Lordosis is an excessive inward curvature of the spine that causes pain in sufferers.
Although some curve in the lower back - or lumbar region - is completely normal and even critical for absorbing the shock of moving up and down throughout the day, lordosis can cause serious issues.
Lordosis, also known as swayback, sufferers have a visible arch to their lower back.
What Causes Lordosis?
The exact etiology of lordosis is still somewhat mysterious, but there are some common causes that can exacerbate this excessive arch in the back's lumbar region.
Obesity as well as poor posture and osteoporosis are some of the main culprits in worsening lower back pain and lordosis.
If the lordosis is serious enough, you may experience lower back pain, muscle spasms or even a pins-and-needles sensation. Difficult urination is also a possible side effect of lordosis because of the poor posture and pressure on the bladder that sufferers take on day after day.
Lordosis Treatments and Posture Correction
The flexibility and free movement of our spines are often taken for granted, until a problem develops. It's important to get proper treatment to correct lordosis to avoid problems later in life. Untreated lordosis could worsen arthritis or even lead to chronic back pain in later life.
Yoga and Physical Therapy
Although yoga and physical therapy can help you gain more flexibility and improve the strength of your lower-back muscles, the real way to correct severe lordosis or hyperlordosis over the long haul is posture correction.
Spinal Manipulative Therapy and Cervical Braces
The National Institutes of Health recently reported spinal manipulative therapy using a light head-weight device and cervical brace resulted in a 40-degree reduction of cervical lordosis.
Posture Correction and Lumbar Stretches
Lower-back muscle stretches as well as abdominal crunches are proven ways to lessen the effects of lordosis or even prevent it from developing altogether.
Lightly stretching your lower-back muscles by lying supine on your back and slowly bringing your knees towards your head and holding that posture for at least thirty seconds can help loosen tight muscles in the lumbar region.
Abdominal Crunches for Posture
Abdominal crunches can also help improve your posture by improving the strength and flexibility of your lower-back muscles.
Lie down in the same supine position as you did for the lower-back stretches but this time lift your torso in a sit-up position with your arms behind your head and keep your legs on the ground.
This helps keep the spine, especially the lower region, strong and reduces that inward lordosis curve by improving your posture.
Hip Flexor Exercises and Corrective Braces
Strengthening your abdominal muscles and gluteal muscles will naturally result in a better posture and less lordosis. You may also need to improve your hip flexor muscles to see the improvement to your posture and eliminate your lordosis once and for all.
You really want to stretch the hip flexor's iliopsoas muscle to get the best results. To start off a hip flexor exercise make the same position that youngsters make on the baseball diamond when they take a knee.
From the position of one knee on the floor, slowly thrust your hips forward while trying to keep your back as straight as possible. If you hold this position for 30 seconds every time and do the exercise a few times per day, you should see improvements in your posture and lessening of your lordosis over time.
Braces are used to effectively treat lordosis, especially in children and teens. For extreme cases of lordosis, spinal fusion surgery has been shown to correct lordosis and improve posture.