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.
Now let’s discuss lengthening, dynamic mobility and strengthening exercises that can help improve faulty posture related to excessive thoracic kyphosis
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.
Read More… http://www.dynamicchiropractic.com/mpacms/dc/article.php?id=55374
Thoracic spine article I wrote in Dynamic Chiropractic magazine
www.dynamicchiropractic.com/mpacms/dc/article.php?id=54530 (Posture Evaluations, Part 1)
www.dynamicchiropractic.com/mpacms/dc/article.php?id=54719 (Forward Head & Forward Shoulder)
www.dynamicchiropractic.com/mpacms/dc/article.php?id=54845 (Shoulder & Scapula)
www.dynamicchiropractic.com/mpacms/dc/article.php?id=54964 (Winged Scapula)
www.dynamicchiropractic.com/mpacms/dc/article.php?id=55231 (Thoracic Spine)
www.dynamicchiropractic.com/mpacms/dc/article.php?id=55067 (A Corrective Exercise Strategy for Scapular Winging)
www.dynamicchiropractic.com/mpacms/dc/article.php?id=55184 (Blending Static Posture and Functional Movement Analysis)
www.dynamicchiropractic.com/mpacms/dc/article.php?id=55231 (Thoracic Spine Analysis)
www.dynamicchiropractic.com/mpacms/dc/article.php?id=55374 (Corrective Exercises for Excessive Thoracic Kyphosis)
Spinal extension exercises prevent natural progression of kyphosis.
Ball et al.
Department of Physical Therapy Education, School of Allied Health, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas, KS, USA.
The angle of kyphosis increases with age with the most rapid increase occurring between 50 and 60 years. The progression of kyphosis was prevented in women ages 50-59 years who performed extension exercises three times a week for one year. INTRODUCTION: The purpose of this study was to (1) measure the progression of the angle of kyphosis with age and (2) determine whether spinal extension exercises prevent progression of hyperkyphosis in women 50-59 years of age. METHOD: Part 1: Cross-sectional study of changes in posture with age, determined by measuring spinal curves in 250 women 30-79 years of age. Part 2: One-year prospective, descriptive analysis of the effect of extension exercises on posture in women 50-59 years of age. Depth of the cervical curve (CD), area under the thoracic curve (TA), and height were measured using a device developed at Kansas University Medical Center. Changes in CD and TA in women compliant with extension exercises were compared to those in non-compliant women. RESULTS: Kyphosis increases with age in healthy women, with the greatest difference observed between women 50 and 59 years of age. The progression of kyphosis was greater in women who did not perform extension exercises compared to those who performed extension exercises three times per week for 1 year. The difference in change in CD and TA between the two groups was highly significant (CD p = .0001, TA p = .0001). CONCLUSIONS: Kyphosis increases with age in healthy women. In this study the greatest difference in the angle of kyphosis was observed between the fifth and sixth decade. Exercises which strengthen the extensor muscles of the spine can delay the progression of hyperkyphosis in the group included in this study, i.e., women 50-59 years of age.