Yoga to Cure Kyphosis

Submitted by Kevin Pederson on December 27, 2012

The term kyphosis can be described as an excessive curve in the mid-back area. Many of us have some amount of rounding in the back. However, kyphosis occurs when there is an abnormal, exaggerated curvature in the thoracic spine. This problem is also commonly referred to as hunchback or round-back. While kyphosis can affect a person at any age, it is more common in older women. Certain types of kyphosis are also known to target teens, children and infants.

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The treatment of kyphosis depends upon its causes and the severity of the symptoms. Most patients are prescribed medication or therapy. Patients suffering from severe kyphosis may also be asked to undergo surgery, for reducing the degree of the curvature.


Apart from conventional therapy and medication, patients may also be advised to practice yoga to cure kyphosis. This is because certain yoga poses and exercises help in strengthening the spine. These poses also open up the front of the chest and shoulders, which is good for correcting kyphosis.

Poses to reverse kyphosis

Regular and well-rounded yoga sessions can help reduce kyphosis gradually. However, there are a few poses that are especially good for the back and therefore, they speed up the process. Given below are some of the most effective yoga poses to reverse kyphosis -

  • Adho Mukha Svanasana (The Downward Facing Dog Pose)
  • Bhujangasana (The Cobra Pose)
  • Marjaryasana (The Cat Pose)
  • Salabhasana (The Locust Pose)
  • Setu Bandasana (The Bridge Pose)
  • Tadasana (The Mountain Pose)
  • Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (The Upward Facing Dog Pose) 

It is important to ensure that these poses are practiced under the supervision of a yoga instructor, to reduce the risks of injuries. You should also get a go-ahead from your doctor, before performing any yoga pose.

Cat pose

In case you are undergoing treatment for kyphosis, your physical therapist might advise you to practice corrective exercises to stretch and strengthen the paravertebral muscles in your body. One of the Yoga asanas good for a hunchback is The Cat Pose, as it targets the upper back area. This pose increases range of motion, relieves tension in the upper-back muscles and improves posture. In order to practice this pose, you need to –

  • Go down on all fours, i.e. your hands and knees. Keep your back straight and flat
  • Ensure that your shoulders, elbows and wrists are perpendicular to the floor and place your knees under your hips. Draw in a deep breath
  • As you exhale slowly, round or arch your spine towards the ceiling.
  • Breathe in an draw your abdomen towards the floor
  • Breathe out and bring your back up, arching it towards the ceiling once again.
  • Inhale and straighten your back.

Repeat these steps to practice this pose as many times as required.

Mountain pose

Tadasana, also known as The Mountain Pose is a basic standing pose in Yoga, which helps tone every muscle in the body, including the back muscles. To perform this pose, you need to –

  • Begin by standing straight. Keep your arms by your sides and your feet hip-width apart
  • Inhale in such a way that the air is first drawn into your abdomen and then into your ribcage, till your chest rises a bit
  • Next, let your shoulders relax down your back and draw your shoulders
  • As you breathe out, use your abdominal muscles and rotate your tailbone a bit.
  • Make sure that your hips, knees, shoulders and ankles are all in line.
  • Keep your arms by your sides and use your triceps muscles, facing your palms forward

Stretching

Stretching yoga poses are quite good for curing back pain and other spinal problems. Given below are a few simple yoga stretches to relieve tension from the body –

  • Adho Mukha Svanasana (The Downward Facing Dog Pose)
  • Uttanasana (The Standing Forward Bend)
  • Trikonasana (The Triangle Pose)

Tips and warnings

Kyphosis is a serious problem, which can lead to several complications once it develops. Therefore, it is best to prevent this condition by maintaining the right posture at all times. Once kyphosis develops, it is important to seek timely treatment for it.

Before practicing yoga or any exercise for reversing kyphosis, it is absolutely essential to check with a physician.

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