Preventing Kyphosis and Lordosis

Posted on: 18 July 2016

Lower back pain is a common issue that frequently plagues many people. Often the cause is a combination of different things, from gentic defects to tight muscles and poor posture. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, up to 90% of people will experience back pain at some point in their lives. Taking the time to understand these two common musculoskeletal defects, lordosis and kyphosis, will help you to prevent the risk of them occurring in later life.


Issues with musculoskeletal alignment are one of the main causes of back pain. Lordosis is a postural defect that affects the lumbar spine, commonly known as the lower curvature of the back. It's an excessive curvature that effectively pushes the stomach outwards. This can be caused by many different things, but is often a product of excess fat around the stomach, which can off-balance weight distribution, and of tight lower back muscles. This condition is often common in pregnant women and the obese, as they have to compensate for the additional weight to maintain an upright posture. To reduce the risk of lordosis, ensure that you train the core muscles equally; incorporating exercises such as crunches, dorsal raises and planks and side planks. This will help to limit muscle imbalances and ensure the spine is fully supported around the trunk of the body. Overworked muscles will otherwise pull the core out of alignment to cause pain and discomfort.  


Kyphosis is condition similar to lordosis but is an excessive curve of the cervical spine (upper back). Often people who work in an office at a computer will suffer with a kyphotic posture. Hunching over will naturally stretch and weaken the muscles of the upper back, causing the stronger chest muscles to tighten up. To combat this issue you should try to sit up straight and practice pulling the shoulders back into alignment throughout the day. Eventually this will become a habit and will not only develop correct posture, it will give the impression of confidence and can open up the chest to improve your breathing. Using an orthopaedic chair will allow you to adjust various areas of the back support, so that they fully support your spine and encourage you to sit upright. Also taking a break every hour will allow you to stretch and avoid tight muscles; even walking to the bathroom or grabbing coffee is enough to relieve any tension buildup.