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Thread: Help with Scheuermann's Kyphosis page

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    CoS's Avatar
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    Help with Scheuermann's Kyphosis

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    Hey folks. I was hoping someone here would be willing to work with me on my thoracic mobility. I was diagnosed with Scheuermann's kyphosis when I was 13 and my doctor put off treatment for 5 years. Basically, he said that I could use a brace (which he never fit me for, ordered, or talked about in depth) or wait til I reached adulthood and get surgery. His definition of adulthood/fully grown was shaving everyday. I am 21 today, and I still can't grow facial hair. Needless to say, nothing ever got done to fix my back. I quit going to the doctor 3-4 years ago.

    I don't know the degree of the curvature, but I've attached a photo. This is trying to stand up straight (back in April...20 lbs ago, before Primal.) Basically, I have a kyphosis in the middle of my thoracic spine. X-rays revealed that three of the vertebrae are wedge-shaped. I don't know if its genetic or the result of some child hood deficiency, but I do know that being overweight since second grade, reaching 310 lbs at age 19, and sitting alot at work/school didn't help. I'm not down to 200 lbs and active...but I've still got to live with my kyphosis.

    Goals: I'd like to improve my posture and increase mobility. My squatting, pull-up, and ab work would all be drastically improved if I could straighten out my back. It has gotten better since I lost the weight, but I still have some lower back pain when I stand or sit for a few hours at a time or do excessive ab work. My hamstrings are also very tight, which is hard to correct when my spine bends forward "naturally" to accommodate.

    Aesthetically, I don't like the rounding and it makes me look thick in the waist line because of the slumping down. My shoulders also round forward and I have neck discomfort most of the time. I read Mark's blog post about thoracic mobility, and it was very helpful. I was hoping someone here could work with me to expand on those lessons.

    Sitting here at work (which I'm breaking up with 30 minute intervals of standing/walking), I am trying to sit up straight, pelvis back, stomach sucked in, shoulders back, and I can feel my lower back stabilizing and abs stretching. Just sitting straight and breathing deeply feels like a core workout. I suppose that's a good thing.

    Enough rambling - If anyone has any advice/experience with Scheuermann's kyphosis, I would appreciate your wisdom.

    Thanks,

    Cameron/CoS
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    Last edited by CoS; 07-20-2011 at 10:13 AM.

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    Holy crap. I just found out what "anterior pelvic tilt" is, and I am 100% sure I have it. This picture explains my back/hip alignment to a T. I have a large bulge lower stomach area, my hips tilt forward....

    I guess that helps to know the culprit. Now to find exercises to fix it....Or go to a physical therapist.
    Last edited by CoS; 07-20-2011 at 11:18 AM.

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    Alex Good's Avatar
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    Is that like being a hunchback? Be cause I was (and still am to some degree) one and I found that faking good posture gradually moves your natural posture towards it.
    In all of the universe there is only one person with your exact charateristics. Just like there is only one person with everybody else's characteristics. Effectively, your uniqueness makes you pretty average.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Good View Post
    Is that like being a hunchback? Be cause I was (and still am to some degree) one and I found that faking good posture gradually moves your natural posture towards it.
    Yes, its hunchback. But mine isn't postural, at least not entirely. Since the vertebrae are deformed, I can't just "sit up straight" to fix it. That will help, but I'm thinking I need some exercises and stretches to correct my pelvis/hips, to maybe alleviate the pain of the thoracic curve.

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    CoS:
    You need to get to the best chiropractor you can find. Should have been there years ago. This is not something you can rectify on your own with some squats and posture work. There are many various methods in chiropractic, and not all of it is bone cracking. I am improving rapidly and significantly from the work my chiropractor is doing, and she's yet to crack a single bone.

    You can read about my story here:
    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread34219.html

    My hams are also very tight. I also am similarly pulled forward from that wedge effect (or was for years .... it's been fixed) and pelvis/hips were screwed for years. I used to look like a human lightning bolt -- shoulders way off to the side, not centered over my hips. I also have/had that anterior pelvic tilt. Makes walking very difficult, no? Like me, your body has developed a lot of adaptations as a means to balance everything out, and it's going to take time and a lot of work to unravel those, too.

    There is a new scoliosis brace that fits around your hips and is a series of straps. It is worn under your clothes and nobody at work would even know. I will have to see if I still have that flyer; I just picked it up at my chiro's office.


    There are two books on posture I recommend (but, again, you're going to need much, much more than this):

    8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back: Natural Posture Solutions... by Esther Grokhale
    Amazon.com: 8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back: Natural Posture Solutions for Pain in the Back, Neck, Shoulder, Hip, Knee, and Foot (Remember When It Didn't Hurt) (9780979303609): Esther Gokhale, Susan Adams: Books

    Foundation: Redefine Your Core, Conquer Back Pain, and Move With Confidence by Eric Goodman and Peter Park
    Amazon.com: Foundation: Redefine Your Core, Conquer Back Pain, and Move with Confidence (9781609611002): Dr. Eric Goodman, Peter Park, Lance Armstrong: Books
    Last edited by TigerLily; 07-20-2011 at 02:55 PM.
    "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -- Hippocrates

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    Found the flyer.

    Dynamic bracing

    While at this site, also check into the Schroth Method.
    "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -- Hippocrates

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    Quote Originally Posted by TigerLily View Post
    Found the flyer.

    Dynamic bracing

    While at this site, also check into the Schroth Method.
    I wish I'd seen this a few months ago. My 10 year old just received her first Boston brace for scoliosis. I'm going to print off the dynamic bracing info though and show it to her doctor to keep in mind for when she grows out of the BB.
    Newcomers: If you haven't read the book, at least read this thread ... and all the links!
    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread17722.html

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    Thanks for the advice. I'm going to visit with my family doctor to get an initial opinion (I have my physical and yearly blood work coming up anyhow), and then visit a chiropractor and physical therapist. The thing is, and this may be because of my age, the kyphosis and pelvic tilt don't really hurt. I can do almost anything physically. I just have a noticeable lack of flexibility at times. I can't bring my knees up as high as other folks in similar shape.

    But today I tried something new: I did 30 minute rotations of standing and sitting at work. I tilted my screen back and put my keyboard on a box. I tilted my hips, to fix the anterior pelvic tilt, tighten my abs a bit, and squeezed the glutes. It was a little uncomfortable because my lower back isn't used to being used correctly, but I can definitely tell a difference tonight. I wasn't as tired when I got off work, despite standing for half the day (as well as frequent walks and stair climbs.) I'm going to try to do that from now on, so I don't do any more damage to my posture/hip flexors.

    Similarly, I tucked my pelvis and watched my posture during my workout (P90X Shoulders & Arms) and it felt AMAZING. I've been lifting wrong this entire time! I was able to focus more, get more reps, and I felt more stable. I was lifting barefoot too, and I felt STRONG. I'm optimistic that I can fix this before (hopefully) I do any permanent damage.

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    You could try this: ‪Novel Movements of the Spine in Quadruped‬‏ - YouTube

    It might help with getting used to the correct way to use the spine and hip alignment muscles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CoS View Post
    Holy crap. I just found out what "anterior pelvic tilt" is, and I am 100% sure I have it. This picture explains my back/hip alignment to a T. I have a large bulge lower stomach area, my hips tilt forward....

    I guess that helps to know the culprit. Now to find exercises to fix it....Or go to a physical therapist.
    Wow. That looks like my wife on the right there... hmmm... Thanks!

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