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The Hunchback Of 2012

Learn How To Combat Postural Kyphosis

Posted by Sean_Seaberg - June 29th, 2012

Are you a hunchback?

Do you know someone who might be a hunchback?

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What is a hunchback? Well the technical term for this type of spinal curvature is Kyphosis. Kyphosis is a forward rounding of your upper back. Some rounding is normal, but the term "kyphosis" usually refers to an exaggerated rounding, more than 50 degrees. This deformity is also called round back or hunchback.

There are a few different types of Kyphosis:

  1. Postural kyphosis
  2. Scheuermann's kyphosis
  3. Congenital kyphosis

As much as I would like to dive into this topic today, we are here to address postural kyphosis simply because it seems like it is the easiest one to prevent. Postural Kyphosis happens when spinal ligaments gets stretched and lose strength. It becomes apparent some of the time in adolescence and can develop as a person grows older. Some of us may have seen kids who had this or older people. It is usually followed by some type of  Hyperlordosis which is the inward curving of the lower lumbar spine.

Does not sound like a fun situation right? It's not. This hunchback can grow more severe if it is not dealt with which will just inhibit any mobility that the person currently has. Sitting up straight and fixing posture while driving alone may slow the process, but will not reverse it. The great news is most postural kyphosis can be fixed. I know this because I have done it with clients first hand and it is one of the most satisfying results I have had with clients who were starting to show some pretty severe signs of that hunchback that some people have grown accustomed to getting as they grow older. Like I said this is something that happens in people of all ages, but if dealt with properly you can fix it within 6-12 months of rehabilitation and exercise. I approach almost everyone the same when it comes to postural alignment. Someone who has a severe case I just make a point to add a few extra sets here and there.

My favorite success story with this type of situation was with an older school faculty gentlemen I had worked with about 6-7 years ago. Within one year he was in the best shape of his life skiing better than ever before with confidence and endurance, on top of all this he had straightened his (cervical) spine region by about 7-10 degrees (rough estimate). It was a very noticeable difference. It was the first time I realized I was not just making people healthier and more fit, but truly improving peoples quality of life with them.

Strengthening the spinal ligaments, traps, and spinal erectors are some of the major points to this type of corrective exercise. I hope this helps.

Check out the attached video and you will see one of the more useful exercises when addressing these issues. I used to use an easier method on an exercise ball (Prone cobra on the ball). I am a little more aggressive now if I can be with clients and these types of issues since there is no time to waste in this life I like solving problems as quickly as possible even if it means a little extra hard work. I will continue to add more corrective alignment exercises and modifications for you all to use.

Checkout the reference below for studies on this issue.

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The art of the function has been learned and nominated for the struggle. It has been pat and is structured for the dynamic tale of the man in life.


Floor prone cobras are great!

Scott_Herman  Edit  Delete  Close

yeah man, the basics are what always work best!


thanks for this great article , gonna put it to use tonight!


I tried this exercise yesterday and I love it. I'm adding it to my routine. Time to get my neck back where it's supposed to be.

Awesome post man! When I was a kid I was on the fast track to having this problem and it was my own fault. I have always been taller then everyone in school, I was taller than my dad at 5'11" in middle school for example. I always felt like I never quite fit in with everyone because I was so much ta
Scott_Herman  Edit  Delete  Close

Thanks @rayyan454, you are too kind and I am honored to have you on SHF!

rayyan454  Edit  Delete  Close

i have this propblem and i lived with bad posture for many years this site changed my life i can say i totally fixed anyone who suffer with this proplem ask him to anyone who wants help in this with strenngthen or stretching exercise ask me i am happy to help.oh i forgot something i am going to practice now thanks man great article