Updated: Sep 2
If you remember, last time we were talking about Kyphosis - more commonly known as hunchback. Another common postural fault is Lordosis.
What is Lordosis? It is where the natural inward curve towards the bottom of your spine is exaggerated. It can also occur in the natural inward curve right at the top of your spine but that is less common. It can lead to pain, weakness and numbness.
Lordosis itself does not cause pain, but it does cause weakness in the stomach and thigh muscles, leaving the spine relatively unprotected and liable to injury. It also results in short hamstrings, which can then be tight and also easy to tear.
How do I know if I have Lordosis? One way of checking if you have Lordosis, is to lie on the floor on your back. You will find a space between your lower back and the floor. Now tilt your pelvis downwards and flatten your spine against the floor. If you still have a space, you may well have some form of Lordosis, though it may be mild.
Do I need to see a Doctor? Some forms are severe and will require physical therapy, pain medication and possibly surgery. The following symptoms will require medical attention - tingling, numbness, or a pronounced curve that even bending forward at the waist doesn't affect, signaling that the condition is fixed.
How can I prevent Lordosis? For most of us, we can help prevent Lordosis from occurring or worsening by core strengthening exercises and being mindful of good posture. As with Kyphosis, concentrating on standing straight with shoulders back and away from our ears, will naturally encourage our spines into the correct position. We can also mobilize the pelvic area by standing straight, placing our hands on our hips and slowly tipping the pelvis forward and back. You will soon feel which way is your "natural" posture. A neutral posture, with a slight curve, is the best and is found half way between the two extremes. Your hip sockets will lie flat once you are in this position.
By strengthening our core muscles, the spine will be well protected and less prone to injury. There are many exercises on you tube that can help with core muscles for every age and ability. I recommend The Girl with the Pilates Mat, whose channel can be found here. The Cat and Cow yoga positions are also recommended for keeping the lower back flexible with a good range of movement, preventing stiffness and becoming "stuck" in a particular alignment. The Shoulder Bridge is also helpful.
What causes Lordosis? It can be medical conditions such as osteoporosis, or lifestyle issues such as obesity. Women often develop the condition in pregnancy due to the spine counterbalancing weight. If you suffer from Kyphosis (hunchback) you are more likely to also suffer from Lordosis as the body naturally regains balance. It can also be congenital. It can appear later in life as bone density reduces. The sooner we take action to keep the lower back strong and flexible and well supported, the better placed we are to look after our spines and muscles into the future!
Do you have any tips or knowledge to help us improve our posture? Comment below if so!