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Farewell, Hyperkyphosis, farewell!

I have hyperkyphosis in my thoracic spine! Do you?

What is hyperkyphosis?
Hyperkyphosis is an excessive curve in the thoracic spine. The hunchback. Often the term kyphosis is used to describe that excessive curve but really kyphosis is term for the natural shape of our thoracic spine.

The healthy thoracic spine (upper back) has a convex curve - or a kyphotic curve. The healthy sacral spine is also convex or kyphotic. The lumbar (low back) and cervical (neck) spines are lordodic, that means the curve is concave.
The point is that we are supposed to have those curves in our spine for the health of the discs and the optimal transfer of load. When you look like a freaky hunchback, the curve is obviously too much.

susanne_just_standing_in_the_kitchen_cut.jpg
The fun part is that I don't have a hunchback (at least not freaky). But I have hyperkyphosis.
I'm hiding my hunchback by thrusting my ribs out. I basically have really great posture. Shoulders back, ribs out! Voila. Can you see how my whole rib cage is at an angle instead of sitting right on top of my pelvis?

While it looks good (or maybe it doesn't), its compressing my spine and causes a whole bunch of other problems. I learnt this from Katy Bowman and it blew my mind. Find out if you are a rib thruster and hyperkyphosis hider by doing this little test. (by KB)

 

 

So I've been working on reducing the curve of my thoracic spine. I've basically stopped working on good posture and started working on good alignment. There is a difference.

There is also a difference in my thoracic curve. Check out those photos below. In the first image, you see me in the summer of 2012. In the second image you see me at the end of 2013. (PS: I'm sitting in those photos because I only had the sitting one from 2012. If I was standing, the thoracic curve would be the same).