Cervical Kyphosis

During the bench press I was straining and dug the back of my head into the bench. This caused pain in my neck. From examination I have a bit of a forward tilt or cervical kyphosis (lordotic curve). I have also experienced this when performing (and straining) during overhead pressing.

  1. what can be done to prevent this?

  2. are neck exercises in order?

  3. are wrestlers bridges in order?

  4. what doctor would be best to help this from coming back? I have seen one and it was a quick fix.

  5. Do I have to intentionally have to keep my head back? I know I have to duck to see the stop light in my car.

I do a lot of cervical rehab in my work - mainly with whiplash victims. Try answeing the following questions for me:

  1. When you describe ‘cervical lordosis,’ to what extent do you mean? Have somebody look at you from the side. Where are your ears in relation to the shoulder? Feel the back of your neck from the prominent bump between your shoulders (C7) to the base of your skull. Is there a slight curve, or a noticable ‘divot’ or hole back there.

  2. Where exactly is the pain (detailed)? What movements make it worse? What movements relieve the pain? What postures or positions make it worse? Is there any limit to your range of motion.? How often does this pain bother you when working out - every session or only on occaision?

A lot of improperly trained athletes I have worked with present with what Janda calls ‘upper crossed syndrome.’ High tone and decreased ROM in the pecs and UFT, and overactive SCM combined with relatively weak deep neck flexors, rhomboids and MFT/LFT. This situation puts a lot of stress of the cervical spine, but may never cause the athlete an pain issues until an injury occurs.

I would suggest starting with going to see a good sports physotherapist and get a referral from there.

Thanks a lot. By the way a sports physiotherapist is an orthopedic surgeon?

No, a sport physiotherapist is a physical therapist that specializes is treating athletic injuries. I’ve come across a lot of poor chiro’s and massage therapists that treat the symptoms but never treat the underlying musculoskeletal issues. Temporary pain relief occurs but th problem never goes away.

  1. Push around in your neck - where is it sore? When doing this, also push in a line from the top inside corner of the shoulder blade to the side of the neck. Does this area feel like a ‘tight rope or band’ or is it sore at all?

  2. By ‘hyperextension - trying to look behind me,’ do you mean looking up at the ceiling?

Diagnosing stuff like this over the internet is really difficult. I would highly recommend going to see a sport physio or doctor that specializes in sports med. as soon as possible.

Thanks, I may have to look into someone like that.

Just happened to see a chiro and all I hear is $$$. He never heard of upper cross syndrome, which is like you never hearing of a hang clean.

Postural imbalance, lower body and pelvic problems can lead to cervical disfunction, pain, loss of motion.

Not a scientific article, but Don Alessi sort of addresses what MAY be your problem here.


Read paragraph number one . . . sound familiar? He doesn’t come right out and call it ‘upper crossed syndrome’, but these are exercises that are usually used to address the problem in physically fit individuals.

If a chiro tells you that you are going to need numerous treatments and manipulations (ie. $$$), this is often warning sign #1 that you should get a second opinion. Get it checked out somewhere else.

Whoops . .

Try this:


I have seen some exercises but I would actually do these.