How to Relieve Back Pain Caused from Sway Back

Some Authors often use the term sway back interchangeably with lordosis or hollow back. However, based on research, sway back is actually the result of excessive lordotic curvature or hyperlordosis.

What is Lordosis
Lordosis is characterized by an anterior rotation of the pelvis(the upper sacrum tilts anterioinferiorly) at the hip joints producing an abnormal increase in the lumbar curvature; the vertebral column curves more interiorly.

Lordotic Curve(Lordosis)

Lordotic Curve(Lordosis)

Possible Causes
Tight low back muscles, weakened trunk musculature, excessive visceral fat, and pregnancy are believed to be some common causes of lordosis.

Sway Back
This is a term that originates from the similar condition that occurs in some horses. Based on findings, some authors believe that in lordotic posture, the lumbar spine is usually concave — this is very obvious — while in the sway back posture, the low lumbar area is actually flattened. In the swayback posture however, the concave curve of the spine is much higher, in the lower thoracic spine.

According to Mcgreror and Hukins, the “sway back” posture observe in Lower Back Pain, involves flexion of the hip, knee and ankle to compensate for abdominal and back muscle weakness.

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Lower Crossed Syndrome

Sitting for too long for example, can create lower back problems, one of such problems is Lower Crossed Syndrome. This condition is characterized by an imbalance of tight and weak structures around the pelvis, hips, and lower back

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More specifically, the hip flexors and the erector spinae are believed to tighten and shorten while the abdominal and gluteal muscles weaken. Consequently, this leads to a “sway back” posture in which the hips, knees and ankles are flexed while the lumbar lordosis increases.

This imbalance may result not only in an over arching of the lower back, but can also lead to pain and dysfunction.

How to Correct or Prevent Sway Back
It’s believed that exercises that focus on strengthening the lower abdominal and gluteal muscles and stretching the hamstrings and gluteal muscle groups can correct sway back, and eventually help you to get rid of your lower back pain.flexibility exercise b Image (185)

If you can prevent, sway back, why not try to prevent it, rather than allowing it to occur, then trying to fix it. By practicing good posturing, when standing, sitting, driving, or even sleeping can all help you to prevent sway back caused from faulty posturing.sit correctImage standingright (183)


674As illustrated in the diagrams above, it’s better to do Diagonal Curls/Crunches, as opposed to Straight Curls/Crunches. Doing Diagonal Crunches ensures greater involvement of your internal and external oblique muscles. You should do at least 10 to 15 repetitions. Try to complete a minimum of 2 to 3 sets. Also, try to hold it for 5 seconds or more in the up position or each time you rise.

674As far as posturing is concerned, when sitting, sit forward, and flatten you back by tightening the abdominal muscles, and cross the knees. This helps to relieve pressure off the back. You can also use a footrest to elevate the knees a bit higher than the hips. Keeping the knee higher than the hip can help to prevent or relive sway back pain. You should also use a footrest if you will be standing for a long period of time. This can also help to prevent or relieve sway back pain.


Tags:Lower Back Pain Relief, Relief from Lower Back Pain, Home Treatment for lower Back pain

Sources:  1)Journal of Back and musculoskeletal Rehabilitation 22(2009) 219-222  Lower limb involvement in spinal function and low back pain, A. H. McGregor and D W L Hukins 2)Moore L. K. and Dalley F. A., Clinically Oriented Anatomy; 4th Ed

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