Have you ever wondered about the curve of your lower back − what’s normal, or what role it plays in your health? Or maybe this is the first time you’ve given it any thought.
In that case…place your hands over the small of your back. You’ll notice a hollow where it curves gently. This graceful curvature is created by the lumbar spine. The vertebrae and discs sit on top of one another; held together by ligaments, fascia, and muscles. This sweep is called the lumbar lordosis. The lumbar lordosis is designed to help us remain upright, aligned and balanced.
However, when this curve is excessive it’s called increased lumbar lordosis, which is commonly known as swayback. Swayback can cause lower back pain.
The greater the curve, the higher the risk of injury and discomfort. This happens because the compressive load forced through the facet joints and intervertebral discs increases too.
Long term, the physical strain associated with swayback can cause ongoing pain and reduced function. Treatment depends on how serious the curve is and how it happened.
The more common causes are:
weak core muscles
prolonged sitting and standing
obesity and pregnancy – the weight shift to the front causes a necessary adjustment of your spine to realign your centre of gravity.
Dr McCann can provide expert assessment, advice, and tailored treatment. Specific exercises can strengthen your core, reduce pressure on the facet joints and improve your posture. If you’re concerned about a possible increased lumbar lordosis, be sure to mention this to us during your next visit. Early intervention can help prevent complications later.