Your teacher and your mother were right when they told you to sit up straight and stand up tall. Poor posture does catch up with you. And the more you sit the more likely you are to have poor posture.
Add poor posture to the changes that take place in your bone structure, in your body, as you age, and you probably have problems. This is especially true considering the changes in your vertebrae that result from your bones thinning or osteoporosis. All of this may result in the forward rounding of the back known as kyphosis – ki-FO-sis.
Granted, some rounding is normal but the term kyphosis usually refers to an exaggerated rounding, more than 50 degrees. It actually is a deformity often called hunchback or round back.
Kyphosis can affect all ages. It can occur from developmental problems, degenerative diseases such as arthritis, osteoporosis which may cause fractures of the vertebrae, or a trauma to the spine. I'm writing about postural kyphosis in adults.
If left along that rounded back can become more rounded and cause problems. A small hump on the back may start showing. If the hump becomes more prominent over time, the misalignment of the spine causes pain which can become severe and disabling. In severe cases, the curve may cause the rib cage to press against your lungs and there is trouble breathing.
Your doctor may ask you to do the Forward Bend Test. You bend from the waist while she views the spine from the side. With kyphosis, the rounding of the upper back becomes more obvious in this position. In postural kyphosis, the deformity corrects itself when you lie on your back.
If you are among the many who have less serious cases of postural kyphosis you can prevent it from getting worse with exercises to strengthen back muscles and training in using correct posture as well as sleeping on a firm bed.
More about the exercises in my next post.
I'd love to hear from some of you who are working on their posture. What are some of the actions you're taking to improve? Type them in the comment box so we can all benefit. Thanks!
To your success at healthy aging,