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Hyperlordosis : Exercises, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment and Prevention

Overview

Hyperlordosis, also called swayback or hollow back, is a health condition involving an excessive spine curve in the lower back or lumbar region. While it is expected to develop minimal curvature, an exaggerated curvature of the lower spine can cause lower back pain and numbness.

This blog digs deep into hyperlordosis, its causes, symptoms, treatment, and prevention.

What is hyperlordosis?

Human spines are generally curved, but too much curvature may cause problems. Hyperlordosis occurs when there is an excessive inward curve of the spine in the lower back. It could develop in people of all ages but is rare in children. Hyperlordosis is a reversible condition.

What are the symptoms of hyperlordosis?

People with hyperlordosis can experience the following symptoms: 

  • Lower back pain – people with hyperlordosis can experience mild-to-severe lower back pain that can worsen with movement. They can also experience back spasms or tightness.
  • Difficulty moving – people can have movement issues because of muscle tightening and stiffness in the lower back.
  • Numbness– In addition to pain, some people notice a tingling sensation.
  • Loss of bladder control – in some instances, people can experience changes in bladder control.

When should you consult a doctor for hyperlordosis?

Many cases of hyperlordosis do not need special medical care. You can correct the posture by yourself. You will need some regular exercises and stretches to help maintain good posture. 

When you have pain or the hyperlordosis is rigid, consult a doctor to determine the cause. 

The doctor can refer you to a spine specialist or a physical therapist based on the diagnosis. Sometimes, hyperlordosis may be a sign of a pinched nerve, loss of bone in the spine, or a damaged disc. The doctor may perform a physical examination after understanding your family and medical history and how the pain affects your life. You can also undergo a neurological exam and other tests.

What are the causes of hyperlordosis?

Often, bad posture is the most common cause of hyperlordosis. The other factors that may contribute to hyperlordosis are:

  1. Obesity
  2. Spinal injury
  3. Rickets
  4. Neuromuscular diseases
  5. Weak core muscles
  6. Wearing high-heeled shoes for prolonged periods
  7. Sitting or standing for long periods

How is hyperlordosis treated?

The treatment of hyperlordosis frequently involves techniques to prevent the worsening of the curve in the lower back. The doctor can begin by prescribing pain relief and anti-inflammatory medication to ease painful symptoms.

If obesity can be a contributing factor, the doctor may devise a weight-loss plan. The weight loss plan may include physical therapy exercises that stretch and strengthen the core muscles to improve posture. In other cases, the doctor can recommend using a hyperlordosis back brace to keep the spine aligned.

The long-term treatment is dependent on the cause of the condition. When weakness or muscle imbalances cause hyperlordosis, the doctor is likely to ask the patient to consult a physical therapist or orthopaedic.

However, if the treatment mentioned above fails, the patient may require surgery to correct the curve. It is only in severe cases.

What can people do to prevent hyperlordosis?

People can often prevent hyperlordosis by practicing correct posture. By keeping the spine aligned correctly, people will not exert stress on their necks, hips, and legs, which may lead to problems later in life. Here are some of the tips people must follow to help prevent this condition: 

  1. The patient must start a weight loss program if they are worried about weight management. People can consult the doctor if they require help in getting started.
  2. Sitting for long periods during the day, people are required to take small breaks to get up and stretch.
  3. If a person has to stand for long periods, they must periodically shift their weight from one foot to the other or from the heels to the toes.
  4. They must sit with their feet flat on the floor.
  5. They must use a pillow or rolled towel to support their lower back when sitting.
  6. They must wear comfortable, low-heeled shoes.
  7. They must stick to an exercise program of their choice.

Conclusion 

Hyperlordosis occurs when there is an extreme, inward curvature of the lower back. While people can be born with hyperlordosis, if it develops in adulthood, it is probably because of specific lifestyle factors. Maintaining a moderate weight and regular exercise may often help people improve posture and reduce back pain issues. When exercise does not relieve the symptoms of hyperlordosis, people must seek medical advice. The doctor will perform a spine examination before diagnosing and creating a treatment plan tailored for patients.

Frequently Asked Questions 

1. What exercises can people try for hyperlordosis at home?

The doctor can refer the patient to a physical therapist to give a set of exercises that are independently performed to help the posture

Patients can perform various exercises and stretches based on age and fitness level. Yoga and chair yoga are good choices. The most important thing for patients is to develop an exercise routine they can follow. They must also be aware of keeping good posture while sitting, standing, or engaging in activities. Some of the simple posture exercises that require no equipment include the following:

Exercise 1

The patient must move their shoulders forward and up toward the ears and back down, pushing out toward their back.

Exercise 2

The patient must stretch their arms out at their sides at shoulder height and roll them in small circles.

Exercise 3

The patient must stand up and squat as though sitting in a chair.

Exercise 4

The patient must stand tall and place one hand over their ear. They must then rest the other hand and arms flat at their side. Afterwards, they must lean in the direction opposite to the covered ear.

2. How is hyperlordosis diagnosed?

Generally, the doctor asks for an X-ray to measure the curvature of the spine. However, they can also suggest an MRI or CT scan when they believe an abnormality in the soft tissue is the cause of the hyperlordosis. The doctor may also recommend a blood test and bone scans to obtain more information and rule out other possible health conditions.

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