Ever wonder how to prevent a person from contracting kyphosis? Well, that activity is called stretch exercises. Performing stretch exercises will help to increase muscle strength and improve posture which, in turn, aids in improving posture. If one doesn’t perform the stretch exercises, the person could develop various types of disorders including osteoarthritis, degenerative disk disorders, and osteoporosis. Curved backs are usually a result of these conditions.
This means that non-exercising, office, hunchback, co-workers will all be able to pick up trash more easily because their backs will be closer to the floor. In fact, many office co-workers with kyphosis already probably volunteer to pick up trash while wearing the orange office vests and carrying the garbage picker-uppers. Those previous statements were jokes; no one really wants be a ‘Hunchback of Notre Dame: trash picker-upper,’ so they need to do some stretch exercises!
Kyphosis affects the vertebrae by lengthening the ligaments that secure the spine in tact resulting in a rounded or curved shape. Other spine disorders cause the vertebrae to turn extremely fragile causing the spine to bend over or to become a different shape which results in the humped back. Having too much weight also results in weaker and less flexible back muscles. These weaker muscles are more susceptible to kyphosis because any small activity bends or curves them.
Another main effect of the body carrying too much weight is poor posture. The cause of this is because the person’s body finds it difficult to withstand certain postures. Many of these people tire easily from walking or sitting for prolonged periods of time. “If these people continue bending over while walking or slouching on their seats when doing anything, they will develop a rounded back after a while” (http://www.hunchback.org). Leading a healthy lifestyle, is the main way that a person will be able to avoid some of these habits.
Researchers have discovered that strong back muscles are better suited to resist the forward pull on the spine. In turn, strengthening the back muscles may decrease the angle of kyphosis. As a person spends time in flexed neck position, their head begins to maintain a forward position. The person will begin to resemble a giraffe eating leaves and unless the person loves eating from tall trees, they will not enjoy their new giraffe body. “The flexed neck position causes increased stress and weight on your spine and neck. The head should be directly over the body, creating a straight line from your shoulders to your ears”
Dr. Nick Araza, a chiropractic wellness practitioner at Santa Barbara Family Chiropractic, recommends three exercises to help prevent or ameliorate a rounded upper back: The exercises should be practiced a minimum of three to four times per week. Araza also recommends asking advice from a doctor before beginning any exercise routine. That being said here are Dr. Araza’s exercise routines:
1. Mirror Image:
a) Stand erect against a wall. Looking at an image, while standing, of an erector penguin may help maintain this position. Just don’t go online shopping to purchase an emperor penguin because then one would have to purchase a giant cooler to put it in. And, gargantuan restaurant coolers cost a lot of money.
b) “Tuck your chin slightly and bring your head back directly over your shoulders” (https://www.healthline.com/health/exercise-fitness/kyphosis-exercises#causes-and-treatment).
c) Bring the shoulder blades back and down. Stay in this position for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Stop if pain begins to occur.
2. Head Retraction:
a) Perform this exercise while laying supine on the floor. It is beneficial for the neck muscles that have already been stretched out.
b) Retract one’s chin back towards the floor in an attempt to make a double chin. Please
don’t attempt to take a selfie in this position though as one’s social media friends may
start to disappear.
c) “Hold this position for 10-15 seconds. Repeat 5-10 times” (https://www.healthline.com/health/exercise-fitness/kyphosis-exercises#exercises-to-try).
a) Lie on one’s stomach and extend the arms in front of the head.
b) “While keeping your head in a neutral position, looking toward the floor, lift your arms, and legs up toward the ceiling” (https://www.healthline.com/health/exercise-fitness/kyphosis-exercises#exercises-to-try). Please beware though: If the recipient chooses to wear a cape while performing this position in public, a director may cast the person in his next Superman movie.
c) Reach far away from the body with hands and feet. Stay in this position for 3 seconds and repeat 10 times.