Kyphosis: Self Care and a New Medical Miracle Treatment

Slouching Contributes to Kyphosis

When you were growing up, did your mother remind you to stand up straight and stop slouching? If so, she was implanting several messages in your memory:

  1. Slouching is bad for you.
  2. Slouching  looks bad.
  3. Slouching can contribute to problems if you don’t stand up straight.

Your mother was right. Slouching can contribute to bad posture, which looks bad and can cause further problems with your back and spine. Slouching can contribute to the formation of kyphosis.

What is Kyphosis?

The more you slouch at your desk, the more the muscles have a distorted memory of what they’re supposed to be doing. As you slouch, you end up forming a hump on your back that looks like a camel’s hump. If you ask, “What is kyphosis?”, the answer is that camel’s hump in your back.

The answer also to, “What is kyphosis?” is this: a deviation of the spine in the lateral plane. When someone looks at you from the side, they don’t see an imaginary line that connects the middle of your ear with the middle of your shoulders with the middle of your torso and the middle of your knee and ankle. Instead, that line juts backward in between your neck and your sacrum.

You start looking like a hunchback. Even though people can accept you, no matter what you look like, improving your posture is an important first step in the self-correcting process, especially if it’s in the beginning stages of kyphosis developed from slouching.

Kyphosis Treatment

The longer you slouch, the more difficult it is to return to that straight vertical line that is associated with good posture. If you’ve been slouching for one year, you’ll need to give yourself a good two months of posture exercises.  This will start changing the muscles back to how they should be and slowly your kyphosis will go away.

Here are a few posture exercises to practice for kyphosis treatment:

  1. Inversion Therapy

The effect of gravity is to pull us down. In some ways, you can say that gravity contributes to slouching. But if gravity is inverted and you are upside down, you can benefit from it and regain the perfect lineup of your spine.

Inversion therapy in the 21st century is different from the 1970s when gravity boots were strapped on your ankles and then you latched the boots onto a chin up bar in your doorway. Now, you can lie down on an inversion bed, then flip a switch and the bed inverts you to an upside down position. By staying in that new position for 30 seconds, then a minute or two, you can give the overworked muscles of your back a rest. You will instantly see a difference in posture and kyphosis.

There is a warning: Inversion therapy is not for those who have high blood pressure or vertigo. But countless people with back pain have benefited from inversion therapy, and you can, too.

  1. Balance a Book on Top of Your Head

The old posture training exercise of putting a book on top of your head and then walking around the room without it falling off is a good way to retrain your head to stay in alignment with your body – and that imaginary vertical line talked about before. This exercise can eliminate your slouching, which is contributing to the kyphosis.

  1. Imaginary Line Pulls You Straight Up To Heaven

Not only can there be an imaginary vertical line to help you determine your posture but there can also be another imaginary line that connects the middle of your head, middle of your ear, middle of your neck and torso to the heavens in the universe. Let angels tug on this line in your imagination to get you to stand up straight and eliminate your slouching kyphosis.

  1. Lean into the Wall

In this exercise, you place your palms on the wall higher than your head with your feet about 12 inches away from the wall. Look straight ahead and make sure you are standing with equal weight on each foot.

With your knees and elbows straight, pull your hips backward while bringing your armpits close to the wall. You’ll be arching your upper back and bringing your sternum toward the wall. Don’t touch your forehead to the wall.  (This exercise is also good for those with a herniated disc, SI joint derangement, and piriformis syndrome. It is not good for those with spondylolisthesis.

Other Causes of Kyphosis

Kyphosis could be something you were born with and developed when you were a child. This could have happened even if you never slouched.

Sometimes the cause of kyphosis is a fracture of the vertebrae. When a vertebrae fractures, it doesn’t just collapse. It may form a wedge by collapsing only on one side. This becomes a structural form of kyphosis that causes back pain and one that needs medical intervention.

Medical doctors have a new treatment for kyphosis that occurs because of fractures. They insert a fake wedge back under the vertebrae to pump it up to normal size. It requires surgery but the results have been great. The stress is taken off the spine immediately and the kyphosis is eliminated.

This wedge insertion type of surgery is great for those who have developed osteoporosis, which results in fractures of the spine. It’s truly a medical miracle.