Kyphosis is a spinal disorder frequently seen in older women, characterized by a pronounced slouch or hunch to the upper spine. This condition is typically progressive and can interfere with regular activities like walking, lifting objects, and even sleeping. If your daily life is being negatively impacted by kyphosis but you aren't a good candidate for surgery, you may be interested in other options to manage or even slow down your kyphosis. A chiropractor may be able to help through the following four steps and treatments.
Ascertaining the Cause of Your Kyphosis
As you grow older, it's natural for your bones to undergo some deterioration. This can lead to a slight stoop, but kyphosis is typically only diagnosed when your upper back or neck's range of motion is severely limited. This is often the result of a separate disorder like osteoporosis, but it can also occur in younger patients as a product of genetics, injury, or illness. Before beginning any type of therapy, your chiropractor will likely want to determine both the cause and the severity of your kyphosis, either through existing medical records or a physical examination.
Managing Stiffness and Discomfort
Besides leaving you hunched over, kyphosis can also be a painful condition. Your neck and spine were not meant to hold such a rounded shape, and it can lead to pinched nerves and sore muscles that never seem to go away. By adjusting your spine and massaging the muscles surrounding it, your chiropractor can improve your basic comfort levels and quality of life, leaving you more clear-headed and bright-eyed when you leave your regular appointments.
Increasing Your Flexibility
There are a number of chiropractic techniques that may be used to take pressure off the spine and increase its range of motion. The simplest of these is a standard chiropractic adjustment, which seeks to gently push your vertebrae back into their optimal positions. For example, a slightly modified adjustment known as flexion-distraction manipulation has been shown to cause significant improvements in patients with similar spinal disorders.
Strengthening Your Muscles
Any chiropractor will tell you that the muscles supporting your skeleton are just as important as the bones themselves. But exercise is often not easy for patients with osteoporosis or advanced kyphosis. Your chiropractor should be able to walk you through safe and effective exercises to be performed at home or during your appointments, meant to strengthen the muscles of your lower back. If your spine is no longer capable of holding itself straight, the improved flexibility and strength of regular chiropractic care may be all the support you need to regain some of your old mobility and slow the progression of your kyphosis.
Check out a chiropractic clinic like SpineCare Chiropractic Daniel S. Wright, D.C. for more information.