Is your lower back curving and your belly bulging forward? Shoulders pulled back too far? Chances are you’ve got hyperlordosis. This spinal issue, also known as Hollow back is much more common than one might think. What makes it dangerous is that the initial condition isn’t often noticeable apart from mild tension, but when there’s damage or injury to the spine, it can become much more severe and complicated.
Even though it’s one of the most common back problems, with the right treatment and use of braces, you can improve posture, helping to prevent hyperlordsis from worsening and correct the issue.
Hyperlordosis - abnormal deformation of the spine
Hyperlordsis is typically most clearly recognised by an extremely strong curvature of the lumbar spine. Both the abdomen and pelvis lean forward, making it distinct from other physical issues that might cause the same thing. People suffering from this often shift their ribcage back, leading to further issues. While some people are genetically curved in their spines, the majority of people with this issue suffer from it due to posture.
Excessive lordosis of the lumbar spine is known as hyperlordosis. This bad posture of the spine is pathological and can result in both physical and psychological problems.
Cause of the development of hyperlordosis
A hollow back can develop for a range of reasons, the most common of these being a lack of exercise. This can lead to hyperlordosis developing from the lordosis in childhood. Due to its progression, a hollow back is usually not a cause for concern in children and adolescents, but from the age of ten the hips and pelvis should be kept stable as the body development shifts. Long-term poor posture of the spine can also lead to a hollow back. This is particularly the case with people who work for extended periods of time sitting or standing. Postural shifts due to being overweight are another factor. Those with weaker back and ab muscles are at higher risk, as well as those who continually over-strain their lumbar muscles and over or under-use their hip flexors are also at risk. In addition, a hollow back can form due to external influences like physical trauma and environmental factors.
Discomfort caused by hyperlordosis
In the early stages of hyperlordosis, those affected only notice tension in the back muscles , which only occur occasionally. Only later does the hollow back become noticeable through increasing back pain and damage to the spine . The most common consequences of hyperlordosis are herniated discs on the lower back, which is due to the fact that the intervertebral discs are excessively stressed by the misalignment. Sometimes the sciatic nerve is also affected, resulting in lower back pain and pain radiating to the legs makes noticeable. In addition, tingling or numbness in the legs can indicate that the sciatic nerve is involved.
Treatment of a hollow back
For the course of the disease, it is particularly important to improve posture and ensure more exercise in everyday life. This can be achieved primarily through physiotherapy and attending special back courses . Dynamic sitting is recommended as the first therapeutic measure for people who are mainly seated . The patients regularly switch between an upright and a reclined sitting position. These changes effectively relieve the intervertebral discs and muscles. If you also want to do something to improve your sitting posture, you can use ergonomic seating furniture or an inflatable seat cushion.
Course of the condition
The main problem with hyperlordosis is an imbalance in the muscles of the back and core. The back extensor and the hip flexor are tense and the abdominal and gluteal muscles are only slightly developed in people with hyperlordosis. Compensating for this imbalance is a long process, as postural errors are usually trained over years and feel "normal". Therefore, those affected should seek to treat and rectify the issue over extended periods of time. However, the body has a tendency to revert to its old pattern after every exercise, and if you want to correct your hollow back, you have to check the posture of your back again and again, especially at the beginning of the therapy and prepare for a lengthy treatment. Therefore, the treatment requires a lot of perseverance, especially at the beginning, and can be very exhausting in everyday life. Over time, however, the posture correction becomes so natural that those affected no longer have to pay special attention or think about it.
It isn’t difficult to prevent hyperlordosis. In most cases, it’s sufficient to change your posture regularly and get up at intervals when you are seated. With a standing activity it is enough to walk around a few steps every now and then. These simple measures can go a long way, and in addition, it’s important to maintain a good and upright posture as much as possible like below:
- The shoulders fall loosely down and back (away from the ears).
- The abdominal and gluteal muscles.
- The pelvic floor are tense and stabilize the spine.
If you are not sure whether you are doing this correctly, you can see a physio or chiropractor to learn the best methods for your body. In addition to improving posture, the aim of these treatments is to relieve pain.
If the core muscles are only weakly developed, targeted training of the abdomen, back and glutes can support the recovery of hyperlordosis, as spinal stability needs strong core muscles. Fitness training, swimming or hiking are all considered helpful sports for this.
Supports and bracing in the treatment of hyperlordosis
Medical aids are also used to support therapy in order to correct the lumbar spine in the case of a hollow back. The Spinova Unload Plus is ideal for hyperlordosis. This support surrounds the torso, applying a compressive effect on the abdomen and stabilizes the lumbar spine over a large area. The posture correction is supported by special pads in the rear and front area (bridging frame and abdominal pad). These can be gradually removed as part of a multi-stage treatment. In this way, the spine is gradually brought into a natural shape. The brace also prevents poor posture and helps relieve pain.