What is Kyphosis?
The spine normally has a natural slight curvature in the neck, upper back and lower back. This helps for shock absorption and to support the weight of the head. Kyphosis is excessive curvature of the upper spine also known as ‘round back’ or ‘hunchbank.’
Kyphosis occurs when the curvature in the upper thoracic region is exaggerated and a subsequent postural distortion develops, leading to a hump in the upper back region. This kyphotic curvature can cause the chin to protrude forward instead of being tucked neatly under the chin. This can cause the neck muscles to become incredibly tight and uncomfortable which can lead to headaches.
From a side view, the upper back will be noticeably rounded or protruding. This usually leads to the scapula (shoulder blades) becoming winged (sitting further away from the spine), triggering the upper back muscles to become lengthened and weak, furthermore also activating the shoulders to roll inward, tightening around the pectoralis (chest) muscles, leading to excess pressure of the spine, which can cause pain and breathing difficulties due to pressure on the lungs and tightness through the chest wall.
Main causes of kyphosis include:
- Poor posture, sitting at computers, etc.
- Muscle weakness in the upper back
- Tightness through chest muscles
- Aging especially with poor posture
- Osteoporosis (loss of bone strength due to age)
- Slipped Disc
How can Remedial Massage help with kyphosis?
There are several treatments with kyphosis but it depends on the severity of the diagnosis. If the spine is in the early stages of curvature then massage and stretches can be extremely beneficial.
Massage can help relaxing the tight muscles and help release them from the fascia, which is turn will help the tight muscles pulling on the spine and other bones. Deep tissue massage or myofascial release will be given to the tight muscles (pecs, shoulder rotators, scalenes, Sternocleidomastoid, rhomboids, trapezius, and upper thoracic erectae spinae muscles.
It is also important to strengthen the weakened and lengthened muscles of the mid back. This will strengthen these muscles and take the load of the short and tight muscles of the chest and neck. Once the muscles are loosened it’s important to visit the chiropractor to help realign the spine.
Book in today with our professional therapist team for a FREE postural assessment and some great stretch and strengthening exercises, please call our clinic on 08 8941 0810 for an appointment.