In previous articles, I have written about normal postural alignment versus abnormal postural alignment, and how abnormal postural alignment can be detrimental to muscle function, is aesthetically unpleasing and might contribute to joint pain.
Since kyphosis is natural in the thoracic spine, we have to identify what excessive kyphosis is, which is typically the problem. Generally speaking, normal for a thoracic kyphotic curve measures 30-35.* Excessive kyphosis is greater than 35.* As doctors, we are used to looking at the static spine from the side to determine kyphosis. Using the Functional Movement Screen (FMS) or other movement analysis, we begin to see the interrelationships of muscle and fascial tissue attachments that may contribute to hyperkyphosis.
For treatment of hyperkyphosis, I often take the “bottom up” approach and teach patients how to lengthen the lateral column of the body, the peroneal group, iliotibial band, tensor fascia lata, lateral gluteal complex, quadratus lumborum, oblique complex, latissimus dorsi, and shoulder musculature to influence the kyphosis. When treating hyperkyphosis, always check the flexibility of the ankles, hips, adductors and anterior shoulder complex. The hip flexor tissue is fascially attached to the abdominal fascia, which connects to the external obliques, connecting to the pectorals, joining to the deltoids. As these structures become tight, they can influence thoracic kyphosis.