View Full Version : my posture

11th September 2008, 01:31 AM

Would you say my spine looks kyphotic?

That's me trying a few different attempts at posture :). On the left one I'm trying to stand straight by arching the lower back, on the right one I'm pushing my pelvis forward and up, while the middle one is something in between.

Would you say my spine looks straight(er) in the right picture?

I'm hoping that if I would work to fix my pelvic tilt, it would improve my posture. I know I have some muscle problems in that area, because I'm about as flexible as a tree (I can barely reach beyond my knees while bending down).

Has anyone here done anything that would improve a pelvic tilt or to improve reach while bending down? I mean... is it even possible? :)

11th September 2008, 01:42 AM
Have tried bending over and taking a side profile shot that will give you a good idea as to how much your back arches

don't worry i can't touch my toes either, tight calfs are a symptom of kyphosis

sorry can't help with pelvis

11th September 2008, 01:54 AM
I would say you do look straighter in the right picture. Exercise might help if it's a purely a postural problem, but I'm not convinced any form of exercise would make any lasting difference if it's structural.

11th September 2008, 02:58 AM
Have tried bending over and taking a side profile shot that will give you a good idea as to how much your back arches

don't worry i can't touch my toes either, tight calfs are a symptom of kyphosis

sorry can't help with pelvis

Mark's right - you should do a bending forward pose.


11th September 2008, 04:13 AM

It's a bit better if I bend my knees


Amazed Jean
11th September 2008, 08:13 AM
Hello and Welcome to SSO!

11th September 2008, 03:11 PM
While you will not be able to address any underlying structural anomalies with exercise (eg if you have wedging of the vertebrae causing kyphosis, this can't be fixed), there are definitely things you can do to help.

I'd suggest tracking down a book called the Complete Book of Stretching (I think!) by Tony Lycholat. It's got a lot of useful stretches in it, and also has suggested programs for addressing postural kyphosis, lordosis and flat back. Of course any exercises at all need to be done with caution (there is an element of truth to the old saw of no pain no gain, but you should always ease very gently into any new program of exercise and work *well within* your limits, especially when you've got something like scoliosis or kyphosis, as problems induced or exarcerbated by the exercise may not be immediately apparent), and there are plenty of other good stretching books out there, this one just happens to be one that I have and have found to be good myself.

I would also advise searching for information on core stability exercises. Something that never made any sense to me was being told to hold my stomach in all the time, especially when walking, in order to get it stronger and flatter. If I did that, I couldn't breath properly! However, it's a question of learning to engage the right muscles. For some of us, being told to hold our stomach in naturally leads us to use the rectus abdominis - the six-pack muscle - to attempt this. If that's the one you tighten, then sure enough, your diaphragm can't work properly and you can't breathe properly. The one that needs to be engaged is the one beneath that - the transverse abdominis. If you learn to engage this, you'll find that it doesn't interfere with your breathing, and has a dramatic effect on your posture. Of course, you may well be engaging this anyway, but I thought I'd share the fact it doesn't come naturally to all in case it is relevant to you.

I'll try to find some good links, but stomach vacuums are another thing you might want to look into as a means of working on the postural muscles. Stretching-wise, you probably also want to look at psoas stretches - these are to stretch out the front of the hip, the thigh crease area, as this is often also shortened and tight in people with tight hamstrings. I don't know if you use a gym, but if you do, give me some details of your program particularly in terms of what machines you use, and I might be able to suggest one or two where you could discuss with one of the trainers about having an alternative exercise in some cases, or about ensuring you use correct form in other cases.

14th September 2008, 12:30 AM
Hi Just thought I could help you out a little here. After viewing your photo's involving your back my guess is that if you have any form of kyphosis it would most likely be postural kyphosis. It seems that in certain poses that you have taken your back seems to be quite normall. If one can correct the kyphosis by in which one poses it usually is considered postural kyphosis.
If you do have postural kyphosis and do not have Scheuermann's kyphosis then working out and improving your posture will most likely benifit you.
If my back looked as good as your's does in the photo's that you have provided I would be so happy.
I have had surgery for Scheuermann's kyphosis and even after the surgery the hump in my back is still larger then the ones shown in your photo's.
I believe you are very lucky and I wish you the best.

14th September 2008, 05:16 AM
Thank you for your replies, especially Sally. Did you check all of the photos or just the first ones? I think it looks quite kyphotic in the bending picture.

I was diagnosed with kyphosis in my teen years, but they never did an x-ray. I remember being able to touch my toes and I went from that to this in a couple of years. I used to sit by my computer all day long, so it might be postural, at least I hope so. The way my back looks doesn't really bother me that much, pain does. Whenever I'm standing up for some time or sitting down without back support I get pain in the mid/upper back. It might be just that my muscles are too weak, but it's been going around for a while and it's really affecting my confidence. I think I'll try swimming, I don't like doing "stationary" exercises, hopefully it will help more than running. Anyway I'm scheduled for an appointment with an orthopedic doctor in 2 weeks, I'll try to get them to do an x-ray.

14th September 2008, 02:55 PM
I did look at all of the photo's. I also just looked at them again what I see (Iam no expert) is the photo's with the three views in it you were able to correct any kyphosis that may have showed up in the first two views. I also looked at the photo's in your #5 post ware you are bending down and getting a side view. In the first photo I may see a very mild kyphosis(20 to 40 is considered normall) but then again when I take a look at the second photo I see no kyphosis at all. However my curve was so large as it was 110 or higher of a degree and it took up my whole intire thoracic area that it may be hard for me to see a smaller hump in some one else as being scheuermann's kyphosis.(if that makes since to you) I can still see vision's of this in my head when I think about. My curve now after surgery is 53 degrees and the hump in my back that is by no means as it was before is still more noticeable then the hump on your back in the photo's.
Just a thought, have you looked at the photo's that Mark has offered to share with us. That is kind of what my back looked like only my hump was the whole thoracic spine. Mark's scheuermann's kyphosis is really up there with the degree amount of his curve.
If you did find that you did have scheuermann's kyphosis I would see what the doctor has to say after he measures the curve and if it is not that much wait a year and have it measured again. If it continues to curve or is found to be progressive then it may be time to think about surgery. I believe that most surgeons with adult patients would not do the surgery if the curve is not over 70 degrees. I would hope your back will not progress and you would never need the surgery for it as it is very painfull. If one only had the photo's to look at and no other medical information to go by I would think you are not even close to having to have the surgery done. That is something only you and your doctor can discuss. Hope this information has helped you some.

14th September 2008, 08:16 PM
Look like a totally normal back in my eyes

15th September 2008, 11:13 AM
Doesn't look like a kyphosis to me, or if there is one only a very mild one. Like Sally, you're back looks straighter than mine and I've had the surgery. Obviously I'm not a doctor but it looks to me like you might have problems with the strength in your core muscles and lower back. Pilates might be your best bet in terms of strengthening your posture, adjusting your pelvis position and better supporting your back.

It might just be that you've picked up lazy/bad habits in terms of posture and your getting worse. Maybe Alexander technique classes would help? They just did some big study that showed Alexander technique was the most effective treatment for all back problems:


I've got a friend who has no back problems and he can't bend over and reach his knees. I have kyphosis and metal rods running down two-thirds of my spine and I can easily get my hands flat on the floor! Your lack of fleixbility isn't necessarily related ot Kyphosis! Good luck with your appointment, hope its good news.