A lordosis is understood to mean a curvature of the spine in the front direction. Hyperlordosis is a common bad posture.
What is lordosis?
According to Homethodology, lordosis is a curvature of the spine that runs in the front direction. It forms the counterpart to kyphosis, in which the curvature of the spine goes in the posterior direction. The overall shape of the spine shows lordosis in the cervical region while kyphosis occurs in the thoracic region. Lordosis also occurs in the lumbar vertebrae section.
A distinction must be made between lumbar lordosis and cervical lordosis. If the lordosis leads to a bad posture, the medical term is hyperlordosis or a hollow back. It shows up in either the cervical spine or the lumbar spine.
Hyperlordosis is a bad posture that causes the spine to curve excessively in the front direction. Exaggerated curvature is noticeable through damage to the spine and back pain. As the spine curves excessively forward, the abdomen bulges forward at the same time, while the thorax is shifted behind the body axis.
In this way, the person concerned assumes a stable posture and does not tip over. In addition, the abdominal muscles prevent falling over in the rear direction. It is not uncommon for the affected persons to appear as if they were carrying a heavy belly, as if they were pregnant.
The causes for the development of a pathological lordosis are different. In some cases, hyperlordosis is congenital, but this is rare. In most patients, the hollow back is formed as a result of poor posture that lasts for a long time. Sometimes these incorrect postures are also the result of certain diseases, which include slipped vertebrae ( spondylolisthesis ) or Pomarino’s disease.
In most sufferers, however, the lordosis is caused by a muscular imbalance. This is caused by incorrect postures such as permanent sitting or standing or lack of exercise. Above all, non-ergonomic sitting is often responsible for the development of hyperlordosis. This can be attributed to the rapid relaxation of the abdominal muscles.
However, along with the back and gluteal muscles, the abs are important in stabilizing the spine. In addition, those affected often suffer from a lack of exercise, which in turn has a negative effect on muscle strength. For this reason, an efficient compensation of the lordosis is no longer possible, which can lead to a persistent malposition.
Sometimes a shortening of the hip flexor causes a hollow back to develop if the extensor muscles are weak at the same time. Because tendons and ligaments shorten as a result, the lower back becomes increasingly immobile over time. The consequence of this is the occurrence of hyperlordosis, which is almost always evident in the lumbar spine.
Symptoms, Ailments & Signs
Excessive lordosis does not always lead to severe symptoms. Some of those affected initially only suffer from tension, which occurs from time to time. In the further course, due to the muscle weakness, there is increasing pain in the back and lower back, the intensity of which increases over time.
Another typical symptom is movement restrictions, for which the shortened tendons and ligaments are responsible. Another problem can be the wear and tear of the intervertebral discs, which is often associated with hyperlordosis. Because of this, the risk of herniated discs and damage to the spine increases.
The lordosis also sometimes leads to narrowing of the spinal canal, so that the back pain also radiates to the legs, which is referred to as lumboischialgia. It can also lead to sensory disturbances such as tingling and paresthesia.
Diagnosis & disease progression
The examining doctor can usually diagnose hyperlordosis with a physical examination.Particularlythe forward tilting of the pelvis and the arching of the spine towards the stomach are clear indications of a hollow back. In order to be able to determine its extent and possible damage to the spine, an examination is usually carried out X-ray examination is usually carried out. It is also important to identify the triggering cause.
The further course of a lordosis depends on which treatment measures are carried out. The patient must train the affected muscle groups quickly and consistently in order to counteract possible secondary diseases. If the therapy is carried out quickly and professionally, the hyperlordosis usually takes a positive course.
First and foremost, the lordosis leads to a very unhealthy and, above all, incorrect posture of the patient. This attitude has a very negative effect on the health of the patient. In most cases, those affected suffer from tension that can occur in different regions of the body.
This also leads to muscle weakness, so that the resilience of those affected decreases significantly and quality of life is restricted. Movement restrictions can also occur. The risk of a so-called herniated disc increases significantly due to the lordosis. Various sensory disturbances and abnormal sensations can also occur in the body, resulting in an unpleasant tingling or numbness in the patient.
The quality of life is significantly restricted and reduced by the lordosis. It is not uncommon for patients to develop psychological symptoms as a result of the disease and appear irritable. The pain can also lead to sleep disorders, especially at night in the form of rest pain.
Lordosis is treated with various physiotherapy measures. This can limit most complaints. As a rule, the life expectancy of the patient is not affected by the lordosis.
When should you go to the doctor?
Bad posture of the back should always be examined by a doctor. If you notice a crooked posture of the upper body when sitting, walking or standing during the growth process or in adulthood, a doctor should be consulted. If there is a permanent bad posture of the back or the hips, further complications can arise, which should be prevented in good time. A doctor should be consulted in the event of complaints affecting the muscles, pain or tension. If the usual performance level drops, if everyday tasks can no longer be fulfilled or if it is no longer possible to lift light objects, a doctor is needed.
Sensory disturbances on the skin, numbness or disturbances of sensitivity should be examined and treated by a doctor. A tingling sensation on the skin or circulatory disorders must be clarified by a doctor. If you have trouble sleeping, restrict your leisure activities, or if you can no longer fulfill your professional tasks, you should see a doctor. If psychological problems arise as a result of the symptoms, the person concerned needs medical and therapeutic support. Unsteady gait or dizziness increases the general risk of accidents. To avoid further diseases, a doctor’s visit is necessary. If pain at rest occurs at night or during daily breaks, medical advice should be sought.
Treatment & Therapy
In the context of lordosis therapy, it is of crucial importance to improve the patient’s posture and ensure sufficient movement. Assuming a correct sitting position is also considered extremely important. Experts therefore recommend so-called dynamic sitting.
The affected persons keep their upper body straight and regularly switch from an upright to a reclined sitting position. This effectively relieves muscles and intervertebral discs. The use of ergonomic seating furniture is also considered useful. Another therapeutic measure is attending a back school.
There, physiotherapists show the patient special exercises that serve to stretch and strengthen the muscles. These exercises can also be carried out in your own four walls. If diseases such as slipped vertebrae or Pomarino’s disease are the trigger of the lordosis, it is important to treat their causes.
Outlook & Forecast
The prognosis for the curvature of the spine depends on when the affected person seeks medical treatment and how severe the curvature is. In addition, the cooperation of the patient in improving his health is imperative. The earlier a doctor is consulted and physiotherapeutic training takes place, the better the further healing process.
If the learned exercise units are also carried out continuously outside of the treatment, an alleviation of the existing complaints can be documented. In addition, information about the optimal posture should be provided and risk factors or conditions of physical stress should be avoided in everyday life.
If the growth process of the affected person is already complete and the spine is severely deformed, there may be permanent limitations in mobility. In addition, impairments of the muscular system and abnormal sensations are possible. In particularly severe cases, surgical interventions are necessary. These represent a challenge and can cause consequential damage. If the operations proceed without further complications, an improvement in the quality of life can be documented.
Nevertheless, the posture of the affected person must be changed in the long term so that health is promoted. The performance of physical activities and sporting activities must be adapted to the conditions of the human organism. In addition, the muscles must be trained regularly so that sufficient stability is built up.
In order to avoid hyperlordosis in the first place, you should always make sure you get enough exercise. Exercising, walking or swimming are considered helpful. Adopting a healthy posture also has a preventive effect.
The lordosis, as a physiological phenomenon in itself, only requires therapy and subsequent aftercare if it is too severe and the symptoms associated with it are too great. The aftercare is designed in cooperation with the orthopedist or physiotherapist, but in many cases requires the cooperation of the patient for success. This applies above all to exercises learned in the context of physiotherapy, which are consistently continued at home.
These serve to gently stretch the shortened muscles in the chest area in order to counteract the unhealthy, forward-bent posture over the long term. On the other hand, the muscles in the area of the upper back are strengthened, which promotes a physiological straightening of the spine if the exercises are carried out regularly. In the fitness studio or rehabilitation sports, you can train on equipment that precisely performs the exercises required for targeted strengthening.
This increases efficiency and noticeably reduces the risk of injury. It is also important to ensure an upright posture during aftercare of the lordosis. This also includes the ergonomic design of the workplace. The bending of the upper body at the desk should not be too strong and should be interrupted by active breaks again and again. Yoga or Pilates are suitable for raising awareness of a straight back due to the gentle movements.
You can do that yourself
The treatment of lordosis is essentially aimed at improving the posture of the affected person and ensuring sufficient exercise. This is only possible with the active help of the patient. A lordosis is therefore one of the clinical pictures in which the patient can do more for himself than the doctor.
First, the patient should learn to adopt a healthy sitting position. Which one is optimal for the person concerned also depends on the respective activity. The person concerned should discuss this with their doctor and their physiotherapistclarify and also comply with the recommendations made. The latter is often difficult, since we usually adopt an unhealthy posture unconsciously and out of habit. Here are a few little tricks that can help. If you share an office with colleagues, you can confide in one of them and ask them to regularly point out poor posture. If you have an office for yourself, you can activate the monitoring function of your webcam and view the recordings regularly. In most cases, however, the small red light from the camera is enough to constantly remind the person concerned of their posture. Ergonomic seating furniture can also support the re-education.
In addition, it is usually necessary for the person concerned to attend a back school and to do special exercises several times a week for at least twenty to thirty minutes. It is also extremely important to integrate regular exercise into everyday life, for example by consistently climbing stairs.