Treating Dowager’s Hump

Age-related Hyperkyphosis

The posture most associated with aging, Dowager’s Hump can be known as Buffalo Hump, Hunchback, and the technical/medical term hyperkyphosis. Any way you call it treating Dowager’s hump can be important for your health and physical well being.  For the past 8 years postural correction has been our area of focus we have taken over 100 hours of continuing education classes and read countless papers regarding posture and posture correction. What has been fascinating to see is how much medical research looks into posture, most commonly using the terms sagittal balance, forward head/body posture,  and age related hyperkyphosis.  I have posted previously on some surgical literature and spine symptoms, what I am going to focus on here is research on age related hyperkyphosis as a predictor of mortality (death).

I recently became aware of a body of published papers by an MD who works at the Department of Medicine and Department of Orthopedic Surgery at the University of California Los Angeles. This author has had a role in a number of studies and published papers on age-related kyphosis. What is fascinating is that the bulk of her work shows that worsening posture is associated with increased risk for  worsening mobility, mortality and hospitalization. This paper, based on data collected from 6046 women over 65 found that bone loss was associated with mortality from coronary heart disease and pulmonary disease. This paper found that worsening kyphosis is associated with an increasing risk for mortality independent of osteoporosis and vertebral fractures which both carry  risks for mortality. This final paper I’ll mention, while there are several others, found that increasing kyphosis is associated with decline of physical mobility and interventions are needed to prevent increasing kyphosis and mobility decline.

What the bulk of this work means is that poor posture, Dowager’s Hump, or hyperkyphosis is associated with a decline in health, physical function, and may be a predictor of early death. While these studies all deal with older people and mostly women that does not mean that this is not an issue for us to be concerned about until we reach 65. In fact this should be a large concern with us when we are young because under 65 we have the ability to do the most good to improve our posture and reduce the effect hyperkyphosis could have on our health as we age. Improving posture is our area of expertise, we have the knowledge, resources and experience to help you make a serious impact on your posture which, according to these studies, could have serious implications on your health and lifespan.

In our office treating Dowager’s hump includes a detailed examination of your posture and spine. From that knowledge we build a program of care that takes into account your individual needs and concerns. We use a combination of chiropractic care, exercises and traction specifically tailored to you with the goal of improving your symptoms but also impacting your core strength, flexibility, and posture. The methods we use have over 150 published articles backing them up and we have 8 years experience of working with patients to help them with their posture. In addition to posture correction we offer strength training, though the BStrong4Life program, to have a larger positive influence on whole body strength and bone density. This system has been associated with substantial increases in bone mineral density in a number of patient cases. You might find some sources that claim  surgical intervention is the most effective means to improve posture, but this is not the case. Our method is the best way to improve your posture, health, and physical well being.


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Posted in Back Pain, BStrong4Life, Exercise and Fitness, Neck Pain, Wellness

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