"What is Hyperkyphosis?" Our RMT Anastasia Wilcox answers one of the questions submitted by our clients.
Anastasia: Hyperkyphosis is a postural dysfunction where the curve of the thoracic spine, your upper back, is exaggerated. This typically happens with desk jobs because so much of the time is spent hunched forward. This posture causes weak, overstretched muscles in the back, and stronger shorter muscles in the chest. If not corrected the exaggerated curve to the spine can become permanent.
Along with massage there are some exercises to help prevent or correct this posture. Start with stretching out your chest muscles, some easy ways to do this are: standing in a door frame with your elbows raised to the side straight out from your shoulders so they make a 90° angle to your body, step forward into the door frame until you feel a stretch and hold for 30 seconds, repeat with your arms at a 120° angle, and at 150°.
Alternatively you can do this stretch on a foam roller, lying with your spine along the foam roller and your arms out to the side. This stretch should be done 2-3 times a day.
Next you want to strengthen the muscles in your back, this can be done with rows. When doing rows you want to make sure that you keep your elbows pulled into your sides and you are activating your muscles between your shoulder blades.
If you have a resistance band at home you can do this exercise daily about 10-15 reps, if you are including this exercise in your gym routine try for 2-3 times a week doing 3 sets of 10-15 reps.
Finally you can make sure to really pay attention to your posture, if you find yourself slouching forward the best thing to do is to imagine a string pulling you up from your chest or the top of your head (both work the same) this will cause your shoulders to naturally fall back without having to pull them back and tire the already over worked muscles in the back.
Anastasia graduated from MH Vicars in June 2014. She gravitated towards working with athletes because of her background in sports. She enjoys doing deep tissue & injury rehabilitation. Anastasia uses a variety of techniques such as Swedish massage, trigger point release, myofacial release, origin & insertion along with active and passive stretching. She has completed a course specifically related to shoulder and rotator cuff concerns.
In her spare time she coaches synchronized swimming.