Improving Your Posture

3 Effective Treatments For Excessive Kyphosis

Kyphosis is a term used to describe an excessive outward curvature of the spine and is more commonly referred to as the "hunchback" condition. In many cases, kyphosis is caused by poor posture and can be treated in the following ways:

Myofascial Release

Myofascial release is a highly specialised form of manual therapy that targets tight bands of muscle – also known as fascia -- within your body. Fascia is actually a form of connective tissue that is made of elastin and collagen fibres that give support to the surrounding muscle. Due to the role fascia plays in supporting your muscles, it is extremely strong and, in a healthy body, has a high degree of flexibility that allows you to move safely without pain. In an unhealthy or damaged system, however, fascia can become extremely tight, which causes it to pull on the surrounding muscles and tendons, impacting your posture.

If you have fascial restrictions in your back, your posture will be sub-optimal and the tight bands of fascia can force your spine into an unnatural kyphosis. To restore your posture to its natural S-configuration, these tight bands have to be released through manual therapy. These fascial restrictions don't show up on any form of scan, however, so you will need to visit an experienced massage therapist who will be able to feel the tight bands of fascia and apply the necessary pressure to release them.

Massage therapists who special in myofascial release are taught to stretch slowly into the damaged fascia. When looking for a massage therapist, it is important to choose one that has experience in myofascial release techniques. Fascia does not respond the same way muscle does; it meets force with force, and so any excessive pressure will only cause the fascial bands to become tighter. Therefore, you need to ensure you find a massage therapist who is well-versed in the gentle techniques that are necessary to truly release a fascial restriction.

Inversion Therapy

Your spine is designed to absorb impact and remain strong against the constant pull of gravity. However, if your posture is sub-optimal, the exaggerated S-shape of your spine means that gravity can have a big effect on your posture, pulling your spine out of position and placing unnecessary stress on your vertebrae. The additional stress caused by poor posture can damage the discs between your vertebrae, causing them to lose fluid and become thinner.

To help reverse the damaging effects of poor posture and gravity, it is important to place your spine into traction. This will help to increase the space between the vertebrae, removing pressure from the discs and allowing fluid to flow back into the area. One of the most effective ways to put your whole spinal column into traction is to use inversion therapy. This form of therapy essentially involves using an inversion table or special boots (known as 'gravity boots') to invert 180 degrees and allow gravity to pull your spine into tension.

Inversion therapy is also a great way to improve your posture, as placing your spine in traction forces it to pull back into alignment. If you have an excessive kyphotic curve, inversion can help to lengthen out the spine and restore the gentle S-configuration that your spine should naturally hold.

Chiropractic Treatment

Chiropractors are experts in dealing with the musculoskeletal system and so they are able to treat kyphosis quickly and effectively. The aim of chiropractic treatment is to target any misalignments (or 'subluxations') in the spine and, using manual therapy, restore the spine to its proper alignment.

Chiropractors treat subluxations by applying force to the vertebrae, forcing it back into its natural position. There is a common misconception that this force is painful; however, this simply isn't true. Chiropractors only use quick application of force in order to release any build-up of pressure within a joint, which is why many spinal adjustments cause a cracking or popping sound. However, chiropractic adjustments are pain-free and will actually cause your spine to feel much better following a treatment session.

By effectively treating the presence of misalignments in your spine, chiropractic services will be able to remove your kyphotic curve and improve your posture. This form of therapy will also remove any pain you may be experiencing due to your poor posture, making chiropractic treatment one of the best forms of therapy for excessive kyphosis.