The effect of a corrective functional exercise program on postural thoracic kyphosis in teenagers: a randomized controlled trial

Clin Rehabil. 2018 Jan;32(1):48-56. doi: 10.1177/0269215517714591. Epub 2017 Jun 14.


Objective: To investigate the effects of a corrective functional exercise program on postural thoracic kyphosis in teenagers in China.

Design: A single-blind randomized controlled trial including students with a thoracic kyphosis angle (TKA) >40° measured using the SpinalMouse.

Setting: China Institute of Sport Science and three middle schools in Beijing, China.

Subjects: A total of 181 subjects were included in this trial; of these, 164 subjects were included in the analyses (intervention group, n = 81; control group, n = 83).

Intervention: The intervention group received a functional exercise program designed to correct postural thoracic kyphosis, and the control group received an exercise program designed in accordance with the state-regulated curriculum.

Main measures: The primary outcome variable was TKA. Secondary outcome variables were lumbar lordosis angle (LLA), sacral angle (SA), and incline angle (INA) measured in the upright position; thoracic, lumbar, and sacral spine range of motion (ROM) and INA ROM (change in center of gravity) measured in the forward bending and extended positions; and changes in TKA, LLA, SA, and INA measured during the Matthiass test.

Results: There were significant differences in pretest and posttest TKA in both groups (intervention group: pretest 47.09 ± 5.45, posttest 38.31 ± 9.18, P < 0.0001; control group: pretest 47.47 ± 6.06, posttest 43.59 ± 7.49, P < 0.0001). After adjustment for gender and pretest values, there were significant differences in posttest TKA, change in SA, and thoracic ROM in the intervention group compared to the control group ( P < 0.05).

Conclusion: The corrective functional exercise program designed for this study improved exaggerated thoracic kyphosis in teenagers.

Keywords: Functional exercise program; abnormality of the sagittal posterior process of thoracic vertebrae; teenager.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • China
  • Exercise Therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kyphosis / physiopathology
  • Kyphosis / rehabilitation*
  • Male
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Thoracic Vertebrae*
  • Treatment Outcome