Kyphosis of the spine
Kyphosis an excessive outward curvature in the upper part of the spine. Everyone has a curve at the neck, but a curve greater than 45* is considered excessive (www.NHS.uk/conditions/kyphosis/)
Causes of kyphosis can be working over a desk for long periods of time. Carrying heavy bags, or the ageing process causing other health conditions such as osteoporosis.
Kyphosis of the spine may cause discomfort or stiffness in the rest of the spine as the body compensates for the forward position of the upper spine and head.
Kyphosis changes the whole spine
As the head comes forward, it can cause the ribcage to lower, towards the hips. The ribs become less mobile, especially when breathing, giving less room for the lungs to expand on inhalation.
It may be simple to say, lift the head, bring the spine to a more upright position. Or to look straight ahead when walking, rather than looking for uneven paving. Allow the shoulders to relax into a better position. All these are challenging positions for people with kyphosis.
The ability to do this becomes increasingly difficult, the longer this position is maintained. Therapy exercises for loosening the muscles at the front of the body must happen before we can lift the head and spine into a more upright position, and eliminate the stiffness and discomfort that goes with it.
Once there is more room in the soft tissue to move the spine, and the head can lift, then we can add the strengthening exercise for the back of the neck and upper back to keep the head and spine in a good position.
This then eliminates stiffness and discomfort at the neck. Improving breathing capacity at then ribcage. The core muscles are strengthened to support the spine in maintaining the upright posture.
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