Hyperlordosis: Treatment, Prevention, and More

What’s hyperlordosis?

Human spines are naturally curved, but too much curve can cause problems. Hyperlordosis is when the inward curve of the spine in your lower back is exaggerated. This condition is also called swayback or saddleback.

Hyperlordosis can occur in all ages, but it’s rare in children. It’s a reversible condition.

Keep reading to learn about the symptoms and causes of hyperlordosis and how it’s treated.

READ:   Spine Health. PROCEDURE 16 — CORRECTION OF LATERAL SHIFT

What are the symptoms of hyperlordosis?

If you have hyperlordosis, the exaggerated curve of your spine will cause your stomach to thrust forward and your bottom to push out. From the side, the inward curve of your spine will look arched, like the letter C. You can see the arched C if you look at your profile in a full-length mirror.

You may have lower back pain or neck pain, or restricted movement. There’s limited evidence connecting hyperlordosis to lower back pain, however.

Most hyperlordosis is mild, and your back remains flexible. If the arch in your back is stiff and doesn’t go away when you lean forward, there may be a more serious problem.

READ:   TREATMENT OF THE DERANGEMENT SYNDROME

What causes hyperlordosis?

Bad posture is the most frequent cause of hyperlordosis. Other factors that may contribute to hyperlordosis are:

  • obesity
  • wearing high-heeled shoes for extended periods
  • spinal injury
  • neuromuscular diseases
  • rickets
  • sitting or standing for extended periods
  • weak core muscles

For pregnant women, a 2007 study found that hyperlordosis is the way that the female spine has evolved to adjust to the additional weight of the baby.

You can check your posture with a simple test:

  • Stand up straight against a wall. Keep your legs shoulder-width apart and your heels about 2 inches from the wall.
  • Your head, shoulder blades, and bottom should touch the wall. There should be just enough space to slip your hand between the wall and the small of your back.
  • With hyperlordosis, there will be more than one hand space between the wall and your back.
READ:   The Postural Syndrome

When do you see a doctor for hyperlordosis?

Most cases of hyperlordosis don’t require special medical care. You can correct your posture on your own. You’ll need to do some regular exercises and stretches to help keep up good posture.

If you have pain or your hyperlordosis is rigid, see a doctor to determine the cause. Depending on the diagnosis, your doctor may refer you to a back specialist or a physical therapist. Sometimes hyperlordosis can be a sign of a pinched nerve, loss of bone in the spine, or a damaged disk.

Your doctor will do a physical examination. They’ll ask you when your pain started and how it has affected your daily activities.

READ:   Lordosis Exercises: For Core and Hips

Your doctor may also take X-rays or other imaging of your spine to aid in diagnosis. You may also have a neurological exam and other tests.

What kinds of treatment are available for hyperlordosis?

Your treatment plan will depend on your doctor’s diagnosis. In most cases, treatment will be conservative. In rare cases, surgery may be required.

Conservative treatment may include:

  • over-the-counter remedies for pain, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), or naproxen (Aleve)
  • a weight loss program
  • physical therapy

Children and teens with hyperlordosis may need to wear a brace to guide spinal growth.

Exercises to try

Your doctor may refer you to a physical therapist. They may also give you a set of exercises to do on your own to help your posture.

READ:   Spine Health. PROCEDURE 5 — SUSTAINED EXTENSION

There are many kinds of exercises and stretches to choose from, depending on your age and your level of fitness. Yoga and chair yoga are good choices. The important thing is to develop an exercise routine that you can stick to. You should also be aware of keeping good posture when sitting, standing, or engaging in activities.

Here are some simple posture exercises that require no equipment:

  • Move your shoulders forward and up toward your ears and then back down, pushing out toward your back.
  • Stretch your arms out at your sides at shoulder height, and roll them in small circles.
  • Standing up, squat as though you were sitting in a chair.
  • Standing tall, place one hand over your ear. Rest the other hand and arm flat at your side. Lean in the direction opposite to the covered ear.
READ:   Low Back Pain. Contraindications

What is the outlook for hyperlordosis?

Most hyperlordosis is the result of poor posture. Once you’ve corrected your posture, the condition should resolve itself.

The first step is to be aware of your posture during your normal daily routine. Once you know what it feels like to stand and sit properly, keep it up. You should see results right away, even if it seems awkward at first.

Develop an exercise and stretching routine that you do daily. Consult with your doctor if you’re not sure about the appropriate level of activity for you.

Post reminders to yourself to sit or stand straight. Ask your friends and family to tell you when they see you slouching or hunched over at your computer.

READ:   TYPICAL TREATMENT PROGRESSION — THE DYSFUNCTION SYNDROME

Good posture takes vigilance until it becomes automatic.

What can you do to prevent hyperlordosis?

You can often prevent hyperlordosis by practicing correct posture. Keeping your spine correctly aligned will prevent stress on your neck, hips, and legs that could lead to problems later in life. Here are some more tips to help prevent this condition:

  • If you’re concerned with weight management, start a weight loss program. Talk to your doctor if you need help getting started.
  • If you sit a lot during the day, take small breaks to get up and stretch.
  • If you have to stand for a long time, periodically shift your weight from one foot to the other, or from your heels to your toes.
  • Sit with your feet flat on the floor.
  • Use a pillow or rolled towel to support your lower back when sitting.
  • Wear comfortable, low-heeled shoes.
  • Stick to an exercise program of your choice.
READ:   Spine Health. PROCEDURE 7 — EXTENSION MOBILISATION
Spine Health. PROCEDURE 2 — LYING PRONE IN EXTENSION The patient, already lying prone, places the elbows under the shoulders and raises the top half of his body so that he comes to lean on elbows and forearms while pelvis and thighs remain on the couch. In this position the lumbar lordosis is automatically increased. Emphasis must be placed on allowing the low back to sag and the lordosis to increase. Fig. Lying prone in extension. Effects: Procedure 2 is a progression of procedure 1 and merely enhances its effects by increasing extension. Again, in derangement some time must be allowed to affect the contents of the disc and, if possible patients should remain in this position for five to ten minutes. In more acute patients sustained extension may not be well tolerated due to pain, and initially we must rely on the use of intermittent extension.
Spine Health. PROCEDURE 13 — FLEXION IN LYING The patient lies supine with the knees and hips flexed to about forty-five degrees and the feet flat on the couch. He bends the knees up towards the chest, firmly clasps the hands about them and applies overpressure to achieve maximum stress. The knees are then released and the feet placed back on the couch. The sequence is repeated about ten times. The first two or three flexion stresses are applied cautiously, but when the procedure is found to be safe the remaining pressures may become successively stronger, the last two or three being applied to the maximum possible. Fig. Flexion in lying. Effects: Flexion in lying causes a stretching of the posterior wall of the annulus, the posterior longitudinal ligament, the capsules of the facet joints, and other soft tissues. As the movement takes place from below upwards the lower lumbar and lumbo-sacral joints are placed on full stretch at the beginning of the exercise as soon as movement is initiated. Thus, the procedure is very i...
TREATMENT OF FLEXION DYSFUNCTION Loss of flexion is the second most common movement loss in the lumbar spine. It manifests itself in several ways, which interfere with either the amount of available flexion or the pathway taken to achieve flexion. This type of dysfunction is commonly seen in patients with an accentuated lordosis. Patients with significant flexion dysfunction are usually unable to sit slouched with a convex lumbar spine. When giving postural instructions to these patients, we must explain that once sitting relaxed they place the lumbar spine on full stretch much sooner than patients with a normal flexion excursion. Fig. Recovery of loss offlexion, using the procedure of flexion in standing. Recovery of pure flexion loss To regain flexion we must, just as in the case of extension dysfunction, explain to the patient the purpose of performing exercises. Again, we must stress the necessity of causing a moderate degree of discomfort or pain with the exercises. Pain produced by stretching of contra...
Spinal manipulation techniques There are many differing philosophies and concepts surrounding the practise of spinal manipulation and its effects on the pathologies which may exist in the spine. To satisfy all these philosophies an equal number of institutions has developed, teaching those wishing to learn. No matter what school presents its case or which philosophy is adhered to, all manipulative specialists claim to have a high success rate. They all use techniques which vary in nature, application and intent; they proclaim that their own methods are superior to those used by others; and yet, somehow they all obtain uniformly good results. Self-limitation of low back pain plays, of course, a significant role in this happy situation. Apart from this there are definite benefits which are obtained quickly by using manipulative techniques. Throughout the years I have practised many forms of mobilisation and manipulation, including osteopathic and chiropractic techniques and those taught by Cyriax. I have come to be...
TREATMENT OF THE DERANGEMENT SYNDROME Of all patients with low back pain those having derangement of the intervertebral disc are the most interesting and rewarding to treat. As in dysfunction, it is essential in derangement that from the very first treatment correction of the sitting posture be achieved, but in the early and acute stages of derangement emphasis is placed on the maintenance of lordosis rather than the obtaining of the correct posture. Failure in this respect means failure of what otherwise might be a successful reduction of the derangement. So often it occurs that a patient describes a significant relief from pain and is visibly improved immediately following treatment, but later that same day after sitting for some time he is unable to straighten up on rising from sitting and the symptoms have returned just as they were before treatment. Usually the patient clearly understands the dangers of bending and stooping and carefully avoids these movements. But the hidden dangers of sustained flexion incurred in t...