Thoracic hyperkyphosis is a condition where the posterior curve of the upper spine in the measures more than 45 degrees (Feng, Wang, Zhang& Zhou, 2018). The most common kinds of hyperkyphosis are Scheurmann’s, age related, and postural (Bezalel, Levi & Kalichman, 2019; Feng et al., 2018; Roghani, Zavieh, Manshadi, King & Katzman, 2017).
According to Bezalel et al. (2019), Scheurman’s hyperkyphosis is second to scoliosis in the frequency spinal deformities. It is the most common kyphosis in adolescents and is caused by spinal cartilage aberrations during growth (Bezalel et al., 2019; Yamen & Dalbayrak, 2014). Schroth therapy is an effective treatment for Scheurmann’s kyphosis. Bezalel et al. showed that Schroth therapy is an effective treatment for scoliosis. They performed a single blind randomized control study with adolescent subjects who had thoracic kyphotic Cobb angle curves ranging from 47 degrees to 81 degrees. Subjects that did Schroth exercises had a significant decrease in their Cobb angles.
Another type of hyperkyphosis, age related hyperkyphosis, is prevalent in twenty to forty percent of people over sixty years of age (Roghani et al., 2017). The cause of hyperkyphosis in adults hasn’t been completely established. However, there is evidence that osteoporosis, spinal disk deformities, weak back extensor muscles, and decreased spinal mobility all play a role (Roghani et al.). Roghani et al. also reported that that adults with spinal compression fractures are commonly hyperkyphodic. According to Roghani et al., improving back extensor strength was an effective treatment for age related hyperkyphosis. In addition I have found that Schroth exercises frequently decreased pain in adults suffering from thoracic kyphosis and compression fractures.
A third kind of hyperkyphosis, postural hyperkyphosis, is thoracic kyphosis resulting from slumped sitting or standing postures. It is most frequently observed in adolescents (Feng et al, 2018). Schroth and similar exercise regimens are effective for this kind of hyperkyphosis. Feng et al. performed a single blind randomized control study with adolescents who had postural hyperkyphosis. Subjects who did corrective functional exercises similar to Schroth exercises had a mean decrease or 9 degrees in their thoracic kyphosis angles.
Thoracic hyperkyphosis is an exaggerated upper sine curve occurring frequently in adolescents and elderly adults. Although the causes are different. Schroth therapy is an effective treatment for all three conditions. Back extensor strengthening is also effective for age related hyperkyphosis and should be used in conjunction with Schroth exercises for this population.
Bezalel T, Carmeli E, Levi D, Kalichman L. The Effect of Schroth Therapy on Thoracic Kyphotic Curve and Quality of Life in Scheuermann’s Patients: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Asian spine journal 2019;13(3):490-9.
Feng Q, Wang M, Zhang Y, Zhou Y. The effect of a corrective functional exercise program on postural thoracic kyphosis in teenagers: a randomized controlled trial. Clinical rehabilitation 2018;32(1):48-56.
Roghani T, Zavieh MK, Manshadi FD, King N, Katzman W. Age-related hyperkyphosis: update of its potential causes and clinical impacts-narrative review. Aging clinical and experimental research 2017;29(4):567-77.
Yaman O, Dalbayrak S. Kyphosis and review of the literature. Turkish neurosurgery 2014;24(4):455-65