It is widely accepted as fact that the rounded back condition known as Dowager's Hump is caused by osteoporosis. Conventional prevention and treatment options include a higher dairy consumption, calcium supplements, diagnostic bone scans and drugs like Fosamax and Boniva. But is this the end of the story?

Maintenance of the spine is of up most importance if you want to remain tall, strong and "on your feet" now and as you get older. Although osteoporosis will exacerbate the process that leads to a Dowager's hump, or the extreme head forward position common to men, it is not the the primary cause.

The primary physical cause is poor posture. When you sit or stand in what I call "Standard American Posture" or SAP for short (shoulders either slumped and forward or raised and forward, chest collapsed and ears in front of the shoulders) the muscles along your upper back that balance your head on top of your shoulders get very strained.

Consider, these muscles originate along the upper thoracic spine, and the body must respond to this mechanical stress. As with all types of stress, the body will adjust in an attempt to re-establish balance. The spine cannot maintain equilibrium when you are in SAP and adjusts by rounding out and up. It's simple physics or in body terms: "bio-mechanics". Over time, these muscles grow bigger and can become very rigid and sore. This is how a hump is born.

It is likely obvious that you cannot correct (or prevent) this problem with a glass of milk and a dose of Fosamax. The best defense is a good offense. Practice good posture all the time and put yourself into the consistent care of a chiropractic physician to greatly improve the balance of your entire spinal system.

But there's more....

The curves of your spine have a message for you. The classic "SAP" posture begins as we begin to collapse under the unreleased burdens of life. Life has got you down - literally. This is easy to see in others. The friend who just lost her job, the posture of a child who did not do well on a big test - it is easy to read their burdens in their bodies. Instead of allowing the large and small burdens of life to defeat your body, mind and spirit, you can choose to release your burdens with movement and breathe.

Yoga teaches that the forward bending poses (seated forward bends, standing forward bends, child's pose, etc.) are where we honor and release the past. Learn. Forgive. Move forward. Forward bending postures allow for release of the past as the posterior spine opens and require the presence of your core muscles for stability. You'll feel peaceful and revitalized after forward bending poses.

Back bending poses (upward dog, bow pose, fish pose, standing or seated back bend) open you to receiving your life - your future - and are stabilized by the strength of your spinal muscles (your past). Back bends open the front of the body making us vulnerable and available to receive. Back bends put you in touch with the wisdom of experience and give you confidence to move forward in your life.

Like yoga, featuring the Tritotum Success System puts you in touch with your body as a vehicle of discovery and growth. You can discover in yourself today, right now by doing the brief exercise below, your ability to shine tall with the wisdom garnered from past experience, receive the blessings of your life now and find trust in your future.

Stand with your feet about a foot apart, relaxed knees, or sit slightly forward in a stable chair, feet firmly on the floor.

Allow your body to fold forward from the hip hinge.

Let your head hang. Dangle your arms.

Stabilize by pulling your belly in or hold onto something stable if you need to.

Breathe and notice how you feel.

Allow yourself time to release the tension. It's just past experiences lodged in your spine. Let them go. Feel free to release anything in your head that is not serving you as well.

When you are ready, roll slowly back to upright keeping the knees bent as you return to upright.

Take a deep breath. Feel your feet on the floor.

When you are feel stable again, engage the leg muscles strongly and reach straight up with open arms.

Gently look up as high as is comfortable (never strain) and lean back slightly, keeping the abdominal/core muscles strong and the tail bone turned under. Feel the front of your chest expand with each in-breathe.

Take several breaths welcoming the blessings.

Bring your arms back to your sides with gratitude.


Author's Bio: 

Mary Kay Morgan, MS is the creator of the Tritotum Success System featured at She has been teaching people to look great and feel even better for over 20 years. Mary Kay's experience includes extensive study in: fitness, nutrition, energy medicine, personal growth, business development, and others. She is mom to 3 great kids, one dog and several businesses.