Walker the hunchback...

There's a narrow 2-lane road leading to the county park where I'm often seen with friends on weekends. Typically, I arrive between 9 or 10am and find it amazing to see the same guy walking along the way to the park. From the main road into the park and back is no less than four miles... doable for someone at a slow pace. The guy wears a floppy-style safari hat, t-shirt and shorts... typical to many of the people who go to the park. The thing most distinguishable about him is his hunchback-like posture. You can spot him from 100 yards as his head and neck are forward and he's usually looking downward. Only once in all the times I've seen him did he look up and acknowledge me as I drove by.

I admire someone so ritual in his exercise plan that I've nicknamed him 'Walker' as he's probably in his 70's and doesn't appear to have any body fat. Bravo!

As kids, do you remember an elder correcting you if you leaned over in a slouched position that could cause bad posture that would affect you as an adult? I do. Yeah, there are times where people have congenital problems that cannot be avoided. Other issues come from machine operators where one side of the body gets stress causing the body to be twisted. I knew a guitarist who played classical guitar for hours upon hours and his posture from so many years holding the instrument had his body twisted that required chiropractic treatments to help straighten his shoulders.

When I see someone with a hunchback, I'm always reminded to SIT STRAIGHT!
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Kyphosis Risk Factors

Bone and muscle strength are essential for spinal support. Two common conditions involving bone and muscle weakness– osteoporosis and sarcopenia – are top causes of age-related kyphosis. Those and other risk factors for excessive kyphosis include:

Osteoporosis. In osteoporosis, which means ‘porous bone,’ the quality and density of bone decline. Bones become fragile and brittle, making people more vulnerable to fractures. Women are more likely to develop osteoporosis because of hormonal changes during menopause.
Age-related bone loss. Men can develop kyphosis, too, as bone mass naturally declines after reaching peak bone mass in the early 30s and 40s.
Sarcopenia. Age-related loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength, called sarcopenia, can begin as early as your 30s and continue to increase with age.
Being sedentary. A sedentary lifestyle that involves continual sitting and a lack of physical activity is a risk factor for bone-related conditions. Weight-bearing exercise helps maintain healthy bones, while walking promotes balance and good posture. A physical therapist can help you gradually increase your activity level.
Family history. There appears to be a genetic link to kyphosis, Kado says: “If you have a family member who’s been affected by hyperkyphosis, if you notice it in your own family, you might think a little bit about your own posture.”
Unneeded weight loss in older adults. For people over 65, losing weight may affect overall bone health and contribute to kyphosis progression. Kado points out.
Strategies to Combat Kyphosis
Certain core training, muscle-strengthening and flexibility exercises have been shown to help prevent or reduce hyperkyphosis. You can incorporate these exercises and habits into your fitness routine:

Posture awareness.
Physical therapy techniques.
In a six-month, randomized controlled trial of adults ages 60 or older with hyperkyphosis – who did not have major medical conditions and did not use any assistive devices – those who attended an hour-long yoga class three days per week experienced more improvement in their degree of spinal curvature than the non-yoga comparison group. The yoga involved was limited to four specific poses that targeted spinal extension, so all yoga, in general, may not be beneficial.

A different study of healthy adults ages 18 to 68 measured the degree of thoracic spinal curvature among yoga practitioners compared to participants who did not practice yoga. Yoga adherents had less-pronounced thoracic kyphosis (as well as less lumbar lordosis) than those in the control group.

“The results suggest that yoga exercises can affect the shape of the anterior-posterior curves of the spine and may be an efficient training method for shaping proper posture in adults,” concluded the authors of the study published in September 2021.

Safer Yoga Poses
The National Osteoporosis Foundation, which Katzman suggests as a resource, recommends these yoga exercises for your bones:

Balance. Tree and half-moon poses.
Dynamic alignment. Triangle pose.
Leg strength. Chair, high lunge and warrior two and three poses.
Spinal extension. Upward dog, cobra and locust poses.
Yoga Poses to Avoid
You should not do these intense poses if you have very low bone density or osteoporosis:

Forward bends like standing forward fold (uttanasana) or seated forward bend (paschimottanasana).
Plow pose (halasana).
Deep twists like seated twist (matsyendrasana) and revolved triangle (parivrtta trikonasana).
Deep hip stretches like pigeon pose (eka pada rajakapotasana).
Shit more info but it's not all about having a habit of slouching
Mercedes, thanks for the information. Personally, I suffer from lumbar pain and had an MRI last month. My doctor prescribed physical therapy visits to help strengthen my lower back.
Oddly, I didn't see Walker this weekend...
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created Dec 1
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