Thoracic Hyper-Kyphosis

A 67yr old female whom does not live near our clinic travelled for a consultation about using a Thoracic Denneroll. She has significant increased Thoracic kyphosis and had been laying on a solid square foam ‘back block’ (placing it under the peak of her kyphosis) as a daily routine for 10 years. She liked how it made her feel. After hearing of the Thoracic Denneroll she consulted with me about possibly achieving more benefits using a Thoracic Denneroll instead of the ‘back block’. Despite her benefits from her current form of daily thoracic extension, general neck, mid back, and low back pain were still a regular recurrent problem. She also noted feeling depressed, a lack of energy, and “getting around” was becoming more difficult for her which was significantly impacting on her quality of life.

The ideal thoracic kyphosis using intersecting lines from T3-T10 is 37 degrees. Her initial presentation was 82 degrees between T3-T10.

Studies on Increased Thoracic Hyper-kyphosis in the elderly show a correlation with: Increased pain/symptoms; Decreased Balance and gait; Increased risk of falls; Muscle impairment; Depression: Increased risk of Uterine Prolapse; Increased risk Hiatus Hernia; and even decreased mortality. References to this are available in the Thoracic Denneroll DVD.

Upon analysis of her x-ray and posture (posterior thoracic translation), I instructed her to use the Thoracic Denneroll with the peak under the T8 vertebrae. *NOTE – DUE TO THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE PEAK OF THE DENNEROLL, PATIENTS OF THIS KYPHOTIC PRESENTATION MAY FIND THE THORACIC DENNEROLL TOO STRONG AND MAY BE REQUIRED TO BEGIN THORACIC EXTENSION USING THE THORACIC RE-TRAINER INSTEAD. However, due to her consistent back block use, she found the Thoracic Denneroll tolerable and therefore it was decided to start straight away with the Thoracic Denneroll. Each case is needs to be assessed on an individual basis. Using the thoracic Denneroll also creates some anterior translation of the thoracic spine which fitted the mirror image of her posture.

The patient only managed to visit me once a week for the first month, and then only 3 times over the next 6 weeks. After 10 weeks re-xray showed a reduction in the T3-T10 angle to 74 degrees and also a reduction in the posterior thoracic translation. Her posture was becoming more ‘up right’ and the patients recurrent painful symptoms had dramatically reduced. In addition, her mobility had notably increased (easier to stand from a sitting position), as too her balance. The patient was feeling better and therefore noticed an improvement in her overall well being, or reduction depression. She had also regained more energy in day to day living. This made her very happy as she was about to embark on a 6 week holiday through Europe and she now felt much more confident whereas before was considering cancelling her trip.

I did not see the patient for 5 months when she returned to my clinic wishing to purchase another Thoracic Denneroll as understandably, her regular use had worn the peak down off her current Denneroll. Although the patient had maintained her initial improvements, she noted that she felt she had not gained any further improvements. We discussed using the 3D-Denneroll table to increase the effect of the traction as we are able to increase the effects of the fulcrum extension traction by using the pullies. Over the last month the patient has visited the clinic 2 x per week receiving mirror image adjusting, up to 20 minutes of extension traction, followed by supportive exercises. Unfortunately no re-xray was performed on the patients initial return (after 5 months), but it was decided to re-xray her after a month (tomorrow) to look for any further corrective improvements. This is not a usual protocol however exceptions have been made due to the patients travel constraints.

I have noted the changes to the shape of the vertebral bodies (anterior wedging) due to the long term increased thoracic kyphosis. This imposes a structural limitation to the changes we may see but the patients function has improved more over the last month gives us hope of further correction. She is feeling and moving even better. 

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