What Is A Lumbar Lordosis?
Lumbar lordosis is a common postural position where the natural curve of the lumbar region of the back is slightly or dramatically accentuated. The most obvious signs of lumbar hyperlordosis are a lower back pain in dancing and pedestrian activities as well as having the appearance of a swayed back.
A major feature of lumbar lordosis is a forward pelvic tilt, resulting in the pelvis resting on top of the thighs. Precise diagnosis of lordosis is done by looking at a complete medical history, physical examination and other tests of the patient.
Excessive lumbar lordosis can cause disc degeneration, nerve root compression and wear and tear to all structures of the lumbar spine and surrounding soft tissues.
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What is Swayback Posture?
Everyone has a natural mild curve of the spine. When you lie flat on the floor, you should still have a gentle arch from the top of your pelvis to your middle back. A swayback (technically called hyperlordosis) exaggerates this curve. When standing, even if you’re slender, a person with swayback posture will have a pooching belly that seems to pull the spine forward. Your pelvis tilts forward unnaturally throwing your balance out of whack and forcing your lower back to compensate. Your shoulders sit way back, and you head thrusts forward. If you’ve been wearing high heels day in day out, more than likely that’s a big part of the problem. Read More Here.
Loss of lordosis can begin early in childhood with injuries from falls and continues into adulthood with sports injuries, stress, and whiplash. Children with significant lordosis will have a large space underneath the lower back when lying face up on a hard surface.
Symptoms of Lordosis differ from people to people, and may bear resemblance to other spinal conditions or deformities. Symptoms vary depending on the underlying cause of the condition. Lordosis can be due to the following reasons:
- Achondroplasia: Is a genetic bone disorder that occurs in one in 25,000 births. It is the most common type of dwarfism. This condition is inherited by an autosomal dominant gene that causes cartilages to form abnormally. One of the symptoms of this condition is Lordosis.
- Spondylolisthesis: Is a condition where a vertebra or bone in the lower part of the spine slips out of its normal position, and onto the bone below it. It is usually caused by a birth defect or due to acute trauma or injury. Spondylolisthesis can produce increased Lordosis as one of its symptoms.
- Poor Posture: A poor posture over time can result in stress caused to the lower back, and may eventually lead to Lordosis. This problem is common amongst professional footballers. Read the full article here.
A visible sign of lordosis is an abnormally large arch of the lower back and the person appears to be puffing out his or her stomach and buttocks. Kyphosis or lordosis can be treated in a supportive, caring environment through physical therapy, exercise, and sometimes corrective bracing (orthotic) treatment.
Assessing For Excessive Lumbar Lordosis
There is a very easy assessment to evaluate if you or a client has excessive lumbar lordosis. Ask the client to stand against a flat surface such as a door or wall. Instruct them to stand with the back against the wall with heels, buttocks, shoulders and head touching the wall. Place your hand, palm down, on the wall and slide it behind the lower back (see Picture 1)
Wall Test for Excessive Lumbar Lordosis
Evaluate the space between the lumbar spine and the wall. When a person has an acceptable degree of lumbar lordosis, you should only be able to slide your fingers behind the lower back up to, and in line with the second or third knuckle of your hand (i.e., where the fingers meet the hand). If the space between the back and the wall is big enough for you to slide your whole hand or arm through, then the client has excessive lumbar lordosis. The greater the space is between the wall and the lower back, the more extreme the deviation or imbalance is.
If someone has a large gluteal complex and the tail bone is not in contact with the wall during the assessment, then you will need to make an allowance for the additional space. Use your best judgment to determine whether the lumbar curvature is excessive.
Lordosis will be more of a problem.
So, lordosis isn’t a disease or a diagnosis but having a lordotic posture or a deep curve in your lower back may mean you are increasing stresses and strains elsewhere which may lead to pain. From a conservative therapy standpoint, there are some nice programs specifically designed to get the curve back. One is used by chiropractors and uses special traction machines to fix the curve.
We at Chiropractor San Diego aim to properly evaluate your condition and then provide you with a treatment regimen that addresses the root cause of your symptoms so that you have the best chance at living a comfortable and active life. Call us now for an appointment (619) 831-8777.