The human spine has a slight natural S-shaped curve from the tailbone to the skull. A deviation where the section of vertebrae bend toward the posterior, or rear, is called hypolordosis. The condition has degrees of severity. In milder cases, exercises to strengthen and stretch the core muscles can relieve symptoms and help the spine regain its shape.
In the spine, nerves travel to the rest of the body from the anterior, or forward-facing, vertebral body. Hypolordosis means the vertebrae are oriented toward the back, stretching the disk posteriorly and compressing it anteriorly. This can cause a narrowing of the opening for the nerves, pinching them. This condition can be congenital, acquired from sitting with bad posture, or from trauma. A common cause is whiplash trauma to the cervical vertebrae.
Other than pain, hypolordosis is a cause of weakness, numbness in hands, headaches, and, in extreme cases, breathing problems due to poor posture. Prevent problems by getting up and stretching from working at a computer, and correct any ergonomic problems. According to Dr. Bruce Chester, professor at Life West Chiropractic College in Hayward, California, "a recent study shows that ergonomic interventions in the workplace reduced lordosis, resulting in fewer chiropractic adjustments to correct the problem."
Trauma to the spine, resulting in lordosis, should be evaluated by an orthopedic professional. Options for treatment include rest, passive traction with a neck collar, active traction, and isometric neck exercises, such as carefully pushing the head against a cushion. Mild hypolordosis in the lumbar area benefits from core exercises like planks, reverse crunches and sitting on a stability ball. Consult a certified personal trainer to safely and effectively work the core.
McKenzie Method Exercises
The McKenzie Method is a program of evaluation, treatment and movement prescription for people who have spinal deformities and disk problems. The patients learn a series of movements that they follow on their own to alleviate pain and, if possible, correct the deviation. It is an accepted treatment protocol, and the organization has a referral service. In some patients, the program delays spinal degeneration through its physical therapy exercise regimes.
- Sports Injury Clinic: Hyperlordosis / Lordosis
- "Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics"; An Evaluation of the Effect of Chiropractic Manipulative Therapy on Hypolordosis of the Cervical Spine; R.A. Leach; March 1983
- Bruce Chester, DC; Professor, Life Chiropractic College; Hayward, California