thoracic hump?

by Andreas


It started 10 years ago, I had a major depression, developed a bad posture. I had exercised with weightlifting 5 years before that, but then started to get extreme upper and lower cross syndrome with extreme short muscles in pecs, shoulders, trapezius, scalenes, levator scapulae. When I say extreme, it truly was.

After years of rehab exercises, different treatments, I have got better, but far from good. MRI showed 2 bulging discs in C5-6. Now I have a thoracic hump, and it pulls my head forward.

I´m 33 years of age now, and some chiropractors said that I am very mobile in my spine etc.

Are there any treatments, or surgery that could get rid of that hump. I´ve read about Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty, are there methods that could work even that I had developed this during the past 10 years??


Hello Andreas,
There's good and bad news. Frankly I doubt that any treatment will substantially reduce your thoracic hump, or kyphosis as it's called.

But the good news is that it's very treatable. And that you make no mention of arm pain associated with those bulging discs. Remember that the majority of a group of young men of your age with positive MRIs had no symptoms at all; what we call an incidental finding.

A combination of a specific exercise programme to strengthen the rhomboid and and levator scapula muscles, a monthly sports massage and a monthly visit to your chiropractor is what will help most of all. In particular, I prefer the "anterior thoracic" adjustment for your type of kyphotic spine.

There's no sign of Scheuermanns on xray?

You may find the hump unsightly, but try to put it out of your mind. There aren't too many perfect bodies around.

I hope this contributes.

Congratulations on excellent English; better than the Americans and most British can write!

Dr B

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Nov 18, 2015
Some research on thoracic kyphosis
by: Barrie

Significant post-participation differences in forward head and forward shoulder angles were seen in the Local correctiveEP and Comprehensive CorrectiveEP groups. In the CCEP group significant increases in height were also seen.

Journal of Back & Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation 2014; 27: 7-16.

Dr B

Nov 17, 2015
Try more general exercise than the gym
by: Andreas

I will try to have them take more pictures and investigate rib and TOS. The thing I that is the worst and give me most anxiety is: is it really treatable seeing that I have had the problems so many years?

Why I´m asking is because I´ve tried so many rehab programs for my problems (focused on the upper/lower cross syndrome) I get more pain, stiffness, stress etc even though I do the exercise good under supervision. It´s like the receptors is so sensitive and triggers for minimal exercise.

And if I focus on the uppercross, the lower cross problems is getting more dominant, even how hard I work on stretches and strengthen abs, glutes, hamstrings. I think I just want to know if it the body can get so tensed from this posture so long time that it´s not treatable anymore?

Hello Andreas,
I'm going to be controversial! I know that gyms help a lot of people, people I never see, but I also have a lot of folk consulting me after injuries in the gym.

I don't gym myself; I find it boring.

But I do a lot of exercise of a more general nature; walk and cycle and dig in the garden. I should swim more, but I find that dull too.

Why not give the gym a miss for a couple months, get out your hiking boots and your bicycle, perhaps a skipping rope, and do your own thing for a while?

Even though it's boring, I do think a swim once or twice a week would be helpful.

Just a thought.

Dr B

Nov 16, 2015
No Scheuermanns..
by: Andreas

..what I heard. They only performed MRI on my neck.

I havn´t had that much of pain in my hand or arms, but when I pull my arms out from my body, like a stretch my pecs, there can be numbness in some fingers.

I´ve tried several rehabprograms for this, and I read a lot of the condition lower and upper cross syndrome. I do understand the mechanic in the body, why it has turned that way and what muscles should be strengthen and so on. But even how hard I try it triggers pain, stress, anxiety (most of all in the upper part, trapz, neck, scalenes).

If I work on the rhomboids, seratus anterior and I can feel the muscles working, then the problem moves to the lower cross syndrome. Even than I work on glutes, hamstrings, abs..

And when I look in the mirror on my spine, it certainly isn´t a nice curved spine. Of course the thorasic hump can be spotted, and just under that the spine is really straight and doesn´t follow the curve, has that something to do with it? And of cours further down there isn´t that smooth curve. To sum it up, it curves to much in some places, and is to straight in other.

Do you think my body can be stuck in this posture after so many years of upper/lower cross syndrome?

When I read on internet, 2 descriptions is very close beside upper/lower cross. Elevated first rib and disputed TOS.

Thank you so much for taking time to answer!!

Without an xray of your mid back, the thoracic spine, no one can be sure you don't have Scheuermanns. Get two shots taken.

But even if positive, it doesn't greatly change the outlook or treatment; it just explains why you have the kyphosis.

Forget whether it's pretty or not!

Have the rib, TOS investigated.

Your area of the world has some of the best chiros. They'll look after you. But they won't straighten that kyphosis. No one will, nor is it important. Forget any thoughts of surgery.

Dr B

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Interesting challenges of the day

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6. I too have had serious lower back issues, luckily fixed by my own chiropractor; so I too have to do my exercises, take care when lifting supers full of honey, gardening and using the chainsaw. Regaining the function of your spine is just as important as the pain.

7. My own granddaughter, only 7 is hypermobile giving her pelvic, knee and ankle issues. Xrays show a mildly dysplastic hip. Years ago we would have called it growing pains. She too regularly needs chiropractic care and luckily responds well. Increased range of motion is more difficult than too stiff in my opinion. Our care is for kids too.

8. This 65 year old lady is a serious gardener; every day she is bending, lifting and digging for 2 to 3 hours a day. It regularly catches her in the sacroiliac joint, so she has a treatment once a month that sorts it out. She does her lower back exercises faithfully.

9. This 88 year old lady is an inspiration; every day she is busy in the community. With a nasty scoliosis she manages very well with a chiropractic adjustment every six weeks and exercises faithfully done.  

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11. Mrs C has been having severe headaches, and taking a lot of analgesics. It's a non complicated upper cervical facet syndrome, and she's doing well.

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And so the day goes; chiropractors shouldn't be treating the elderly most medical sites state but that's so much bunkum.

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