Lordosis can be a complication that may develop for seemingly no reason at all. In fact, symptoms of lordosis are sometimes not evident easily. If you have lordosis, you will notice your spine is either curved too far forward (anterior), which may cause compression in the lower back and chronic low back pain, or too far backward (posterior), which may cause pain in the neck and shoulders. This condition might make you think about how to fix lumbar lordosis, right?
It is also known as swayback because if someone has this condition, they appear to bend slightly from the middle when viewed from the side. This curving results in weight being distributed over a larger surface area and away from the hip joints. Physical therapy science, however, can help a lot in alienating pain.
- What is lordosis?
- Causes of lordosis
- Symptoms of lordosis
- Types of lordosis
- How to fix lordosis?
- Exercise 1 (The superman) –
- Exercise 2 (Bird dogs) –
- Exercise 3 (Leg raise with feet turned outwards) –
- Exercise 4 (The side plank) –
- Exercise 5 (The seated twist) –
- Exercise 6 (Alternate standing calf muscles stretch) –
- Exercise 7 (The wall sit) –
- Exercise 8 (Seated anterior pelvic tilt) –
- Exercise 9 (Prone hip flexors extension) –
- Exercise 10 (The pelvic curl) –
- Exercise 11 (The crunch) –
- Exercise 12 (Chin tuck) –
- How to fix lordosis with Yoga
- 4 best yoga asana to fix lordosis:
- Final words
What is lordosis?
Lordosis is excessive curvature of the lumbar or lower spine. The trunk of your body typically dips inwards at the waist, but if you have lordosis, this curve is excessive.
A normal spinal column has three natural curves – one at the neck (the cervical or c-curve), one in the middle back (the thoracic or t-curve), and one at the lower back (the lumbar or l-curve). When standing upright, each bone in your spine should be stacked on top of the other like a row of dominoes with no gaps between them.
With increasing age, these bony discs wear down with use making them less and more brittle over time, resulting in a standard inward curve at the neck and upper back, a normal outward curve at the lower back, and a protruding disc here and there. This may also lead to lumbar hyperlordosis.
Causes of lordosis
The most common cause of lordosis is pregnancy, when the uterus puts pressure on the spine, which causes it to curve forward. The reason for this is the center of gravity in your body that shifts with the weight of the baby pulling downwards through your pelvis.
Perhaps making some changes around the home can minimize stress on your back; for example, placing things higher up (forgetting about the top shelf in the supermarket) or sitting down when doing chores like ironing. It is important to remember that women carrying a lot of excess weight tend to carry disproportionately more fat towards their abdomen, making them more prone to developing lordosis because of excessive strain on their spinal column.
2. Muscle damage
Lordosis can also develop as you age because of general wear and tear causing weakening in the core muscles around your spine. As a result, the pelvic bones of your spine start to sag and compress your spinal discs.
In addition, obesity is a significant cause of lordosis because it increases the load on the spine by increasing that center of gravity. It can lead to weak muscles.
Men usually tend not to suffer from this condition as much due to having shorter spines in comparison. But, age does affect both sexes. Lordosis more likely affects those aged 40 or more because of wear and tear.
Symptoms of lordosis
- low back pain, also known as lumbago
- mid and upper back pain – tight hamstrings due to a knock knee gait or muscle imbalance causing a pelvic shift and increases stress on posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) of the knee joint
- pain shooting into the upper leg and buttocks
- difficulty standing up straight may need to lean forward while walking or standing in order to maintain balance
- difficulty breathing while lying on your back due to hyperinflation of lungs.
Treatment for fixing lordosis depends on how severe it is; mild cases are treated using corrective exercise, but surgery will be needed if there is too much damage to your pelvic bones or discs.
Types of lordosis
1. Central lordosis
Central or primary Lordosis is present at birth and involved in developing the pelvis and lumbar spine. It is also known as normal lordosis and physiologic lordosis.
2. Postural lordosis
Postural or secondary lordosis lacks muscle tone or strength, exaggerating a normal curve into a sagging poor lordosis posture.
3. Pathologic lordosis
Pathological or tertiary lordosis exaggerates a normal lumbar curve due to displacement of an intervertebral disc and/or lack of spinal stability. It may cause thoracic kyphosis, resulting in back pain radiating into the arms and legs (sciatica) or tightness in the hamstrings leading to lumbar hyperlordosis.
It is caused by disease, damage to the nervous system (spinal cord injury), tumors/growths, fractures, or trauma.
Structural or compensatory lordosis occurs when vertebral rotation compensates for excessive anterior pelvic tilt as seen in those born with central lordosis but do not develop proper trunk strength to maintain it as they grow older. This condition results in a loss of lordosis and, potentially, chronic low back pain.
How to fix lordosis?
Improving posture by doing simple workouts can help against lordosis. Exercises to fix lordosis are crucial as lordosis can lead to many complications such as nerve damage, poor lordosis posture, and herniated discs.
Thus, the benefits of these exercises are an increased range of motion in the back, better posture, improved stability and support, strengthening of core muscles around the spine. It helps maintain good posture, ton the abdominal muscles for support, and relieve chronic low back pain.
Some exercises that can help reduce lordosis and poor lordosis posture are as follows:
Exercise 1 (The superman) –
While lying on the floor, lift both legs simultaneously till they are at right-angles to the body with knees fully extended. Keep this neutral position for 10 seconds before gradually lowering your legs back down slowly. Repeat 5 times.
Exercise 2 (Bird dogs) –
Start on all fours with hands shoulder-width apart and knees hip-width apart. Extend one leg out behind you while lifting the opposite arm in the air; hold for 5 seconds before coming back down to starting position. Rest for a couple of breaths and repeat with another side. Repeat 10 times with each side.
Exercise 3 (Leg raise with feet turned outwards) –
Lie flat on your back with arms at your sides, lift both legs to a 45-degree angle, pointing your toes outwards. Hold for 5 seconds before lowering back down to starting position. Repeat 10 times.
Exercise 4 (The side plank) –
Start by lying face down, propped up onto forearms with elbows directly under shoulders and feet touching each other. Slowly prop yourself up onto your right forearm while keeping your feet together. Make sure you keep your hip flexors aligned with ankles and shoulder blades tucked in.
Raise your left arm towards the ceiling or sky as high as you can go without moving your upper body or pelvis off the floor hold for 20 seconds before slowly returning to ground rest for a couple of breaths and repeat with the other side. Repeat 10 times on each side.
Exercise 5 (The seated twist) –
Sit with your legs stretched out in front of you and your left leg crossed over the right knee, so feet are together. Sit up in a straight line, then turn upper body towards left, while at the same time reaching your right arm across your chest to touch left fingertips or palm.
Hold for 20 seconds before turning back around to face forward, rest for a couple of breaths and repeat on the other side. Repeat 10 times on each side.
Exercise 6 (Alternate standing calf muscles stretch) –
Hold onto a wall or a sturdy object for support if needed. Stand on your right leg while slightly leaning forward and slowly lower down. You will feel a stretch in the calf muscle of your left leg hold for 30 seconds before switching legs. Repeat 5 times on each leg.
Exercise 7 (The wall sit) –
A great exercise to do if you are starting with activities to fix lordosis. Stand with your back against a smooth wall and slide down until thighs are at a 90-degree angle, knees directly over ankles and maintain this neutral position for 10 minutes without moving. You can hold onto a sturdy object or use a chair as support if you need to rest a little but stay as still as possible.
Exercise 8 (Seated anterior pelvic tilt) –
Sit up straight on the floor with legs bent and feet flat on the surface, hands gripping either side of the seat to balance the body. Tilt the pelvis forwards, so your back is flat, and you feel the tension in abdominal muscles hold for 5 seconds before coming back up to starting position rest for a couple of breaths. Repeat 10 times.
Exercise 9 (Prone hip flexors extension) –
Lie on the floor face down with arms at sides propped up onto forearms. Bend right knee, place foot flat on the surface next to left leg with toes pointing away from your body straighten out a right leg as much as possible without lifting hips off the ground.
Tighten thigh muscle once raised hold for 3-5 seconds before returning slowly to starting position rest for a couple of breaths and repeat 10 times. Repeat each side 5 times each side.
Exercise 10 (The pelvic curl) –
Start with legs in tabletop position, hands gripping either side of the seat or a sturdy object. Now begin to curl your pelvis up towards the ceiling until you feel a stretch through your abdominals. Hold for 5 seconds before slowly bringing back down to starting position. Rest for a couple of breaths and repeat 10 times.
Exercise 11 (The crunch) –
Lie on the floor face up, knees bent, so feet are flat on surface place hands behind head/neck with elbows out wide. Bring chest forward while simultaneously lifting shoulders off the ground at least an inch but no more than two depending on strength and fitness level.
Hold for 3-5 seconds before gently lowering back down to starting position. Rest for a couple of breaths and repeat 10 times.
Exercise 12 (Chin tuck) –
Lying on your back, bend knees with feet flat on floor arms out to sides at shoulder height. Tuck chin into chest, then lift shoulders off the ground as high as you can without lifting upper body or feet off the ground hold for 3-5 seconds before gently lowering back down to starting position. Rest for a couple of breaths, and repeat 10 times.
Note: If unable to tuck head in, try tucking the chin to the chest instead.
Tip: Repeat exercise one to two times a day for best results.
How to fix lordosis with Yoga
To reduce stress and tension, yoga is an effective way of strengthening both mind and body. While some yoga poses can be challenging, practicing consistently will help you feel stronger and more relaxed throughout your day. If performed regularly, these five poses are designed to improve posture, promote back health and reduce back pain caused by lumbar lordosis.
4 best yoga asana to fix lordosis:
In a standing position, hold onto a support with both hands in front of you. With your feet hip-width apart and knees bent slightly, lean forward from the hip flexors until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings.
You can also perform this stretch lying on your back with your feet against a wall and arms by your sides. Let gravity take over as you lengthen the spine towards the floor. This will help to reduce stress and tension throughout the lower back, where lordosis is most common.
Lying spinal twist
Start with legs extended long in front of you with toes pointing away from the body and crossed at ankles if needed for extra support or to ensure proper spine alignment. Extend arms out to a straight line to each side with palms facing down. From here, slowly lower left arm, so it is level with shoulder and turn head to look over right shoulder toward lower backhand. Hold for 5-8 breaths, then switch sides.
This pose helps ease tension throughout the low back as well as helps to stretch the spine. Thus, it can lead to a more proper curvature of the lumbar region and help in lumbar lordosis.
Cat-cow yoga pose
This simple movement encourages spinal flexibility while releasing tension throughout the entire body. Start on your hands and knees on the mat or floor, hands under shoulders and knees under the hip flexors.
Make sure your spine is straight from head to tailbone with abs engaged, shoulders relaxed away from ears, arms active but not overly tense at the elbow, core engaged with slight pelvic tilt, and chin slightly lifted. Use of the pelvic floor muscles is needed.
Inhale deeply to drop shoulders, round the spine, and look toward your belly button while curving back from your hips. Then exhale completely, lift the head and draw abs in a while, lifting the tailbone to create a high arch or shelf supporting chest while looking forward with chin level to floor. Repeat several times, maintain fluidity throughout movement staying mindful of tempo and breathing pattern.
Often accompanied by a standing forward fold for a proper warm-up before attempting this pose, you must have already warmed up before trying this one. It is also not for anyone with neck or shoulder injuries, so be sure to check with a doctor if needed – otherwise, keeping arms long on the outer edges of ears and inhale, lift chest up and away from the heart.
Keep elbows in line with shoulders or slightly higher, so they are not taking the bulk of the weight. If you feel any back pain, come out of it immediately – this pose is meant to release tension throughout the back, not cause more!
Hold each pose for 5-8 deep breaths, then repeat on the opposite side.
The above exercises and yoga asana can help improve your lordosis and reduce stress and tension throughout the body. It is best to engage in at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day, whether it’s taking an active stroll outside or doing some light exercises at home to fix lordosis.
But it is essential to consult a doctor if you are experiencing any severe back problems. With commitment and perseverance, lordosis can be an issue of the past.