Kyphosis exercise What to do for 'dowagers hump' or kyphosis. Which exercises you can and should do depends on the specific cause of the rounding of your back.
1. If your rounded back is a result of wedge or crush fractures to vertebrae of your spine because you have spinal Osteoporosis or Osteopenia, you need to be very careful of what exercises you do.
While both Pilates and yoga can be good exercises, there are exercises in both Pilates and yoga that you should NEVER do. They could cause more fractures. It is important to verify that any instructor knows this and knows what Kyphosis exercises can be done without danger and which should never be done. This is extreemly important.
With an exercise program such as Tai Ch, there is much less danger because you do not usually bend forward during this exercise. Click her to find out more about Tai Chi.
One of the best things that you can do is to ask your medical provider to write a prescription for some treatments with a professional physical therapist. When you make your appointment be sure to ask if the practice has a physical therapist with experience in Kyphosis exercise. Explain that you have Osteopenia or Osteoporosis and need someone with experience in working with these conditions. If the receptionist hesitates, you might want to try a different provider.
Also, at your first visit be sure to tell the physical therapist that you have Osteopenia or Osteoporosis of the spine and ask the physical therapists how much experience they have in working with persons with these conditions. This is important because the wrong Kyphosis exercise could cause additional fragility fractures. But the correct exercises will so strengthen your muscles as to reduce the likelihood of additional fractures. In addition the correct exercises often can reduce the amount of curvature of your spine and reduce the amount of fatigue you experience.
If you can not find any physical therapist with 'hands on experience' you might ask if they would study the Kyphosis exercise program developed by the Mayo Clinic a few years ago (It was published in their journal) and then use that program with you. this. To read more about Kyphosis exercise with Osteopenia or Osteoporosis
2. Some people experience a back hump because the muscles over their sternum in the front of their chest are contracted. This is usually the result of a habit of slumping eg. over your desk or computer. It can also come from a contracting of the muscles over the heart as a result of chronic fear and a need to protect oneself. No matter what the cause, the remedy lies in stretching those muscles out.
One way to do this is to lie face down on the floor with the palms of your hands flat on the floor. Now raise your head a chest a few inches from the floor. Do not tilt your head back to do this. Instead keep your head and neck aligned and use your back muscles to raise them. Once you can do this with some comfort, you can add a second step.
While your head and shoulders are raised, lift your hands from the floor. Keep them palms down. Then slowly rotate you hands, first inwards and then outwards. Return to your original position with hands and face flat on the floor.
You should feel a slight 'pull' over your chest muscles. Practicing this move a few times each day will slowly loosen your contracted chest muscles - especially if you remember to tuck your chin in and raise your head while you work at your computer or when reading a book or newspaper. It is all a matter of habit. Practice this Kyphosis exercise regularly to lessen the hump on your back.
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