Lordosis is an exaggerated lumbar curve in the spine. To put it another way, the lower back curves inwards more than it would naturally do. We look at causes and treatment options.
The spine needs a natural curve to function correctly. This is due to the shape of the individual bones of the spine (vertebrae). If the curve becomes to great then stress is placed on other parts of the spine causing pain.
Causes of Lordosis?
Some muscles around the hip and spine become tight and some become weak and stretched, causing an imbalance. This is often known as a lower crossed syndrome. This is due to the position of the tight and weak muscles. Look at the diagram above. If you drew a line from the tight lower back to the tight hip flexors and then another line from the weak abdominals to the weak hamstrings and glutes, the two lines would form a cross shape.
The muscles that are often tight are:
- Trunk extensors (erector spinae and quadratus lumborum).
- Hip flexors, in particular the iliopsoas muscle.
- These muscles require stretching.
The muscles that are often weak and stretched are:
- Abdominal muscles (rectus abdominus, internal oblique and external oblique)
- Hip extensors (hamstrings and gluteus maximus).