Improving Your Posture: Dealing With Kyphosis

Improving Your Posture: Dealing With Kyphosis

Not All Bumps Are Dowager’s Humps

The presence of a significant “bump” at the base of your neck may indicate a Dowager’s hump. However it is normal that the bones (spinous processes) of the vertebrae my seem to protrude somewhat at the base of your neck, this does not necessarily mean you have a dowager’s hump or a kyphosis. An X-ray referred by your physiotherapist can help indicate or refute the presence of a dowager’s hump.

How To Fix A Kyphosis

If you are diagnosed with a dowager’s hump then there are frequently a number of factors in play that may work to correct the kyphosis causing your dowager’s hump. From releasing tight structures such as the cervical and thoracic joints and their associated soft tissues, to strengthening weak muscles that are charged with supporting the spine and shoulders. Your physiotherapist will be able to guide you on which tissues to release and stretch, as well as which muscles need strengthening and help you put in place self management strategies to address these issues.

Strengthening To Fix A Dowager’s Hump

If you have a kyphosis then more than likely there will be weakness of the deep neck flexors (also known as the neck retractors). If these neck retractor muscles are weak it will be very hard to correct your posture and fix any neck hump. However addressing something in isolation is not the solution to correcting the kyphosis. Your posture as a whole is the issue, the main postural problems when someone has a neck hump are the presence of:

  • A hunched upper back (thoracic spine).
  • Rounded shoulders.
  • Forward head posture (chin poking).

These few things together will place excessive strain on the base of your neck causing a neck hump. The correction of each problem listed above and your posture as a whole is multifactorial. Your physiotherapist can help address these issues in the practice using some manual treatment techniques and with some easy home exercises to be carried out independently. The sooner the issues are addressed the easier it is to exact change, the longer a kyphosis and neck hump has been in place the more difficult obtaining a positive change can be.   So if you feel you may have a Dowager’s hump then don’t delay get your self assessed sooner rather than later and get started on your posture correction pathway.

Disclaimer: Sydney Physio Clinic provides this information as an educational service and is not intended to serve as medical advice. Anyone seeking specific advice or assistance on Improving Your Posture: Dealing With Kyphosis should consult his or her physiotherapist, general practitioner or otherwise appropriately skilled practitioner.