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ROUNDED BACK A healthy thoracic spine should have a natural kyphotic curve that measures approximately 40 degrees (Image 1A). Although it is possible for this curve to be abnormally decreased (hypokyphotic, Image 1B), by far, the more common postural distortional pattern is for the thoracic spine to become hyperkyphotic (Image 1C). In lay terms, this is often described as rounded back. A kyphotic curve is effectively a curve of fl exion, so it makes sense that having a forward-fl exed posture on a regular basis would lead to a hyperkyphotic, or hyperfl exed, rounded thoracic posture. In addition, most everything we do in our modern world happens down in front of us—whether it is tending to a baby, cleaning a counter, Healthy, natural kyphosis of the thoracic spine measures approximately 40 degrees (A). Hypokyphotic thoracic spine (B). Hyperkyphotic thoracic spine (C). Reproduced with permission from Joseph E. Muscolino. Artwork by Giovanni Rimasti. Postural distortion of the thoracic spine is rarely seen by the client himself, as it requires an assessment from the side to determine the actual degree of kyphotic curvature. that no posture is bad unless you get stuck in it. The problem is that people often do get stuck in bad postures. And this is especially true for the thoracic spine. Postural distortion of the thoracic spine, even when advanced, is often asymptomatic and, therefore, ignored by the client, but can be a major cause of other postural distortion and pain patterns in the body. In this way, the thoracic spine could be viewed as a silent saboteur of our health. The client may not even mention the thoracic region when describing her problem, but we need to always consider and assess the thoracic spine when evaluating our clients' health. Thereisasaying A B C C h e c k o u t A B M P 's l a t e s t n e w s a n d b l o g p o s t s . Av a i l a b l e a t w w w. a b m p . c o m . 75

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