Generally neck and lower back pain are more common complaints than mid back (thoracic spine) problems. This is peculiar as the thoracic spine is larger and comprises of many more joints. Management of the thoracic spine posture may however be the key to easing the burden of the neck and lower back. The more thoracic kyphosis (forward bend) a person has the harder it is to correct as gravity has a greater influence. The more kyphosis the greater pressure on the lower back, neck and respiratory systems occur.
An angle of greater than 50 degrees has been linked with increased prevalence of vertebral wedge fractures and possibly early mortality in the elderly. Kyphosis can cause balance disturbance by shifting the centre of gravity forward, increasing falls. It also limits upper limb elevation range and will lead to shoulder impingement and rotator cuff degeneration.
It is normal to start life with all of our spine kyphotic, it isn’t until we look up and stand that we achieve the lordotic curves of the lower back and neck. It is a natural progression to go back to the kyphotic curve in later life, it is however something to resist to enable greater quality of life.
If you have back pain and feel that you have started to stoop forward more please come and get assessed at Greensborough Physiotherapy Clinic.