Posture and Kyphosis

Peer Reviewed

One type of kyphosis is all about posture: postural kyphosis. Sorry to say it, but slouching your entire life really can cause your spine to stay that way. You should sit up straight and walk tall because rounding your shoulders—for whatever reason—can give you a form of kyphosis and even pain.

Photo illustration showing various stages of posture.Keep your chin up. More precisely, keep it level. Look straight ahead, not down. Photo Source: kyphosis is easily correctable by learning about good posture and then making a conscious effort to keep that good posture. A physical therapist can help you learn this, in addition to learning exercises to strengthen your back muscles so that it's easier to have good posture.

A few quick tips for good posture:

  • Keep your feet shoulder-width apart. Distribute your weight evenly. Don't put all your weight on one foot.
  • Keep your chin up. More precisely, keep it level. Look straight ahead, not down.
  • Keep your shoulders back. It helps to think about lifting your breastbone. If you do that, your shoulders will naturally fall back.
  • Keep your low back slightly arched. But not too arched. Think about rolling your pelvis inward and your low back will be in the correct position.

You won't be able to correct your posture overnight; it will take some effort before standing and sitting correctly comes naturally, especially after years of poor posture. But it's worth it. Your spine isn't meant to carry the extra load you put on it when you stand or sit with poor posture.

Updated on: 07/23/19
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What is Kyphosis?
Jason M. Highsmith, MD
This article was reviewed by Jason M. Highsmith, MD.
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What is Kyphosis?

Everybody should have kyphosis in their thoracic spine, but when the spine starts to curve outward too much, there's a problem. Brief overview of two types of kyphosis and why this spinal condition is more than just slouching.
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