cases, the patient might require kyphosis treatment in Houston, such as surgery to reduce the curvature of the spine.
If you or your child has been diagnosed with kyphosis, there are exercises you can do to help improve posture and prevent permanent damage to the spine. Try these five kyphosis exercises to fix a hunchback.
- Chest stretch: Release the tightness in the chest and shoulders. Facing the wall, extend your right arm and place your hand against the wall. Keep your arm in line with your shoulder. Turn your body left and tilt forward until you feel the stretch in your chest and shoulder. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat with your left arm, this time turning your body to the right. Complete three sets on each side.
- Upper back foam rolling: Use this exercise to improve spine mobility and correct rounding in the shoulders. Lay on the floor with the foam roller across your spine, just below your shoulder blades. With your knees bent, feet firmly planted on the ground and hands placed behind your head, lift your hips off the ground, rolling forward (towards your feet) so that the roller travels slowly toward your neck. Then slowly roll back the other direction. If you feel areas of stiffness, stop and roll back and forth over the area for 10 to 15 seconds. Complete three sets. Some discomfort is normal at first, but over time you will notice your upper back mobility improving.
- Mirror image: Stand tall against a wall and tuck your chin in slightly, bringing your head directly in line with your shoulders. Focus on dropping your shoulder blades back and down. Hold this position for 30 seconds to one minute.
- Superman: This exercise will stretch and strengthen your core muscles and help you correct your posture. Lie on your stomach and extend your hands in front of your head. Maintain a neutral position with your head by looking toward the floor. Then gently lift your arms and legs toward the ceiling. You should feel as if your hands and feet are reaching away from your body. Hold for three seconds. Repeat 10 times.
- Close grip row: Strengthen your upper torso and shoulders with this exercise using a resistance band. Wrap the band around a stable object at chest level. Walk backward until you feel moderate tension in the band. Stand with your feet spread at shoulder width and extend your arms with a slight bend in your knees. Hold your head up, keep your shoulders back, your chest out, your abs tight and your back straight. Slowly pull the bands toward your sides while squeezing your shoulder blades together. Exercise resistance against the band until your arms are fully extended. Complete three sets of 15 repetitions.
In addition to incorporating these exercises into your daily routine, always be conscious of your posture — especially while sitting — and practice proper ergonomics when working at a computer.