What is Hyperlordosis?
Hyperlordosis is a condition that is characterized by an abnormally exaggerated curvature of either the cervical or the lumbar spine. Both cervical and lumbar spine column have a distinct curvature to them but at times these curvature become abnormally excessive, especially in the lumbar spine. Hyperlordosis can be caused due to a muscular abnormality where the muscles around the spine cause the bones to move out of their normal anatomical space to an extent that there is an exaggerated curvature of the spine.
The other cause is structural where any changes to the spinal discs and their alignment cause the spine to curve abnormally. There are many cases where people have Hyperlordosis as a result of obesity or weak abdominal muscles. In such cases, the maximum fat of the body is found in the abdominal and the buttock area. This is usually found in people who lead a sedentary life and sit for long periods of time such as when working on a computer.
Drivers who drive for prolonged periods of time also with time develop fat in the abdominal and buttock area causing Hyperlordosis. Lack of activity cause the muscles in these areas to become tight so that they can provide the required support to the spinal column and maintain its stability. The tightness of the muscles causes the spine to come out of its alignment leading to Hyperlordosis. In rare cases, medical conditions like osteoporosis can also cause individual to have an exaggerated curvature of the spine.
What Causes Hyperlordosis?
Some of the potential causes for Hyperlordosis include
Poor Posture: An individual who has a poor sitting posture has increased likelihood of developing Hyperlordosis. In fact, this is one of the most causes of this condition. Sitting with a poor posture for long periods of time without a break can cause the muscles around the abdominal area to become excessively tight as stated above. This causes the spine which is stabilized and supported by these muscles to come out of its alignment leading to Hyperlordosis.
Obesity: This is yet another common cause for Hyperlordosis. An individual who is overweight will have excess fat in the abdomen and the buttocks. This puts immense strain on the low back and spine causing it to bend and form an abnormal curve.
Sedentary Lifestyle: Lack of physical activity not only increases the risk of an individual gaining excess weight but it also makes the muscles of the body weak, especially the muscles around the spine and pelvis. When these muscles become weak, they are no longer able to stabilize and support the spine as they should. This causes the spine to move out of its alignment and take an abnormal shape.
Medical Conditions: In rare cases, certain spinal conditions also are to blame for Hyperlordosis. These medical conditions include spondylolisthesis, disc inflammation, and kyphosis.
What are the Symptoms of Hyperlordosis?
The primary symptom of Hyperlordosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine due to muscle tightness and stiffness. The affected individual will have a more prominent abdomen and buttocks in appearance. There will also be significant stiffness of the back and restricted range of motion along with pain.
It may become very difficult for the individual to carry out basic activities of daily living due to the abnormal curvature of the spine. Any attempts at bending, moving, or pivoting will worsen the symptoms of pain and discomfort.
How is Hyperlordosis Diagnosed?
Hyperlordosis is a tough condition to diagnose since the lumbar spine already has some curve naturally which is referred to as lumbar lordosis. This curve may be more in some people and less in some and therefore it is difficult to observe Hyperlordosis in different population.
However, if a physician suspects that the curvature of the spine is abnormally excessive in an individual then radiographs can be ordered in the form of x-rays, MRI and CT scan of the spine. The radiographs will clearly show the curvature of the spine and if it is excessive then a diagnosis of Hyperlordosis can be made.
How is Hyperlordosis Treated?
The treatment of Hyperlordosis begins with prescribing pain medications and NSAIDs to calm down the pain and inflammation due to Hyperlordosis. For long term, the underlying cause of Hyperlordosis will have to be identified before a treatment approach is determined. If there are structural abnormalities that are causing the spine to come out of the alignment then physical therapy or a back specialist will have to be consulted for treatment options.
In case if the individual is overweight and that is causing Hyperlordosis then shedding off extra weight by healthy means will have to be emphasized. Additionally, the core muscles of the body will also have to be strengthened with exercises which can be formulated by a physical therapist. The importance of posture will have to be explained and the patient will have to sit upright for as much time as possible to prevent excess fat from getting deposited in the abdominal and buttock region and causing Hyperlordosis.
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