Do you know that your posture is a significant predictor of how long you will live? Your ability to hold your body upright against the forces of gravity on a day-to-day basis is one of the most significant factors impacting your longevity. Many people have hyperkyphosis (a rounded increased curve in their middle back), along with a forward head shift. This hyperkyphosis, or “Granny’s Hump” distortion often starts with subluxations (misalignments) in the younger years and progresses with age if corrective changes are not made.
Remember the adage: “as a twig is bent, so grows the tree”. Up to 40% of the elderly population presents with hyperkyphosis. The time to correct this deformity, as early as possible. We even see hyperkyphosis in children. That’s why we recommend that all children are checked from birth, or as soon thereafter as possible. Correcting this deformity early on can add significant quantity and quality to one’s life.
The thoracic spine plays a major role in trunk stability and protection of the spinal cord. A healthy, upright posture not only makes you feel better but also makes you look better. You look more confident, thinner, and even younger when your posture is upright. Proper spinal alignment associated with upright posture dictates the function of the body. Hyperkyphosis is often associated with an increased risk for adverse health outcomes, including impaired pulmonary function, decreased physical function capabilities, future fractures, and early death.
Our moms always told us to sit and stand up straight. And wouldn’t it be great if it were just mind over matter? Just stand up straight and problem solved. Sorry to say, it’s not that easy. When a person has hyperkyphosis, it’s rare that they can self-correct by simply standing up straight or by exercise. This is a persistent deformity to correct. To determine if it is present It almost always involves a combination of specific chiropractic adjustments, home traction, along with specific exercises done consistently over time to actually correct the deformity. The only way to evaluate with certainty for hyperkyphosis is to take an X-Ray. This condition is not always visible to the naked eye.
In summary, the data is very clear that increased thoracic kyphosis increases early mortality, in men and women. And this is found independently of other variables such as spinal osteoporosis. The research concludes that hyperkyphosis has many associated health complications, including increased risk for fracture and mortality, and is associated with impaired physical performance, health, and quality of life. Get checked now and avoid hyperkyphosis.
Contact us at the Chiropractic Arts Center of Austin, P.C. to schedule an evaluation to determine if you or your family members have proper spinal alignment in ALL areas of your spine.
Kado, D., Huang, M., Barrett-Connor, E., & Greendale, G. (2005) Hyperkyphotic Posture and Poor Physical Functional Ability in Older Community-Dwelling Men and Women: The Rancho Bernardo Study. Journals of Gerontology: Biological Sciences, 60(5), 633-637.
Kado, D. et al. (2009) Hyperkyphosis predicts mortality independent of vertebral osteoporosis in older women. Annals of Internal Medicine 150:681-687.
Katzman et al. (2010) Age-Related Hyperkyphosis: Its Causes, Consequences, and Management. Journal of Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy, 40(6) 352-360.