Effects of thoracic kyphosis and forward head posture on cervical range of motion in older adults.
Increased thoracic kyphosis, a common age-related postural change, is evident in older adults and may pose a signiﬁcant health risk. On one extreme, excessive kyphosis (hyperkyphosis) has been associated with increased mortality, diminished physical performance, impaired respiratory function, poor postural control and a low quality of life. Even in the absence of hyperkyphosis, increasing kyphosis angle has been associated with increasing mobility limitations in older adults.
In rehabilitation science, attention has been drawn to understanding how thoracic kyphosis is associated with cervical dysfunctions. This interest was spurred on in part by the considerable empirical support for the positive clinical outcomes following manipulation and mobilization of the thoracic spine in patients with cervical dysfunctions. Indeed it has been suggested that the mobility of the thoracic spine plays a major role in patients with neck impairments and this notion was supported by a recent cross sectional study which indicated that (1) patients with cervical dysfunction had signiﬁcantly greater thoracic kyphosis compared to healthy controls, and (2) thoracic kyphosis was signiﬁcantly associated with neck pain-related disability.
The purpose of this study was to explore the mediating effects of forward head posture (FHP) on the relationship between thoracic kyphosis and cervical mobility in older adults with cervical spine dysfunction.
In a sample of older adults with neck dysfunctions, we showed that the negative inﬂuence of kyphosis on reduced cervical mobility is exerted through an increase in FHP > from Quek et al.; Manual Therapy 18 (2013) 65-71. All rights resereved to Elsevier Ltd.
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