Dr. Wendy Katzman will be presenting the results of the Study of Hyperkyphosis, Exercise and Function (SHEAF) trial at the APTA Combined Sections meeting in San Antonio, TX. The study was a randomized controlled trial studying the effects of a multi-modal spine strengthening exercise program on Cobb angle of kyphosis in 99 community-dwelling older adults aged 60 years or older. Participants in the active group received a physical therapist-led group exercise program 3 times a week for 6-months and the controls attended monthly health-education classes. Participants receiving the exercise program reduced their radiographic and clinical measures of kyphosis. They also improved self-esteem and confidence in their appearance.
Age-related hyperkyphosis is a common, easily recognized geriatric syndrome that is associated with poor health outcomes. Results from this trial suggest that targeted spine strengthening exercise with postural training should be considered as a viable and safe treatment option for older adults.