Lumbar lordosis, more commonly known by many as swayback, is a condition of the spine where there is an increased inner curvature in the lumbar area, namely in the lower portion of your back. A human spine actually displays a certain amount of lordosis, but when the lordosis being exhibit increases to a certain point, then it might pose a problem for the person.
How does Lumbar Lordosis Occur? Causes and Risk Factors
One of the most major factors on how a Lumbar Lordosis occurs in a person is the anterior pelvic tilt. This is due to an increased curve of the lower or lumbar spine. When this happens, the lower back will put more pressure on your entire back that will often lead to poor movement and back pain, especially in the lower back. Hence, it is important to keep good posture whenever curving your spine at the very least.
Some of the other common factors that induce lumbar lordosis are weak core muscles, weak gluteal (buttocks) muscles, tight hip flexors, and poor forms during exercises. A good measure on the proper curve of the lumbar spine when standing would be approximately 30-35 degrees.
Exercises on How to Prevent Lumbar Lordosis
Luckily for most people, some of the more simple symptoms of lumbar lordosis such as incorrect posture or mild to severe lower back pain can be remedied by simple Lumbar Lordosis exercises. Some of these exercises are focused on balancing the weakness of the muscle in your spine, and finally improving it. Some of these exercises include:
How to Prevent Lumbar Lordosis: Hip Flexor Stretches
Sometimes when the hip flexor is too tight and is not stimulated often, the neighboring muscles such as those of the muscles in your buttocks (gluteal muscles) become weak and it sometimes affects the alignment of your pelvis. Thus it is often important to stretch your Hip Flexors from time to time. It can be done by doing so:
- Start in a standing position
- Bend your knee and hold on to your ankle from your back
- When you pull your leg back, tilt your pelvis forward
- Hold this stretch for about 20-30 seconds at a time,
- And then go back to the starting position
- Repeat at least 5-10 times per leg
How to Prevent Lumbar Lordosis: Lower Back Muscle Stretches
Another tip to prevent yourself from having lumbar lordosis is to do lower back muscles stretches. These stretches can be done by doing the following:
- Lie down on your back (this can be done on the bed or on the floor with a yoga mat)
- Slowly pull both of your knees up to your chest
- All while guiding them with your hands clasped slightly lower than where your knees are located
- Inhale as you are doing this
- And hold the position for at least 20-50 seconds
- Then slowly stretch your legs back to the starting position
- Repeat this procedure at least 10 times
How to Prevent Lumbar Lordosis: Abdominal Crunches
Abdominal Muscles, an essential part of your core muscles play an important role in determining your posture. Doing abdominal muscle strengthening exercises can help in strengthening the spine and reducing inward curvature. Abdominal crunches can be done by:
- Lying on your back facing the ceiling (can be done on your bed or on the floor with an exercise mat)
- Tilt your pelvis back
- This can be done by pushing your lower back onto the floor
- Lift your torso off the floor
- Do this until your torso is at a 30-degree angle from the floor
- Support your neck with your hands
- And then slowly return to your starting position
- Repeat this exercise at least 10 times.
How to Prevent Lumbar Lordosis: Oblique Crunches
Oblique Crunches are somehow the same as abdominal crunches but are done at an oblique angle so as to develop the other parts of your abdominal or core muscles. This exercise can be done by:
- Lying down on your back and bending your knees to one side while your feet are resting near the floor.
- Keep your fingers on the sides of your head behind your ears
- Push down your lower back into the floor and hold.
- Slowly curl up so that both of your shoulders lift off the floor a few inches
- Try and hold this position for 5 seconds
- Return to the original position
- Repeat this exercise 10 times on both sides of the body.
Other tips on how to prevent Lumbar Lordosis:
- Keep your feet flat on the floor when sitting
- Do not lock your knees straight whenever standing
- Keep a flat pillow under your belly if you usually sleep on your stomach
- Avoid wearing high heel shoes frequently
Lumbar lordosis occurs when there is an exaggerated amount of inward curvature in the lower part of your back. It is a fairly common disorder but it can cause pain and loss of function and mobility. There are ways to protect your back and keep it healthy and strong. Take the following steps to prevent the pain of lumbar lordosis from slowing you down:
- Practice good posture: This is especially important if your back muscles are weak. Keep your abdominal muscles pulled in, your shoulders back and your head up both when you’re sitting and standing. Never slouch. Good posture supports your spine and helps prevent lumbar lordosis.
- Take frequent breaks to stretch: This is especially important if you work at a desk all day. If you can’t stand up to stretch out, raise your arms over your head and stretch out your legs.
- Strengthen your glutes: Strong glutes help prevent lumbar lordosis. Lie on the floor and squeeze the muscles of your buttocks as tight as you can to try to lift them from the floor.
- Control your weight: Obesity increases your risk for lumbar lordosis
- Manage your other health conditions: Diseases like osteoporosis can contribute to lumbar lordosis, so follow your doctor’s recommendations for treating any other health problems you may have.
Lumbar lordosis can lead to pain in the lower back. To help you cope with low back pain, here are some suggestions that may be helpful.
To manage pain while sitting
- Place a small, rolled towel behind your back at your belt line to help support your low back.
- Avoid sitting on a low, soft sofa. It may look comfortable, but it can hurt your low back when you try to stand up, leading to lumbar lordosis.
- When standing up from a seated position, avoid bending forward from your waist. Place your hands on your chair at push up with your arms instead.
- Monitor your posture frequently. Remind yourself often to sit up straight: tummy tucked in, shoulders back, chin up. This may help prevent lumbar lordosis.
- Avoid sitting down in a bathtub. Take a shower instead. Falls in the tub can lead to injuries that may cause lumbar lordosis.
To manage pain while driving
- When driving long distances, get out of the car every few hours. This will help prevent pain the pain of excessive lumbar lordosis.
- Keep a small pillow or rolled towel behind the small of your back to help prevent excessive lumbar lordosis.
- Change the position of your seat every few hours when driving a long distance.
- Avoid long trips if you are having severe pain or suffer from severe lumbar lordosis. If you must travel a long distance, leave the driving to a friend.