By Nicole Radziszewski |
A forward rounding of the back is technically known as kyphosis, and the first step to getting rid of it is understanding what type you have — structural or postural.
Both types can result in limited mobility (specifically with overhead movements and neck rotation), suboptimal breathing, and, in some cases, pain and other complications. Where they differ is in their causes and remedies.
Structural kyphosis results from changes to the vertebrae caused by osteoporosis, disc degeneration, genetics, or other disorders. Addressing structural kyphosis may require a consultation with a pro — and, in extreme cases, surgery.
Postural kyphosis is often the result of how you move and carry yourself in life, as well as your general emotional well-being, says Christopher Johnson, PT, a physical therapist in Seattle. Sitting or standing hunched over for long periods of time, overtraining the chest muscles and front of the body, and a sedentary lifestyle are all factors. Postural kyphosis can often be improved with awareness and exercises like those here.
- Repeat three to five times.
Attach a resistance band with handles to a secure surface at about seated chest height (or use a cable-pulley machine).
- Repeat 12 times.