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10 Best Home Exercises You Can Do To Overcome Kyphosis 

 June 26, 2024

By  Dr. Polly Hediger

chiropracticKyphosis is a spinal condition characterized by an excessive outward curvature of the upper back, resulting in a rounded or hunched appearance. This common condition can affect people of all ages and can lead to discomfort, pain, and reduced mobility. In this article, we will explore the various types and causes of kyphosis, as well as the role of chiropractic care in managing and treating this condition. Additionally, we will provide a set of 10 targeted exercises that can be performed at home to help improve posture, strengthen the back muscles, and alleviate the symptoms associated with kyphosis.

Types of Kyphosis

Kyphosis can be classified into several types based on the underlying cause and age of onset. Understanding the different types of kyphosis is essential for accurate diagnosis and effective treatment. The main types of kyphosis include:

  1. Postural kyphosis: Postural kyphosis is the most common type of kyphosis, often developing as a result of poor posture, muscle weakness, or imbalances. This type of kyphosis is usually flexible and can be corrected with proper posture, exercises, and chiropractic care.
  2. Congenital kyphosis: Congenital kyphosis is a rare type of kyphosis that is present at birth. It occurs due to abnormal spinal development during fetal growth, resulting in wedge-shaped or fused vertebrae. Treatment for congenital kyphosis may involve observation, bracing, or surgical intervention, depending on the severity and progression of the condition.
  3. Nutritional or metabolic kyphosis: Nutritional or metabolic kyphosis can occur as a result of underlying health conditions that affect bone growth and development. Nutritional deficiencies, such as vitamin D deficiency or calcium deficiency, can lead to weakened bones and increased risk of kyphosis. Metabolic disorders, such as osteoporosis or hyperparathyroidism, can also contribute to the development of kyphosis.
  4. Scheuermann’s kyphosis: Scheuermann’s kyphosis, also known as Scheuermann’s disease, is a type of structural kyphosis that typically develops during adolescence. It is characterized by wedge-shaped vertebrae that develop as a result of abnormal growth and development of the spinal bones. Scheuermann’s kyphosis is often more rigid and may require a combination of bracing, physical therapy, and chiropractic care to manage symptoms and prevent progression.

Causes of Kyphosis

Kyphosis can develop due to a variety of factors, ranging from postural habits to underlying medical conditions. Understanding the causes of kyphosis can help in preventing, diagnosing, and treating the condition effectively. Some of the main causes of kyphosis include:

  • Degenerative changes in the spine: As we age, the spinal discs, which act as cushions between the vertebrae, can degenerate and lose their elasticity. This can lead to a loss of disc height and a more pronounced curvature of the upper back. Additionally, age-related conditions such as osteoporosis and arthritis can contribute to the development of kyphosis by weakening the spinal bones and joints.
  • Compression fractures: Compression fractures of the vertebrae can occur as a result of trauma, osteoporosis, or other conditions that weaken the spinal bones. When a vertebra fractures and collapses, it can cause a sudden and abnormal curvature of the spine, leading to kyphosis.
  • Muscular weakness: Weak core and back muscles can contribute to the development of postural kyphosis. When the muscles responsible for supporting the spine and maintaining proper posture are not strong enough, the upper back may gradually curve forward, resulting in a hunched appearance.
  • Altered biomechanics or movement patterns: Poor posture, sedentary lifestyle, and repetitive motions can alter the biomechanics of the spine and contribute to the development of kyphosis. For example, prolonged periods of sitting with a rounded back or frequently bending forward can place excessive stress on the spinal structures and lead to muscle imbalances and postural changes.

Chiropractic care can play a crucial role in addressing these underlying causes of kyphosis. Through a combination of spinal adjustments, manual therapies, and exercise recommendations, chiropractors can help improve spinal alignment, reduce pain and discomfort, and promote better overall spinal health. By identifying and treating the root causes of kyphosis, chiropractic care can help individuals achieve a more balanced and healthy spine, reducing the risk of further complications and improving quality of life.

Exercises for Kyphosis

In addition to chiropractic treatment, performing specific exercises can help improve posture and reduce the symptoms of kyphosis. Here are 10 exercises that can be done at home:

1. Thoracic Extension on a Foam Roller

  • How to do it:
    1. Place a foam roller horizontally on the floor.
    2. Lie on your back with the foam roller under your upper back (thoracic spine).
    3. Support your head with your hands and gently arch your back over the roller.
    4. Hold for a few seconds and then return to the starting position.
  • Repetitions: 10-15 times.

2. Cat-Cow Stretch

  • How to do it:
    1. Start on your hands and knees in a tabletop position.
    2. Inhale, arch your back (cow position), and lift your head and tailbone towards the ceiling.
    3. Exhale, round your back (cat position), and tuck your chin and tailbone.
  • Repetitions: 10-15 times.

3. Child’s Pose

  • How to do it:
    1. Start on your hands and knees.
    2. Sit back on your heels and stretch your arms forward, lowering your chest to the floor.
    3. Hold the position and breathe deeply.
  • Duration: Hold for 20-30 seconds and repeat 3 times.

4. Cobra Stretch

  • How to do it:
    1. Lie face down on the floor with your hands under your shoulders.
    2. Press into your hands to lift your chest off the floor, keeping your elbows slightly bent.
    3. Hold the position and breathe deeply.
  • Duration: Hold for 20-30 seconds and repeat 3 times.

5. Scapular Squeezes

  • How to do it:
    1. Sit or stand with your arms at your sides.
    2. Squeeze your shoulder blades together, pulling them down and back.
    3. Hold for a few seconds and then release.
  • Repetitions: 10-15 times.

6. Prone Y, T, and I Raises

  • How to do it:
    1. Lie face down on the floor with your arms extended overhead in a “Y” position.
    2. Lift your arms off the floor, squeezing your shoulder blades together.
    3. Lower your arms back to the floor.
    4. Repeat the movement with your arms in a “T” position (straight out to the sides) and an “I” position (straight down along your sides).
  • Repetitions: 10-15 times for each position.

7. Wall Angels

  • How to do it:
    1. Stand with your back against a wall, feet a few inches away from the wall.
    2. Press your lower back, upper back, and head against the wall.
    3. Raise your arms to form a “W” shape, then extend them overhead to form a “Y” shape.
    4. Return to the “W” shape.
  • Repetitions: 10-15 times.

8. Bridge Exercise

  • How to do it:
    1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
    2. Lift your hips towards the ceiling, squeezing your glutes and engaging your core.
    3. Hold for a few seconds and then lower back down.
  • Repetitions: 10-15 times.

9. Plank

  • How to do it:
    1. Start in a push-up position with your hands under your shoulders.
    2. Keep your body in a straight line from head to heels.
    3. Engage your core and hold the position.
  • Duration: Hold for 20-30 seconds and repeat 3 times.

10. Chin Tucks

  • How to do it:
    1. Sit or stand with your spine straight.
    2. Gently tuck your chin towards your chest, creating a double chin.
    3. Hold for a few seconds and then release.
  • Repetitions: 10-15 times.

Remember to always warm up before starting your exercises, focus on maintaining good posture throughout the day, and perform these exercises regularly for the best results.

Schedule a Chiropractic Consultation for Kyphosis

If you or a loved one are experiencing symptoms of kyphosis, such as rounded shoulders, back pain, or difficulty maintaining proper posture, it may be time to consider chiropractic care. Chiropractors are trained to diagnose and treat a wide range of spinal conditions, including kyphosis, using a holistic and non-invasive approach.

During your initial consultation, our experienced chiropractors will conduct a thorough assessment of your condition, including a physical examination, medical history review, and imaging tests, if necessary. Based on the findings, they will develop a personalized treatment plan tailored to your specific needs and goals. This treatment plan may include a combination of chiropractic adjustments, manual therapies, exercise recommendations, and postural guidance to help improve spinal alignment, reduce pain, and enhance overall function.

Chiropractic care offers numerous benefits for individuals with kyphosis, including:

  • Reduced pain and discomfort
  • Improved spinal alignment and posture
  • Increased flexibility and range of motion
  • Enhanced muscle strength and balance
  • Better overall spinal health and function

In addition to in-office treatments, our chiropractors will also provide you with guidance on lifestyle modifications, ergonomics, and home exercises to support your recovery and long-term spinal health.

Don’t let kyphosis limit your activities or diminish your quality of life. Take the first step towards a healthier, more comfortable future by scheduling your chiropractic consultation today. Our dedicated team is committed to helping you achieve optimal spinal health and improved overall well-being. Contact our office to book your appointment and begin your journey towards a straighter, stronger, and more resilient spine.

Dr. Polly Hediger


Dr. Polly Hediger grew up in a small town in southern Illinois, called Highland. After graduating in the top 10 of her high school class, she attended Southwestern Illinois College for general studies. In 1998, Dr. Hediger entered the accelerated science program at Logan College of Chiropractic in Missouri. Through her coursework there she completed her Bachelor of Science degree (B.S.) and graduated with a Doctorate of Chiropractic (D.C.).

Dr. Polly Hediger

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