The human spine is naturally curved. However, when that curve is excessive in the lower back just above the buttocks, it’s a condition called hyperlordosis. While rarely seen in children, this abnormality can affect people in all age groups. Characterized by a C-shaped lower back curve that’s usually obvious from the side when a person is standing, hyperlordosis is considered a reversible condition. Keep reading to learn more about hyperlordosis and whether it can be corrected.
The most obvious sign of hyperlordosis is a lower back spinal curvature that doesn’t look normal. When you’re standing, this C-shaped curvature usually causes the stomach to bulge forward. You may also notice restricted movement, reduced flexibility, and back or neck pain. If the excessive curvature is mild, the spine usually remains flexible. As for causes and contributing factors, some of the possibilities include:
Poor posture is the most common factor that contributes to hyperlordosis. This includes anything that could throw off your spine’s alignment, such as wearing high heels on a regular basis. Sitting or standing for long periods may also affect your spine’s natural curvature in the lower back area.
Diagnosis is usually based on a visual examination of the spine. In some instances, image tests may be done to get a better idea of how spine-supporting structures are affected. Treatment will depend on the extent of the abnormal curvature. If it’s mild and not causing any discomfort, periodic observation and efforts to improve posture may be all that’s needed. Some people with hyperlordosis may also benefit from:
• Over-the-counter pain medications
• Losing weight
• Various forms of physical therapy
If hyperlordosis develops in children or teenagers, treatment may include the use of a back brace. The reason for taking this step is to prevent the abnormal curvature from affecting spinal growth and development.
Your doctor or a Beverly Hills spine surgeon may also advise you to try various exercises to strengthen the muscles that support your lower back and offset issues with poor posture. Specific exercise recommendations will vary based on your capabilities, age, and level of fitness. Generally, forms of exercise that could be beneficial if you have hyperlordosis include:
As mentioned above, poor posture is a common cause of hyperlordosis, which is why the most effective way to prevent your lower back from developing an abnormal curve is to pay attention to how you sit, stand, and even sleep. If you’re trying to correct poor posture habits, you may have to consciously remind yourself to do this on a daily basis, but it will naturally become a habit if you keep it up.
If you suspect you have hyperlordosis, see a spine specialist for proper diagnosis and treatment. Whether they need disc replacement, traditional fusion surgery, or one of the many alternatives to spinal fusion, Beverly Hills patients put their trust in Dr. Hyun Bae and his team of expert spine surgeons to find the most effective path to relieving their chronic pain. Call The Spine Institute today at 310-828-7757.