Kyphosis and you

Hey ladies – if you’re taking an AI you know that we have to watch out for our bones. So here’s some advice from the Mayo Clinic.

Slouching is bad for you, according to the August issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter.

Poor posture, in combination with bone changes that sometimes come with aging, can result in the appearance of a hump on the back. The medical term for the rounding of the back is kyphosis (ki-FO-sis).

Fractures due to osteoporosis — thinning of the bones — are common in the vertebrae. Compression fractures can occur, and the bone can become weakened to the point of collapse within its own structure. Sometimes these compression fractures in the spine cause pain, stiffness and tenderness. However, they often are not detected until an X-ray is done for another reason.

In older adults, kyphosis associated with osteoporosis is typically found in the vertebrae of the thoracic spine, the portion that supports the shoulders, arms and trunk. Multiple compression fractures in the vertebrae can reduce a person’s height and also curve the spine. The result is what looks like a hump on the back. Stooped posture due to compression fractures adds to pressure along the spine, which creates the potential for more compression fractures.

Conversely, straight posture reduces excess pressure that can contribute to kyphosis curvature. Another way to prevent kyphosis is to do exercises that help strengthen the back muscles and improve posture. A care provider can recommend appropriate exercises. As a general rule, people with osteoporosis should avoid exercises that round the back and, instead, do exercises that gently straighten the trunk and back.

Mayo Clinic Health Letter is an eight-page monthly newsletter of reliable, accurate and practical information on today’s health and medical news.

Mayo Clinic

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