How to Fix Hyperkyphosis (Dowager’s Hump)
What is Dowager’s Hump?
A condition that presents with a fatty tissue pad at the upper back area, typically between the 7th cervical and 2nd thoracic vertebrae. There is an associated abnormal curvature in the upper back resulting in what is called hyperkyphosis. The word “hyper” meaning abnormal accentuation of the curve.
Fixing Dowager’s Hump when it is due to chronic poor posture is fairly simple when approached correctly and with consistency.
Here are three at home tips:
#1 Mirror Image Rehabilitation
Hyperkyphosis have been improved by using mirror image upper back extension rehabilitation. One example was of a 15 year old who after 13-months of treatment displayed a significant reduction in hyperkyphosis and a dramatic correction of her overall posture and spine alignment (1).
An excellent mirror image exercise you can do at home is with the use of the foam roller:
Step 1: Place foam roller so that it runs lengthwise with your spine.
Step 2: Rest on the roller keeping your head off the edge of the roller so that you feel your chin is moving away from your chest
Step 3: Open your arms out to your side so you feel a stretch in your chest.
Slowly increase the amount of time you are in this position from 2 mins to as much as 15 minutes. The longer you stay in this position the greater the benefit.
#2 Chest Stretch
Muscles of the chest include pectoralis major and minor. They get tight when we are doing to much computer work, slouching at the computer or hunched over texting. Stretching this muscle group regularly will release the pull they are putting on the upper back accentuating the kyphosis.
Position 1 Position 2 Position 3
Step 1: Find a door way and stand in the middle so your arms are equal distance to door frame.
Step 2: Place your arms in Position 1 and with your strongest leg forward lean into the stretch. You should feel a stretch in your chest. Next stretch in Position 2 and 3.
Step 3: Stretch in each position, holding for 1 min each and repeating each one three times.
These are best done daily and gently. Remember to keep you head up and straight.
#3 Posture Brace
A Posture Brace can help improve posture often times immediately and with lasting positive results.
You can go to our Posture Brace Review page to learn more about Posture Braces. The most important thing to keep in mind is that you must use the brace regularly.
For faster results combine tips from how to fix hyperkyphosis – Dowager’s Hump. Always seek medical help if you think your condition is serious. Consider working with a posture expert to fix your Dowager’s Hump for good!
Photo: foam roller courtesy of Yoga Journal