T Nation

Lordosis / Kyphosis


Hello everyone,

I was told by a friend (who is becoming a certified PT) that I may have a degree of lordosis/kyphosis in my back and I would like to know how I can tell if I have this condition and how I can treat it. I have noticed that when I bend, I get a line across my belly button, indicating that Im not bending properly from my hips. Also, when I stretch out I have a hard time bending from my hips. For example, if I sit down and spread my legs wide (straight legs), when I try to lean forward, I bend from my back and not from my hips. Even with a partner assisted stretch in this motion, I cannot get my lower back to budge. Perhaps this condition has developed from my years of playing soccer but I have been stretching rigorously for almost 2 years and now seem to have plateaued in making progress.

Could you all please give your input into this topic and what I can do to correct the problem. I will problem have to see a professional about this so if anyone has a good doctor, etc that they recommend about to help me, that would be great. I live in Long Island (NY) . Thanks


Hey, there, Soccergod. Check out the following article, www.t-mag.com/nation_articles/290hunch.jsp. You ought to get even more if you use the search engine to the left of the screen and search the forum (the default) or the archived mag articles (change the T-forums default to T-mag).


Thanks for replying to my post. I was hoping to get more info about treating it (aside from just lifting) - ie: stretches, a back brace?, etc Also, I would like to get more information about who can properly diagnosis this.


Soccergod, I've been working with a physical therapist for the past month or so. He told me that I have some hyperlordosis (exagerated curvature of the lower spine). The fix is going to involve strengthening some of my ab/core muscles. We're working through other issues that are a higher priority right now, though.

To give you an idea of how you can get on top of your issues, I have had a sore shoulder for quite some time. I told my doc I didn't want cortisone shots or antiinflammatories; I wanted the name of a PT that could diagnose my problems, identify any muscular imbalances, check out range of motion, biomechanics, etc. In other words I wanted to find out what was wrong and then fix the darn thing. My PT has done just that for me. In addition to being a PT, he has his CSCS certification and works out in a gym.

I'm not one to hire a personal trainer, but the money I've spent on my physical therapist is the best money I've ever spent in my life. I consider it an investment in my ability to lift well into my senior years, pain and injury free.

So my advice? Get thee to a GOOD PT!!! (grin)


Your PT friend said you have a degree of kyphosis/lordosis? These are two opposite conditions, which one is it?


Lordosis/Kyphosis often occurs at the same time as an adaptation by the body to maintain equilibrium. If the lower back is out of alignment, then the upper back will try to compensate and vice versa. This is what happens with lordosis/kyphosis....the lower back is lordotic and the upper back is rounded.


Thanks Kelly...Im in Long Island - Does your PT know anyone in that area who is good at diagnosing the problem and correcting it? If it is not too much trouble, could you ask your PT what I can do to fix the problem..My abs are strong - I do ab exercises and core stabilization exercises almost on a daily basis.

Thanks. Lookin forward to hearing from you.


bump...also does anyone know of a good back specialist who I could go to in NYC or Long Island to help diagnose and fix my back problem?


Try out this link. http://www.t-mag.com/articles/189pelv2.html It's one of the best lowback articles I've ever read. Pretty much dead on.


It goes beyond just training the core; you need to make that you're actually hitting the abs and not the hip flexors.

Additionally, you'll need to consider tightness of the hip flexors, erector spinae, hamstrings, TFL, and adductors. Work on activation of the glutes as well.


Thanks for the replies... Hey Eric, how do I do that?


just thought i would chime in here...lordosis is an anterior pelvic tilt. this can be assessed by standing with your back against a wall and having a friend slide his/her hand through the space created by the spines natural curve. excessive space indicates lumbar lordosis. kyphosis is common in people who work out imbalanced, someone who benches 2x/week with no antagonist work. kyphosis is also known as a protracted shoulder girdle and to assess this stand once again with you back against a wall with your arms at your sides. raise them laterally while attempting to keep them in contact with the wall the whole way. if kyphosis is present you should have to move your arms forward a bit at some point to complete the motion. these both result from a lack of balance in your exercise choices. kyphosis: tight muscles-pectorals (stretch these) weak muscles-upper traps, rear delt (strengthen these)
lordosis:tightness in the abdominals and hip flexors (stretch these and weakness in the spinal erectors (strengthen these)
with a little work and effort to avoid replicating these postural deviations you should be good as nes in no time.


With kyphosis, the upper traps are usually overactive, not weak.

Tight abdominals with lordosis? No.

Just saying that the spinal erectors need to be strengthened is a gross oversimplification. You have to distinguish between the lumborum (tight) and thoracic and cervical (weak)erectors. The points of attachment for the erector spinae group are extremely broad.



That's a complete program (or article...) in itself! In the meantime, any competent physical therapist should be able to help you out. It just really goes beyond the scope of an internet discussion.