What is Lordosis or Swayback

What is Lordosis or Swayback

Lordosis or swayback may be defined as a condition where there is an excessive inner curvature of the spine in the lower back. A Little display of lordosis is common in human beings. It is formed as a result of the shape of individual vertebrae, which finally makes up the spine. It is very mild and helps in proper functioning of the spine, but when this condition increases, it becomes a matter of concern and needs immediate attention. The spine usually curves at, upper back, neck, and lower back. This helps to absorb the shock. It also supports our head. But when this natural arch in the lumbar region, increases than normal it causes excess pressure and pain.

What is Lordosis or Swayback

What is Lordosis or Swayback

Lordosis causes a visible arch in the lumbar region. The lower back of such people forms a “C” shape. On the other hand, their buttocks and stomach sticks out.

When such person lies on a hard surface on their back, They can easily slide their hands between lower back and hard surfaces. Also, they have some extra space between their low back and their hand.

ies on a hard surface

Lies on a hard surface

What are the Causes of Lordosis

Lordosis may appear during childhood without knowing etiology. This condition is known as benign juvenile lordosis. However, it may also affect individuals at others age.

Causes of lordosis are as follows:

  • Poor posture and obesity
  • Kyphosis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Lower crossed syndrome and muscular dystrophies,
  • Spondylolisthesis and discitis,
  • Dwarfism and other genetic causes. What are the symptoms of lordosis

What are the Symptoms of Lordosis:

Except increased cervical curvature many patients suffering from lordosis may not show any kind of symptoms. But in some cases, a few symptoms may appear such as pain in the back, which may radiate to legs, muscular spasm, numbness, and tingling. In a rare case, there may be bowel and bladder difficulties.

What are the Investigations Done in the Case of Lordosis:

Investigations may include X-ray of the spine, CT Scan, MRI of the spine, and bone scans. Other tests may be done to rule out the possible causes and disorders that cause swaying back.

Your doctor may also perform a physical exam. He may ask the patient to bend forward, then bend to the side, and may ask to lie flat on a hard surface. This will help him to examine the spine in different positions. In case the lordotic curve of the patient is flexible (that is the curve reverses itself on bending forward) it is not a matter of concern. But in the case curve cannot be moved treatment is required.

What is the Treatment of Lordosis:

If the case lordosis is very mild, no treatment is required. But if it is causing discomfort, then physical therapy program is suggested where exercises are done, after consulting a physiotherapist. This strengthens the core muscles and increases the motion range. Yoga is also found to be helpful in this context.

Few medications suggested includes NSAIDs and pain killers. They decrease the pain and swelling.
In the case of juvenile lordosis, braces are worn. This prevents further damage to the body.

In a few severe cases, surgery is advised. Here with the help of rod, screw and hooks the spine is to some extent straightened. Also, bone grafting is done. This promotes new bone growth and helps the spine to stabilize.
In obese people, weight loss programs are suggested.

What are the Exercises to Improve the Symptoms of Lordosis:

  1. Stretches: It includes two types of stretch. They are hip flexor stretch and lowers back stretch.
    Hip flexor stretch – In this stretch you have to place one of your knees on the floor. Remember to push your hips forward slowly while keeping your back straight. You will not feel a stretch. Try to hold this stretch for 30 seconds. Repeat this exercise 5 times in a row. Then repeat with another knee on the floor. Practice this 3 times a day.
    Hip flexor stretch

    Hip flexor stretch

    Lower back stretch- For this Lie on the floor on the back. Keep your knees flexed. Now pull your knees towards the abdomen. You will feel the stretch. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds. Revert to starting position and relax for a minute. Repeat this 5 times in a row. Repeat this exercise 3 times a day.
    Lower back stretch

    Lower back stretch

  2. Abdominal crunch. First, start with simple abdominal crunch and after someday switch on to the difficult twisting crunch.Simple abdominal crunch- Lie on the floor on your back and keep your knees flexed. Now to place your hands back on the sides of your head. Now raise your head and the shoulders. You will feel the stomach muscles worked out. Now give a minute rest. Repeat this 3 times in a row. Practice this daily 2 times.
    Simple abdominal crunch

    Simple abdominal crunch

    Twisting abdominal crunch- Lie on the floor on your back and keep your knees flexed. Now, by keeping your hands on the sides of your head raise your head and the shoulders. Try to turn your upper body so that the right elbow touches the left knee. Now return back to the starting position and give a break. Repeat the same by alternating the sides. Repeat the whole exercise 3 times in a row. Practice 2 times daily. Try to increase the sets to 20 slowly.
    Twisting abdominal crunch-

    Twisting abdominal crunch-

It is always better to once consult your doctor or physiotherapist before trying any of the above-mentioned exercises for lordosis. With a little effort and strong will power lordosis can be treated to some extent.


Dr. Ritu Kumari Gupta
Dr. Ritu Kumari Gupta:  Professionally a homeopathic doctor and a dietician Dr. Ritu Kumari Gupta is passionate about writing health and parenting blogs. She believes in holistic approach towards health and well being.