If you have short arms and legs, broad hands and feet and a large head, you may have hypochondroplasia, a form of short-limbed dwarfism. Usually, the condition is diagnosed at birth, but a doctor may not recognize it until puberty if you've got a mild version.
People with hypochondroplasia often suffer back pain as a result of their skeletal deviations, including pain from sway back and spinal stenosis. Surgery isn't a common treatment to relieve this pain, rather therapeutic exercises are recommended to align the spine, ease tension and increase range of motion.
Sway Back Treatments
Swayback posture occurs when the lower portion of your lumbar spine is flattened. Along with causing low-back pain, it can also lead to plantar fasciitis, labral tears at the hip, and recurrent hamstring strain.
Certain exercises can help increase your range of motion and ease the discomfort caused by your swayback condition.
Read More: 5 Ways to Stretch Your Lower Back
Bridging with a March
Add leg lefts to your bridge posture to build strength in your hips and glutes and increase mobility in your lower body.
To do the exercise: Lie on your back and plant your feet with knees bent to face the ceiling. Lift your buttocks off the floor to create a bridge, or ramp, from your shoulders to your knees.
Lift your right leg up, so your shin is parallel to the floor, keeping your hips elevated in the ramp the entire time. Pause for a count or two and lower to the floor. Repeat with the left leg. Start with 10 repetitions of the right-left march and work your way up to three sets.
Side plank targets your internal and external obliques that run along your side waist and initiate twisting and side bending movement. Strengthening this muscles gives you more support for the aching muscles of your back.
To do the exercise: Get into all fours on a mat and lower your forearms to the floor. Cross your right arm under your chest, so it's parallel to the top edge of the mat and stack your hips. Keep your right knee in the floor as you elevate your hips and straighten the left leg. If this is easy, stack your feet so you're forming a rainbow shape. Hold for 10 to 30 seconds per side, and work your way up to three sets.
Exercises for Spinal Stenosis
Spinal stenosis is a condition in which the bone channels that hold the spinal nerves or spinal cord narrow, leading to pain. Exercise includes range-of-motion exercises, resistance training, endurance training and stability exercises.
Most importantly, you keep moving. The lower back pain that may result from spinal stenosis may tempt you to remain sedentary, for fear of worsening your symptoms. However, rest and immobility only contribute to your pain.
Try the following to improve your symptoms of spinal stenosis:
- Stationary bicycling to keep your hips mobile and heart healthy
- Pool workouts, including swimming and water aerobics
- Tai chi to slowly and deliberately move your body and improve range of motion and balance
The following gentle exercises can help you pain, too. Do them on a daily basis.
Pelvic Tilts: Lie on your back and bend your knees with your feet planted. Inale to tilt your pubic bone upward to press your spine into the floor; pause momentarily. Exhale and release. Repeat 10 to 20 times.
Knee to Chest Stretching: Lie on your back with your legs extended. With your left leg remaining in the mat, hug your right knee into your chest. Switch legs and repeat with the left knee. Finally, bring both knees in toward your chest. Repeat each version three to five times. Your head should stay in the mat during each hug.
Lower Trunk Rotations: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet planted. Keep your shoulders in the floor as you exhale and lower your knees to the right side. Pause, then contract your abdominal muscles to draw the legs to center and then to the left side. Repeat up to 10 times.
Read More: How to Stretch Uneven Legs