T Nation

Fixing Kyphosis?

I’ve been dealing with compression related kyphosis for about 3 years now. It was a result of multiple neck injuries during High School football and has led to constant headaches over the passed years.

I saw a chiropractor for ~5 months and the pain subsided. I stopped going to the chiropractor ~3 months ago as he seemed to be a “one trick pony” with little to no variation or follow-up passed the initial visit.

The pain has not returned(although I still have occasional headaches). I still have muscle tightness in my neck on a daily basis. The tightness is accentuated by driving and sitting at my computer(my head leans forward as I sit).

I’m looking for any exercises or stretching techniques I can do to help alleviate and fix this problem. I’m also wondering if I should also be focusing on back/shoulder related stretches(I’m not currently doing so)?

I currently do SCM/Up Trap and Subocc/Levator Scap stretches(from the Neanderthal No More series) reactively to help relieve tension in my neck.

I also use a walking stick to help retract my shoulders(from CW’s new book). When I sit down at my computer desk I place the stick vertically at the edge of my desk. I then put my nose directly on the stick, which prevents me from leaning my head forward as I sit(it looks retarded, but works pretty well). Obviously, I can’t do this at work either(half my day is at a computer).

Any advice or suggestions are appreciated. Thanks.

I had slight kyphosis and with help of my physio & some training I fixed it.

Basically I had two stretches to perform:

Regular chest stretch - hands behind back and push chest out

“watch t.v” stretch - you basically lie down on the ground on your stomach, and rest your head on your hands and look slightly up to the ceiling (like you’re watching t.v)

I did these stretches 5 times a day for 5 minutes each.

On top of the stretching, I also trained my back 3 times a week.

Have you ever finished a back workout, and you end up standing super straight? …Thats why, I wasn’t necasserily trying to put muscle on my back, just get used to having that feeling so I stood up straight more often.

Heres how the workouts usually went:

Workout 1:
A) Deadlift 2 x 10
notes: Stand up as straight as possible and push shoulder blades together at the end of each rep.

B) Bent over row (machine) 3 x 10
notes: You can use barbell row, but you must must must make sure that the thoracic region of your spine stays STRAIGHT. So don’t go too heavy with them. This is why I prefer the bent over machine row, basically the mechanics of the machine forces you to have correct posture. Wide-grip is usually the best idea for this also.

C) Haney shrugs (smith machine) 3 x 10
notes: Lean back slightly & look slightly up if you have to keep your back straight. Use correct form and get a noticable bend in your elbows for each rep.

D) Seated row scapula retractions 2 x 15
notes: Get in the seated row position, make sure your back is dead straight, puff out your chest etc. make sure your arms are fully extended then just squeeze your shoulder blades together for the reps.

Further notes:
Try to complete the exercises fairly quickly, dont use too much rest per set & exercise.

The reps for the exercises are quite high since I found it’s extra hard for me to keep my back straight when it gets much heavier. Now of course I can do it, but when I started I usually stuck with something like this.

So thats basically it, do that and it will fix your kyphosis (unless your old and have osteroperosis in which case your fucked, sorry) and plus you’ll have one killer back at the end of it :slight_smile:

Oh oh one more thing, due to deadlifting 3 times a week (Granted its fairly light for 2 sets) you might want to cut back on other exercises that put pressure on your lower back, i.e - good mornings, squats, romanian deadlifts. but don’t worry i still put a good amount of mass on my legs through the deadlifting also.

Good luck!

[quote]Sykotik wrote:
I’ve been dealing with compression related kyphosis for about 3 years now. It was a result of multiple neck injuries during High School football and has led to constant headaches over the passed years.

I saw a chiropractor for ~5 months and the pain subsided. I stopped going to the chiropractor ~3 months ago as he seemed to be a “one trick pony” with little to no variation or follow-up passed the initial visit.

The pain has not returned(although I still have occasional headaches). I still have muscle tightness in my neck on a daily basis. The tightness is accentuated by driving and sitting at my computer(my head leans forward as I sit).

I’m looking for any exercises or stretching techniques I can do to help alleviate and fix this problem. I’m also wondering if I should also be focusing on back/shoulder related stretches(I’m not currently doing so)?

I currently do SCM/Up Trap and Subocc/Levator Scap stretches(from the Neanderthal No More series) reactively to help relieve tension in my neck.

I also use a walking stick to help retract my shoulders(from CW’s new book). When I sit down at my computer desk I place the stick vertically at the edge of my desk. I then put my nose directly on the stick, which prevents me from leaning my head forward as I sit(it looks retarded, but works pretty well). Obviously, I can’t do this at work either(half my day is at a computer).

Any advice or suggestions are appreciated. Thanks.[/quote]

Hi.
All of Goodfellow’s suggestions work!
I would add face pulls and foam rolling of the thoracic spine to increase mobility.
Also you could rest on the roll(face up) for time to stretch your chest foward and your head back.
Dr.Tim

sykotik wrote:

Excuse me, I dont mean to be flippant, but what is the “Neanderthal No More” series.

I know it is probably something worthwhile and I am not dissing it, but I read that and I almost fell in the floor laughing. It sounds like a 12 step group for recovering cave men.

I thought I posted this in the “Beginners” section. I spent a good 20 minutes this morning wondering why the moderators haven’t pushed it through yet.

Goodfellow,

All of those suggestions are great.

I’ve recently started a program(CT’s recent Fat Destroying article) and have incorporated both scap retractions and face pulls into my lactate inducing circuits. I’m excited to see the effectiveness after my four week plan is completed.

I’ve also incorporated Deadlifts into the strength days of my program. I’m concentrating mostly on form at this point due to cases of spondylosis and spondylolisthesis. Heavy deads are out of the question at the moment, but I will try to add locked out contractions in my following workouts.

Dr. Tim,

I’ve been meaning to pick up a foam roller for some time now. I’ve also been meaning to purchase a sitting Swiss ball(recommended by CW) to replace my desk chair to help correct my sitting posture. Good suggestions as well.

entheogens,

“Neanderthal No More” is a series written by Eric Cressey and Mike Robertson. It’s basically as you described, a “12 step caveman recovery” program.

I’m not in the business of putting words in one’s mouth, but the articles seem to concentrate on thoriac ailments, posture alignment, and pelvic tilt.

You can find the last portion of the series here:

http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=535872

The preceding articles are usually mentioned in the beginning summary. This is the easiest way(that I have found) to locate the entire series. Just work your way backwards through the links until you reach the first installation.