Hyperlordosis Causes and Treatment Options 

 June 1, 2012

By  Dr. Tripp Stover, D.C.

Mechanicsville Virginia Chiropractor – Our spine is normally curved, in order to reduce shock and distribute weight evenly along the length of the back. However, in hyperlordosis (sometimes simply called lordosis and commonly known as “swayback”) the natural lordotic curves in the spine become overly pronounced due to the presence of subluxations, causing pain and sometimes spasms in the lumbar muscles. Though hyperlordosis most often occurs in the lumbar region of the back, it can also appear in the neck/cervical spine.

There are a few different causes of lordosis. It can be congenital, occurring during fetal development when a significant difference develops between the thickness of the front and back parts of the cervical discs. The condition often worsens at puberty and is not obvious until the person reaches their early 20s. Pregnant women often experience this condition, as the weight of the baby pulls on the lower back. Spondylolisthesis, where one vertebra slips over another, can also contribute to this disorder. Hyperlordosis can occur due to arthritis or spinal degeneration, though in most adults it is perhaps most often due to an imbalance in muscle strength and length in the lumbar and hip regions.  This like I said above, is caused by the presence of subluxations.

Chiropractic care may help reduce lower back pain from hyperlordosis, and we may use spinal adjustments to correct the subluxations which will reduce pain and help restore motion. But unless the condition is severe enough to require surgery (which usually involves spinal fusion), adjustments, stretching, and specific rehab exercises are the most common treatment to correct hyperlordosis.

Remember, hyperlordos is the effect of subluxations, which cause muscular compensations, which involve four sets of muscles, two sets of which are too tight and two sets which are weak and need tightening: the trunk extensors and hip flexors (particularly the iliopsoas muscles) need stretching, and the abdominal muscles and hip extensors (primarily the hamstrings and gluteus maximus) need strengthening. The following exercises are helpful in stretching or strengthening the appropriate muscle groups which make them good supplements to spinal adjustments:

To stretch the hip flexors: Get down on one knee, with your hips over the knee on the floor and your other leg in front of you with the knee centered over the foot. Then gently move your hips forward until you feel a stretch extending from your inner hip to your thigh. Hold the position for about 30 seconds and repeat three to five times. Repeat the stretch with the alternate knee on the floor.

To stretch the lower back: Lie on your back and bring your knees up to your chest. Wrap your arms around your knees, pull them in toward your back as far as you can and hold the position for 30 seconds. Repeat three to five times.

To strengthen the abdomen: Do these abdominal crunches by lying on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Then, with your hands on your thighs, lift your head and upper shoulders slightly off the floor. Repeat for as many reps as is comfortable, then rest for a minute and repeat the same number of reps twice (three sets of 10 reps, for example).

To strengthen the gluteus maximus: Lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor and your hands stretched out toward your feet. Gradually lift your hips off the floor until the line between your knees and shoulders is straight. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat 10 times.

Please give us a call if you have any questions or want to make an appointment: 804-559-1100

Stover Chiropractic, P.C.

Real. Simple. Healthcare.

Dr. Tripp Stover, D.C.

Dr. Stover grew up in Richmond. He has been married to his wife Andrea since 2000 and they make their home in Mechanicsville with their children, Avery and Garnett.

Dr. Tripp Stover, D.C.

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