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Kyphosis

"I Know What It's Like to Lose Hope:" Anissa's Posture Journey

April, 2020

 

Anissa Morgan is 46 years old and was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. In her own words, her relationship with her body has “always been a little messed up.” She didn’t like how she looked. Growing up, her mom frequently told her that she was slouching and "should pull her shoulders back," anecdotal posture advice many of us have heard.

In adulthood, Anissa spent some time in the Army Reserves as a petroleum specialist. The military approach to posture reinforced what she’d heard from her mom in childhood: that she “shouldn’t be slouching and that everything should look ‘a... Read more

Home Exercises Part 3: Cat-Cow

August, 2021

This is our third blog post in the series where we put popular exercises under scrutiny to examine how they stack up—or not—against the principles of healthy posture. Here we are looking at “Cat-Cow,” a common exercise for mobilizing the spine.

Cow is one of the “holy cows” of conventional exercise. Done on all fours, it puts the spine into extension (swaying). It is paired with Cat , which puts the spine into flexion (rounding). Alternating between these postures is widely considered to be a good or even necessary exercise for mobilizing the spine. Read more

My Rounded Upper Back Responds to the Gokhale Method

September, 2021

Here I am in September 2017 when I began the Gokhale Method—sitting and bending over:

I have kyphosis. My upper back is curved from the shoulders to the bottom of my ribcage. The exact cause of my kyphosis is not known. There are two types of kyphosis: Scheuermann’s and postural. In Scheuermann’s disease, the normal bone growth in the vertebrae is interrupted during adolescence leading the spine to develop wedge-shaped vertebrae which result in a rounded curve in the thoracic spine. I believe I may have been diagnosed with Scheuermann’s Kyphosis at some point, but I don’t know for sure. I would like to think of it as postural because that word opens up more room for change.

I was born with my left leg and foot turned inward. I wore several different braces on my leg and my foot until the age of five. I became a shy and inhibited child, and I remember not wanting to be seen. Read more