Aging Into Disability

Exercises that Can Prevent Worsening of Kyphosis

There are a number of different symptoms that a person with kyphosis may experience. A majority of them are the direct result of the extreme curvature of the spine that this condition is so well known for causing.

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Symptoms of Kyphosis

One very serious symptom occurs when the curvature of the spine becomes so extreme that it causes the person’s ribs to actually press into the lungs. When this happens the patient will often have problems breathing adequately.


In severe cases of kyphosis, it is not uncommon for the patient’s level of pain to become severe or even disabling and is caused by the spine’s misalignment. When a variety of factors are combined, it is a situation that can result in kyphosis. These factors include the following:

  • The thinning of bones that is due to osteoporosis, which causes vertebrae changes to occur.
  • Bone structure changes that start to occur as a person begins going through the natural process of aging.
  • Slumped or poor posture.

There are also several other reasons that can cause this type of condition to occur as well. Some of these include the following:

  • Fractures of the vertebrae that have been caused by osteoporosis
  • Some type of trauma or serious injury that affects the spine
  • Arthritis or some other type of degenerative disease
  • Developmental problems

One of the best things that a person with this condition can do is engage in specific exercises that are designed to help strengthen the back muscles. There are also a few other things that can be done to ensure the curvature of this condition does not get any worse. It can be very helpful to sleep on a mattress that is extra firm and to begin corrective posture training. This type of training can actually help to change the bad habit of holding the back in a poor position.


Kyphosis Exercises

Committing to regular exercises can help tremendously as they can actually prevent the curve of the spine from getting any worse. The exercises listed below help to minimize the stress that is placed on the bones. As the muscles in the back begin to strengthen, the back and the trunk are gently straightened. Some cases of minor kyphosis have even been corrected through the determination to stay committed and the dedication to exercise regularly.


Knee lifts

While on the floor on your hands and knees, raise one of your legs from the hip. Make sure the trunk’s position does not change from a level parallel position and be sure to keep your knee bent as you raise your leg. Hold this position for about 30 seconds, and then repeat the exercise using the other leg.

Dumbbell shrugs

This exercise can be done with soup cans or dumbbells that are lightweight. Stand in a position where the feet are positioned the same width apart as the shoulders and holding the soup cans or dumbbells down at your sides. Slowly begin lifting the shoulders up towards the ears, going as high as you can. Hold this position for about 5 seconds.

Shoulder-blade squeeze

While sitting on a chair, tuck your chin down towards your chest, making sure the arms are drawn back and the elbows remain bent. While straightening the upper portion of the back, begin pulling the shoulder-blades together. Take a deep breath in while slowly pulling the arms back (hold this position for about 5 seconds), and exhale as you go back to the beginning position.

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