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Ten exercises to improve pain due to Kyphosis

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Have you ever heard your teachers and elders insisting on you sitting straight and standing tall? The reason behind their concern is because you need to maintain the right posture. A bad posture not only causes back pain and cervical problems but can also lead to a condition like Kyphosis.

What is Kyphosis?

Kyphosis is a condition of extreme spine curvature, causing forward bending. It may seem mild first , but in severe cases it can even cause disfiguration. Although Kyphosis can occur at any age, older people, especially women tend to suffer the most. It is because aging weakens the spinal bones causing them to compress or crack. The treatment of this Kyphosis depends on the age of the person and the causes of the condition.

Complications of Kyphosis

In addition to causing back pain,  if kyphosis causes the following , you need to seek medical help at the earliest.

  • Breathing problems: Severe kyphosis may put pressure on lungs
  • Limited physical functions: Kyphosis is linked to weakened back muscles and difficulty doing tasks like getting out of chairs and walking. The spinal curvature may also make it difficult for you to drive or gaze upward and can cause pain while lying down.
  • Digestive problems: Severe kyphosis can compress the digestive tract, causing problems such as acid reflux and difficulty with swallowing.

10 Kyphosis Exercises to Ease Pain

While you undergo the treatment suggested by your doctor, you can also perform certain exercises, as discussed below, to ease your back pain. However, consult your doctor or physiotherapist first and perform according to your body’s strength.

Mirror image

  • As the name suggests, this exercise includes doing the opposite of the curved spine.
  • You are required to tuck your chin and take your head back over the shoulders.
  • You must feel your shoulder blades going back and down.
  • Hold position for 30 seconds to 1 minute, depending upon your strength.
  • Discontinue in case you feel any kind of muscular tension.

Head retraction

  • This exercise needs you to lie down on your back.
  • After lying down, press your neck against the floor as if you are trying to make a double chin.
  • Hold this position for 15 seconds and make 5 to 10 repetitions.
  • This exercise strengthens the neck muscles and is therefore helpful in cervical problems as well.


  • To perform this exercise, you are required to lie down on your stomach on the floor.
  • Now extend your hands in front of your head.
  • Now lift your arms and legs towards the floor while keeping your head in a neutral position looking at the floor.
  • Try to feel as if your feet and arms are reaching away from your body.
  • Hold this position for 3 seconds and do at least ten repetitions.
  • This exercise works fast in easing back pain.

Thoracic spine foam rolling

  • This exercise needs a foam roller to support your back.
  • Lie down on the floor with the foam roller under your mid-back.
  • Now gently roll up and down on the foam roller. It massages the muscles of the back and thoracic spine
  • Do this for at least 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Scapular wall slides

  • To do this exercise, you must stand against the wall with feet little away from the wall.
  • Make sure that your shoulders, upper back, and hips touch the wall.
  • Now raise your arms in front such that they are parallel to the floor.
  • Now press your arms against the wall and slide them up on the wall while inhaling.
  • Slide down your arms to the starting position while exhaling.

Prone cobra

  • This exercise requires you to lie down on the ground with your face down, legs stretched, and palm facing up.
  • Now lift your head and chest off the ground.
  • Now turn your hands outwards, making your thumbs pointing towards the ceiling. Squeeze the shoulder blades together and engage your core.
  • Hold this for 15-20 seconds and repeat six times.

Treatment for Kyphosis

As mentioned above, the treatment depends on the age and the cause. The doctor may suggest either of the following:


Medication generally prescribed , and these include pain relievers and osteoporosis medications.


In the mild curve, the doctor may suggest doing yoga and exercises before prescribing medication or surgery. It is common for children and teens because it is easy to correct their posture at this age. Some children also wear body brace during their growing years to prevent kyphosis from progressing.


Severe kyphosis means the patient will require surgical treatment. Spinal fusion is the most common surgery that reduces the degree of curvature.

Precautions for Kyphosis

It will help to avoid tobacco and alcohol and having a calcium and vitamin D rich diet. It helps in maintaining rich bone density.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

  • What causes kyphosis in adults?

Kyphosis may be caused due to injury, Osteoporosis, disc degeneration, cancer and chemotherapy in adults.

  • How does kyphosis affect the body?

Besides causing an abnormal  curvature of spine and back pain, kyphosis affects the body in other ways. The patient has difficulty breathing, sitting and standing for long, faces digestive troubles, in severe cases.

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