Yoga 'proven' to improve dowager's hump
Adopting certain yoga techniques can lower the risk of developing dowager's hump, the age-related curve of the upper spine, a new study finds.
Kyphosis (spinal hump) and its resultant bent-over posture often occur in advanced forms of osteoporosis. The condition is more frequently reported among women, particularly older ones.
Increasing the calcium intake and engaging in more weight-bearing exercises are among the most effective ways to prevent osteoporosis in younger women; in elderly, however, simple postural exercises such as shoulder shrug can slow further progression of the Dowager's Hump.
According to the study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, doing yoga for about six months can lower the upper spine curve in elderly with Dowager's Hump by 5 percent.
The exercise was associated with some 6 percent improvement in the spinal curvature among those with more spinal flexibility, indicating that yoga is more effective when the spine is more malleable.
Yoga also alleviated upper back pain, commonly reported in those with Dowager's Hump. The rate of early awakening or insomnia was also lowered in this group.
The exercise was also reported effective in improving the height and reducing the time needed for an elderly person to stand up from a chair.
Scientists concluded that yoga can not only reduce spinal curvature among the elderly, but also improves their quality of life.
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