The objective of this study was to assess whether a specifically designed yoga intervention can reduce hyperkyphosis. One hundred eighteen women and men aged 60 and older with a kyphosis angle of 40 degrees or greater. Major exclusions were serious medical comorbidity, use of assistive device, inability to hear or see adequately for participation, and inability to pass a physical safety screen. The active treatment group attended hour-long yoga classes 3 days per week for 24 weeks. The control group attended a monthly luncheon and seminar and received mailings. Primary outcomes were change (baseline to 6 months) in Debrunner kyphometer-assessed kyphosis angle, standing height, timed chair stands, functional reach, and walking speed. Secondary outcomes were change in kyphosis index, flexicurve kyphosis angle, Rancho Bernardo Blocks posture assessment, and health-related quality of life (HRQOL).
A decrease in flexicurve kyphosis angle in the yoga treatment group shows that hyperkyphosis is remediable, a critical first step in the pathway to treating or preventing this condition.