Physical Therapy and Kyphosis
Kyphosis is an excessive outward curvature of the spine. Often referred to as a hunched back, this condition can affect anyone at any age but is most prevalent among older women. It is a progressive disorder that will get worse without proper treatment. Physical therapy is an effective treatment for kyphosis and is especially useful in postural kyphosis cases. This is because physical therapists treat patients to strengthen their spinal muscles and improve their posture. However, physical therapy is also often recommended for patients with certain types of structural kyphosis, including kyphosis caused by spinal fractures and Scheuermann’s kyphosis.
Physical Therapy for Postural Kyphosis
While poor posture is a common cause of kyphosis, the good news is that the spinal curve can be corrected — as long as you are willing to put forth the effort. When you have postural kyphosis, poor posture feels right. Because of this, you need to relearn how to stand, sit, and move properly.
When you visit Denver Physical Medicine, we’ll teach you how to improve your posture and help you better understand what proper posture feels like. Our team will also assist you in strengthening your paravertebral — or spinal — muscles. These muscles support your spine, and in cases of postural kyphosis, they typically are not providing adequate support. Certain exercises and stretches strengthen these muscles, allowing them to better support the spine and improve posture. Strengthening these muscles can also ease pain since they won’t be overworked.
Physical Therapy for Kyphosis Caused by Spinal Fractures
Physical therapy cannot correct kyphosis caused by spinal fractures. It can, however, help you improve your posture to prevent future injuries. Improving your posture and strengthening the spinal muscles eases the pressure on your vertebra and takes some of the weight off your spine, making you less prone to additional fractures.
Physical Therapy for Scheuermann’s Kyphosis
We often recommend physical therapy in conjunction with bracing for cases of Scheuermann’s kyphosis. The brace supports a considerable amount of the spinal column, which can weaken the muscles. Physical therapy strengthens those muscles and ensures that, when the brace comes off, they will be able to fully support the spine.
As your physical therapist, we will work with you to improve your range of motion and flexibility. Tight hamstrings are common among Scheuermann’s kyphosis patients, and physical therapy can stretch those muscles, making them much less tense and uncomfortable.
Physical Therapy for Kyphosis in Denver
When you visit Denver Physical Medicine for physical therapy for kyphosis in Denver, we will work with you to create a customized treatment protocol. We will help you learn various exercises safe for kyphosis to improve your posture and strengthen your spinal muscles. These exercises may include strengthening activities, such as weight lifting and weight-bearing exercises, like walking. Your physical therapist will tailor your exercise plan to you based on your health history, bone health, physical abilities, and other factors. No matter the cause of your kyphosis, you don’t have to live with a hunched back forever. Contact us today to learn more about physical therapy for kyphosis in Denver.