Causes, Affects & Exercises for Lordosis to Reduce Hip and Back Pain
What is Lordotic Posture?
Lordotic posture is often talked about by many people attending physiotherapy/physical therapy clinics in relation to their back and hip pain. In this blog we will explain what exactly this posture is, why it occurs, the affects it may have and in looking at exercise for lordosis, what may be best.
Standing in exactly the same posture can get fatiguing with any posture type, but if you hold your joints in a very stretched or compressed position, you may feel fatigue or discomfort more quickly. For example, hip and of back pain may develop early when standing in a ‘lordotic posture,’ which is where the lower back is held in a deep arched position and the pelvis is relatively tilted further forward than a typical, average position.
Why Might My Lordotic Posture Affect My Pain
Postures are influenced by our natural bony shape, but also by habit and varying degrees of tightness and weakness around our joints. These things can also compound over time, so that if you habitually rest in a posture frequently or for long periods of time, the length of muscles and the mobility of joints can alter over time, reinforcing these postures. And if you are not regularly moving out of certain joint positions, your nervous system becomes less skilled at using those ranges of motion. The old adage – ‘Use It or Lose It’ certainly holds true here.
When standing in a lordotic posture:
The lower back is in a relatively shortened position
Maintaining the joints of the lower back in this compressed position for long periods can become uncomfortable and moving out of this position to bend your spine forward can be more difficult, stiffer and painful for some people.
The abdominals are in a relatively lengthened position
Conversely, the abdominals at the front of the spine then become relatively lengthened, as the pelvis into which they attach is sitting relatively lower or further away. In those with a lordotic posture, the abdominals are often lengthened and weakened. This can in turn mean reduced support for the spine and control of pelvic position, which can in some people contribute to back and/or hip and pelvic pain.
The hip flexors are in a relatively shortened position
Joining between the thigh and the pelvis at the front, the hip flexors become relatively tighter, as the pelvis sits lower at the front – closer to the front of the thigh. Tightness in the hip flexors and poor ability to lengthen during everyday dynamic tasks such as walking and running, changes the way forces travel through the hip, pelvis and lower spine. This may also contribute then to lower back, hip and pelvic pain.
Posture reversal’ for those with a lordotic posture
Posture reversal refers to regular ‘reversal’ of your resting posture, to give the joints and muscles some relief, to reduce stiffness, to stimulate muscles that may have become weakened and to improve your control or co-ordination, in this case of your back, pelvic and hip position. Try this little exercise regularly during the day and particularly if you find yourself standing for long periods.
Practice tilting your pelvis backwards, pivoting over the hip joints:
- Lift the pubic bone at the front – this will require your abdominal muscles to contract and shorten
- Drop your ‘tail’, lengthening the spine at the back
- Keep your knees straight and your thighs relaxed
Your knees will want to bend as the thighs will want to follow the pelvis due to the tight hip flexors. Don’t let them bend but start with small movements first and as your abdominal muscles get better at shortening and your back and hip flexors better at lengthening, you will be able to move through a greater range of motion.
Try 5 – 15 repetitions every 30-60minutes when you are standing.
This blog was written by Dr Alison Grimaldi and Kirsty McNab, physiotherapists who have over 50 years of combined professional clinical experience, dealing with patients suffering from a wide range of hip and pelvic conditions.
Dr. Alison Grimaldi BPhty, MPhty(Sports), PhD is Practice Principal of Physiotec Physiotherapy, an Australian Sports Physiotherapist and Adjunct Senior Research Fellow at the University of Queensland, author and global educator.
Kirsty McNab BSc Hons, MPhty(Sports), is Practice Principal of Physiologix and a highly experienced Sports and Exercise Physiotherapist having worked extensively with elite athletes, the Olympic Winter Institute of Australia, and Tennis Australia.
A Hip Pain Professional Can:
- Assess whether your standing posture is likely to be contributing to your hip or back pain
- Provide an examination that can identify any associated muscle weakness, tightness or joint restriction
- Design or send you for development of an exercise program that can address these associated factors to assist in the management of your hip, pelvic or lower back pain.
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Check Out More You Can Read on this Area at HipPainHelp:
Are You A Hip-Hanger? Ideas on How Not to Stand for Hip Pain Relief: Prolonged hip-hanging may contribute to certain types of hip pain – learn why. There may be better ways to stand for hip pain relief.
What is the Best Good Posture for Hip Pain Relief: The tricky thing here is that there is no single ‘good posture’ and certainly no single good posture for hip pain relief.
Understanding Pain: What is Pain? What is Pain? Pain is an experience that the brain creates for the purposes of stimulating you to change your behaviour or seek help for a perceived problem with your body. Learn more here.
How Do I Find The Right Hip Pain Professional? Looking to figure out the right hip pain professional for you and your situation. Learn which type of professional may be best.