Yoga may reduce kyphosis (curved spine)
Monday 10th August, 2009
Developing a curved spine (known as kyphosis) may be preventable by using yoga as a way to remedy the condition, according to a study.
Kyphosis is the exaggerated rounding of the back sometimes referred to as round back or hunchback due to a hump developing. Kyphosis is caused by developmental problems, degenerative disease (spinal arthritis), osteoporosis or spinal injury and typically affects the elderly although adults and adolescents can be affected too.
The six month study carried out by the University of California assessed whether specific yoga postures could intervene to reduce kyphosis
168 men and women aged 60 and older with kyphosis were placed into two groups – one receiving active treatment of three yoga classes per week and the other a monthly luncheon and seminar.
Participants involved with the yoga classes experienced a 4.4% improvement in flexicurve kyphosis angle and a 5% improvement in kyphosis index but not significant improvement in Debrunner kyphometer angle, physical performance or health related quality of life (assessed by the participant).
The researchers concluded that the decrease in flexicurve kyphosis angle from yoga was a critical first step in treating or preventing the condition.
A larger study should be considered for a more definitive result and targeting people with more-malleable spines which could strengthen the effect of the treatment.