A Kyphotic posture is an exaggerated curve in the upper region of the spine. It can give the appearance of a hunched back and rounded shoulder.
Kyphosis occurs when the muscles that draw the shoulder girdle forward and the chest muscles (pectorals) become short, and a lengthening of the muscles that draw the shoulders backwards (Trapezius and Rhomboids). The shoulders will therefore round forward and pull away from the spine into a flexed (bent) position.
Working for long period of time at a computer, driving and low self esteem are a few factors that can contribute to this posture type.
If you have Kyphosis you may find that your head and chin poke forward, your neck (Cervical Spine) is hyperextended and your upper back (thoracic) is in hyperflexion, this will limit the mobility in the upper back.
In order to manage and improve this posture we need to realign the neck. increase mobility of the upper back and ribcage, strengthen the upper back muscles (lower and middle trapezius. rhomboids and posterior deltoid ) strengthen core stabilisers of shoulder and pelvic girdle and promote neutral alignment
Fig of Eight Articulation
Place your hands behind your neck, and bring your elbows together. Now “draw” a figure of eight with your elbows (which will also move your back). This excellent mobility exercise will improve the mobility in your spine, act as a useful warm up before sport, and get you more flexible. Do not be alarmed if you hear a few pops and clicks coming from the spine.
Repeat 5 times each side
Lying flat, tuck your chin down to your chest reducing the gap between your neck and the floor. You will feel a gentle stretch at the top back of your neck. Hold this position, and then relax. Repeat as required.
Repeat 5 times hold for count of 10
Lie face down, with your hands placed on the back of your head. Slowly extend your upper back. This exercise provides a good stretch to the back, and is especially useful for those with poor posture or rounded shoulders. It is also a strengthening exercise for the back. You can repeat the exercise a number of times, or hold the same position for a prolonged period of time.
Repeat 5 - 10 times
3 Point Kneeling
Adopt a 4 point position on your hands and knees. Maintain good posture, and gently contract the deep abdominal muscles by drawing your belly button in (towards your spine). Gently lift one hand 2-3cm off the floor. Use your other shoulder to stabilise you. This exercise strengthens the deep core muscles.
Repeat 5 - 10 times each side