We know it sounds quirky but sway back and flat back are legitimate structural abnormalities of the spine that are common in today’s society and is an underlying factor causing back pain!
The techy names are hyperlordosis (sway back) and hypolordosis (flat back), and that’s just it, it refers to the lordosis of your back!
Your spine has natural curves, primary (kyphosis) and secondary (lordosis). The primary curve involves your thoracic spine (upper back) and the bottom of your spine (sacrum and coccyx) and is your body’s initial curvature. The secondary curve is formed when your baby starts to hold his/her head up and then further when it stands up, involving the neck and lumbar spine (lower back), which is known as the lordosis.
A hyperlordosis (sway back) is where the normal lordosis of the spine is over-exaggerated thus the neck is more prominent and the buttocks protrude. In laymen’s terms, it means that your spine curves inward more than it should naturally. This alters the weight distribution putting a far greater load on the junction of your lumbar spine and sacrum causing lower back pain.
A hypolordosis (flat back) is quite literally the opposite. The curvature of the spine has a far less angle than required for ideal posture. The distribution of weight is also not ideal putting more pressure through the thoracolumbar region, which causes upper back pain.
So what causes hyperlordosis versus hypolordosis?
Many factors can affect the spine: chemical, emotional and physical factors. In today’s society many of us are chronically stressed and partake in the same remedial tasks in the same sitting position day in and day out. In hyper and hypolordosis cases the muscles are not working in balance. Hyperlordosis is caused by/and causes the hip flexors and trunk extensors to tighten(psoas, erector spinae and quadratus lumborum); and the abdominal muscles and hip extensors to weaken (gluteus maximus and hamstrings). This imbalance allows for your pelvis to be pulled forward and down overextending the lower back and thus causing lower back pain.
In hyporlordosis the opposite happens: the hip flexors and trunk extensors are weak, whilst the abdominal muscles and hip extensors are strong, causing a flattening out the natural curves and thus upper back pain.
Are you suffering from upper or lower back pain? Have you ever considered that perhaps the curvatures in your spine are either under or over exaggerated? Your local chiropractors at Spine and Health are experts in pain and posture! They will examine your posture with a digital postural analysis and come up with an action plan tailored to you needs.
Poor posture is not a life sentence- chiropractic care can return your posture to its ideal position. To help you to look better, feel better and move better, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.
You too can look forward to a pain free future.
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