Hyperkyphosis Massage

Hyperkyphosis is an increase in the thoracic kyphotic curve. It is accompanied by protracted scapulae and a head forward posture.

Hyperkyphosis Massage Treatment Goals:

  • Increase local circulation to remove metabolites in weak and taut structures
  • Reduce hypertonicity and trigger points
  • Stretch shortened muscles
  • Relieve pain and muscle tension
  • Restore ROM and muscle imbalances
  • Retain normal alignment

Hyperkyphosis Massage Treatment:


  • Rolled towel placed vertically under the spine
  • Hot hydro to one pectoralis major before Myofascial Release, then move on to the opposite side
  • V-drape and then¬†Petrissage around the sternum ( costal attachments)
  • Petrissage, Muscle Stripping, Origin and Insertion, Ischemic Compressions (for Trigger points) to intercostals,costal border, pectoralis, subscapularis
  • PNF stretching to upper thorax muscles and subscapularis release
  • Rib springing
  • General treatment to the adbdomen
  • Diaphragmatic release
  • Rib springing
  • General treatment to the neck
  • Myofascial release, swedish techniques, GTO release, Muscle stripping, Ischemic compressions and Neuromuscular Therapy to Scalenes, Sternocleidomastoids and Suboccipitals
  • Treat TMJ if necessary ( see TMJ massage)


  • Towel rolls under anterior shoulders
  • General techniques to latissimus dorsi, serratus posterior superior, subscapularis, and rotator cuff muscles
  • Ischemic compressions to rhomboids, latissimus dorsi, serratus posterior superior, subscapularis
  • Stimulating techniques to mid back: trapezius, rhomboids and erector spinae
  • Joint play to hypomobile ribs, vertebrae and shoulder joints

Considerations and Contraindications for Hyperkyphosis Massage:

  • Avoid mobilizing hypermobile joints, vertebral segments
  • Do not randomly stretch fascia
  • Avoid lengthening techniques to weak overstretched tissue
  • NO vigorous joint play and rib springing to people with Osteoporosis
  • Do not apply heat to stretched muscles

Signs and Symptoms of Hyperkyphosis:

  • Increased thoracic curve
  • Head forward
  • Protraction of the scapula

Posterior muscle imbalances:

  • Weak and lengthened: rhomboids, middle trapezius, erector spinae
  • Hypertonic and shortened: upper trapezius, suboccipitals, levator scapulae, sternocleidomastoid

Anterior Muscle Imbalances:

  • Weak and lengthened: supra/ infrahyoids, longus capitis/cervicis
  • Hypertonic and shortened: pectoralis muscles, subclavius, serrratus anterior, scalene
  • Pain ( esp thoracic spine area)
  • Sunken chest
  • Shallow breathing
  • Decrease ROM in the: cervical spine, thoracic spine, and ribs

Self Care for Hyperkyphosis:

  • Avoid poor posture and take breaks to stretch
  • Avoid sleeping in a curled position
  • Diaphragmatic breathing
  • Self massage and stretch to shoulder protractors
  • Strengthen rhomboids, mid trapezius