What is Hyperlordosis?
Hyperlordosis refers to the excessive arch in the lower back.
(It involves hyper extension in the Lumbar Spine.)
What causes Hyperlordosis?
This blog post will specifically address the following 7 causes of an arched back (Hyperlordosis).
1. Tight/Overactive muscles involved with Hyperlordosis
The following tight and/or overactive muscles will increase the pronounced curvature in the lower back.
- Erector Spinae group
- Quadratus Lumborum
- Latissimus Dorsi (through the thoracolumbar fascia)
2. Weak core muscles
With Hyperlordosis, the abdominal region is placed in a relatively elongated/stretched position.
This can result in weakness in the following core muscles:
- Internal obliques
- Transversus abdominis
- Rectus abdominis
One of the primary roles of the abdominal muscles is to oppose the strong pull of the lower back muscles in order to maintain a normal Lumbar spine curve.
3. Weak Glute muscles
The lower back muscles (i.e. Lumbar Spine erectors) will tend to compensate for weak glute muscles.
This can lead to over-activity of the erector muscles in the Lumbar spine which results in hyper extension of the lower back.
4. Anterior Pelvic Tilt
The pelvis and lower back are directly connected with each other.
If the pelvis is tilted forwards, this will automatically increase the curve in the lower back (Lumbar lordosis).
5. Thoracic Kyphosis
A hunched upper back will usually be compensated by the over arching of the lower back.
This is the body’s attempt to keep the head in a more up right position.
6. Ineffective breathing technique
A sub-optimal breathing pattern may recruit the back muscles which are responsible for pulling the lower back into extension.
The weight of the belly (especially during pregnancy and in the overweight) can tilt the pelvis forward and pull the lower back into excessive extension.
How do you know if you have Hyperlordosis?
Here are 3 simple tests you can perform to determine if you have an exaggerated curve in your lower back.
1. Side profile analysis
- Take a side profile photo of your standing posture.
- Take note of the curve in the lower back.
Results: If you can observe a significant arch in the lower back, then you have a Hyperlordosis.
2. Lying down test
- Lie down on your back.
- Keep your legs completely straight.
- Stay relaxed.
- Feel for a gap between your lower back and the floor.
- You can check this by sliding your hand underneath your back.
Results: If you can easily fit your hand underneath your lower back, then you likely have Hyperlordosis.
3. Get a X-ray
A lateral view of your Lumbar spine via X-ray scan can be used to determine if you have an arched lower back.
What can lumbar Hyperlordosis increase the risk of?
It can result in an excessive amount of compression in the muscles and joints in the Lumbar spine.
This can lead issues such as:
- Nerve impingement
- Joint degeneration
- Muscular tightness
- Postural issues
- Low back pain
Can my Hyperlordosis be fixed?
As long as the joints in your Lumbar spine have not fused together, then there is a good chance that you will be able to restore your natural curve.
To check if you are fused:
- Kneel down on the floor.
- Reach your hands as far forwards as possible.
- Place both palms on the floor in front of you.
- Sink your hips backwards towards the back of your heels.
Results: If you can completely reverse the arch in your lower back (i.e. lumbar spine flexion), then you do not have fused joints in this area!
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Exercises to reduce an arched back
1. Release the tight muscles
The tight muscles which are involved with increasing the arch in the lower back will need to be released.
a) Lower back
- Lie on the floor with your hip and knees bent.
- Place a massage ball under the tight muscles in the lower back region.
- Target muscles:
- Quadratus Lumborum
- Erector Spinae
- Latissimus Dorsi
- (Note: if you are unsure of where these muscles are located, check them out on Google.)
- Relax your body weight on top of the ball.
- Do not hold your breath.
- Move your body in a circular motion on top of the ball to target the tight areas.
- Proceed to cover all the muscles for at least 1-2 minutes each.
The tight muscles which are involved with increasing the arch in the lower back will need to be stretched.
a) Child’s Pose
- Kneel on the floor.
- Spread and reach your hands as far in front of you as possible.
- Sit back into your hips.
- Aim to feel a stretch in the lower back.
- Take deep breaths in and out
- Do this for 1 minute.
For more stretches: Erector Spinae Stretches.
b) Side stretch
(Muscle: Quadratus Lumborum, Latissimus Dorsi)
- Stand with your feet shoulder width apart.
- Bend all the way towards one side.
- Reach your arm over.
- Aim to feel a stretch on the side of your body to the lower back.
- Hold this position for 1 minute.
- Alternate sides.
For more stretches: Quadratus Lumborum Stretches.
c) Hip flexor stretch
- Assume a deep lunge position.
- Lunge forwards.
- Tuck your tail bone underneath you.
- Lean slightly backwards.
- Aim to feel a stretch in the front of the hip of the back leg.
- Hold the stretch for a minimum of 1 minute.
- Repeat at least 3 times on each side.
d) Lower Back Decompression
(This stretch will help loosen up the tight joints in your lower back.)
- Lie on top of a large exercise ball. (Facing downwards)
- Position your body so that your lower back is in line with the top of the ball.
- Completely relax your legs and allow them to dangle.
- Let the weight of your legs pull on the lower back.
- Support your body using your hands only.
- Allow the toes to gently rest on the floor.
- Aim to feel a stretch in the lower back.
- Hold for 30 seconds.
For more exercises like this: Spinal Decompression.
3. Control your spine
It is important to know the point (red line) of where the most hyper extension occurs in the lumbar spine.
This point will dictate the specific area of your lower back that you should be targeting with the following exercise.
Lumbar spine segmentation
(… this is NOT an easy exercise!)
- Assume the 4 point kneel position with your back arched.
- Tuck your pelvis under.
- Starting from the bottom of your spine, gradually round your lumbar spine one level a time.
- You will need to focus your attention on rounding the region of your spine where it arches backwards the most.
- Reset to the starting position.
- Repeat 5 times.
4. Learn to breathe
Your breathing is crucial in maintaining the correct posture of your lower back.
“Breathing?… What has that got to do with my Hyperlordosis?”
… A LOT!
The following breathing exercise is designed to encourage the engagement of the main breathing muscle (called the Diaphragm) by lowering the position of the ribs.
As the lower ribs drop down, there will be a reduction in the excessive arch in the lower back.
- Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor.
- Tilt your pelvis backwards to help flatten your lower back onto the floor.
- Take a deep breath in through your nose and slowly exhale ALL of the air out through your mouth.
- As you reach the point where you have completely emptied out your lungs, notice how your lower ribs and lower back sink towards the ground.
- Maintain this lowered rib position throughout this breathing exercise by gently engaging your abdominal muscles.
- Draw your belly button in.
- Take a deep breath in.
- Aim to breathe into the entire circumference of your lower rib cage region.
- Breathe out all the air out of you lungs.
- Allow the lower ribs sink to the floor as you do this.
- Continue this diaphragmatic breathing for 3-5 repetitions.
4. Core Strengthening Exercise
The aim of this exercise is to engage your abdominal wall to keep your lumbar spine in a more neutral position.
The following exercises (called the “Dead Bug” exercise) are very important when addressing Hyperlordosis.
As everyone is at different strength levels, I have included 3 variations of the Dead Bug exercise for you to try.
- Keep the lower back COMPLETELY flat against the floor… ALL OF THE TIME.
- Do not let the lower back arch and lift off the ground.
- There should be NO tension in your lower back whilst performing these exercises.
- Think about keeping your lower ribs down at all times.
- Remember to engage the core and abdominal muscles throughout all movements.
a) Leg drop (bent knee)
- Lie on your back with your knee and hip bent at 90 degrees.
- Your feet should not be in contact with the floor.
- Keep both knees bent throughout the exercise.
- Whilst keeping one knee bent towards your chest, slowly lower the other leg towards the ground.
- Only lower as far as you can whilst maintaining your lower back completely flat on the ground.
- Return back to starting position.
- Alternate legs.
- Repeat 10 times.
b) Leg drop (straight leg)
- Lie on your back with your knee and hip bent at 90 degrees. (feet off floor)
- Keeping your right knee bent towards your chest, slowly lower AND straighten the left leg towards the ground.
- Only lower as far as you can whilst maintaining your lower back completely flat on the ground.
- Return back to starting position.
- Alternate legs.
- Repeat 10 times.
c) Alternate arm/leg drop
- Lie on your back with your knee and hip bent at 90 degrees (feet off floor) and arms straight up into the air.
- Slowly lower the opposite arm and leg towards the ground.
- Only lower as far as you can whilst maintaining your lower back completely flat on the ground.
- Return back to starting position.
- Alternate opposite arm/legs.
- Repeat 10 times.
- Note: If you’re like most of the people that I have taught this to, you will probably hold your breath whilst performing these exercises. Make sure that you do NOT hold your breath!
For more Core Exercises:
See post: Core Activation Exercises.
5. Strengthen the Glutes
The lower back muscles will tend to over activate and extend the lower back as a compensation for weak glute muscles.
Here are 3 glute activation exercises:
(Remember: Engage your abdominal muscles and breathe properly!)
a) Standing kick back
- Stand upright.
- Keep your lower ribs down by engaging your abdominal muscles throughout this exercise.
- Extend your leg backwards until you feel your glute muscles contract firmly.
- Do NOT arch your back.
- Hold for 5 seconds.
- Alternate legs for 20 repetitions each.
b) 4 pt kneel kick back
- Assume the 4 point kneel position.
- Keep your back straight by engaging your abdominal muscles throughout the exercise.
- Extend your leg backwards until you feel your gluteal muscles contract firmly.
- Do not rotate your body. Only your leg should be moving.
- Do not arch your lower back.
- Hold for 5 seconds.
- Alternate legs for 20 repetitions each.
- Lie down on your back with your knees bent.
- Flatten your lower back to the ground.
- Keep your lower ribs down by engaging your abdominal muscles.
- By pushing off with your heels, lift your buttocks off the floor.
- Only lift as high as you can without arching your lower back.
- Hold for 5 seconds.
- Repeat 10 times.
For more exercises for the glutes:
See post: Glute Activation Exercises.
6. Address flared Ribs
Flared Ribs is when the lower portion at the front of your rib cage protrudes forwards and out.
If you have Flared Ribs AND Hyperlordosis, addressing the position of your ribs will likely reduce the arch of the lower back.
For more information: Exercises for Flared Ribs.
When sitting or standing: Your rib cage should feed directly into your pelvis.
This will place the lumbar spine in a more neutral position.
How to position the ribs correctly:
- Place your hand at the front of the lower rib cage.
- Gently guide your lower rib cage down and backwards.
- You should feel some pressure being taken off your lower back.
- … if you are very tight, you might even feel a stretch.
- Note: If you find that you are in a more hunched position after this correction, you will need to address the Hunchback Posture.
Keep your torso NEUTRAL!
Imagine you have a beam of light shooting out of your chest.
In most of you, your light would be pointing in a slight upward or downward direction.
Aim to keep the beam of light horizontal.
This will place your torso in a more neutral position.
7. Positions to be aware of
There are certain exercises and positions that you will need to be careful with.
a) Arching your back
As your lumbar spine is already in a position of hyper extension, be careful of activities/exercises which forces the back into further extension.
Note: I’m not saying to completely avoid doing them altogether. (There is time and place for these exercises.) Just be careful!
b) How do you sleep with Hyperlordosis?
Do you have an excessive arch in your back whilst lying flat on your back?
If so, I recommend sleeping on your back with a pillow underneath your knees.
This will help reduce lumbar extension whilst in the lying down position.
Note: Another option is sleeping on your side.
For more information: Sleeping posture recommendations.
c) Over head activities
If you have pain and/or stiffness in the shoulder, it is likely that you will also over arch the lower back as a compensation as you reach over head.
- Standing shoulder press at the gym
- Reaching over head to place clothes on the line
- Painting the ceiling
You will need to address your shoulder issue to prevent the lumbar spine from over arching when using your arms above your head.
8. Reduce Belly Size
A large belly will shift the center of mass forwards leading to the body being pulled forwards.
To counteract this forward pull – the lower back will automatically arch backwards to prevent the body from falling forwards.
Reducing belly size will help keep the center of mass over the feet and reduce the need for the lower back to arch backwards.
9. Fix your Poor Posture
Although you will see significant improvements in your Hyperlordosis by performing the above mentioned exercises, it is also important to check if you have the following postures.
Hyperlordosis is commonly associated with the following types of postures:
1. Anterior Pelvic Tilt
This is where the pelvis tilts forwards.
As the pelvis tilts forwards, it will automatically arch the lower back.
Feel free to check out this comprehensive guide on how to fix this issue:
See post: How to Fix Anterior Pelvic Tilt.
2. Thoracic Kyphosis
This is where the upper back curves forwards.
As the upper back curves forwards, the head is oriented downwards.
To maintain the head in an up right position, the body will compensate by over arching the lower back.
Feel free to check out this comprehensive guide on how to fix this issue:
See post: How to Fix Thoracic Kyphosis.
Here are some simple exercises to get you started on fixing your Thoracic Kyphosis:
a) Thoracic Extension
- Position your upper back over a foam roller.
- Support the back of your head with your hands.
- Arch backwards.
- Make sure that you do not flare your lower rib cage out.
- DO NOT arch your lower back.
- Oscillate in the end range position for 30 repetitions.
- Note: If using a foam roller is uncomfortable, try using something thinner. (eg. rolled up towel)
b) Thoracic Extension Strengthening
- Lie down on your stomach with your hands stretched out in front of you.
- Lift up your chest so that it is slightly off the ground.
- Keep your upper abdominal region flat on the ground.
- Do not over arch your lower back.
- Aim to feel the contraction in the middle to upper spine.
- Hold for 5-10 seconds.
- Repeat 10 times.
- Note: If this exercise is too difficult, keep your hands in contact with the floor to help you lift the weight of your torso.
a) Release the tight muscles that are holding you into Hyperlordosis.
b) Engage the abdominal muscles to bring your spine into optimal alignment.
c) Strengthen your glutes to reduce reliance on your back extensor muscles.
d) Use the correct breathing muscles.
e) Address other postural areas that may be contributing to your arched back.
What to do next…
1. Any questions?… Leave me a comment down below.
2. Come join me on the Facebook page. Let’s keep in touch!
3. Start doing the exercises!
The content presented on this blog post is not medical advice and should not be treated as such. It is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Use of the content on this blog post is at your sole risk. For more information: Medical disclaimer.
364 thoughts on “How To Fix An Arched Back (Hyperlordosis)”
Hi I have spondylitheses spina bifida accurate 1 and I’m not sure weather to have a fusion and I poke my butt out in pain only walking at a good pace helps then I get home n plot around I’m in pain
Hi Mark, I realize this post is quite old so I hope you still check comments. Thanks for the great writeup and supporting images. In the post you mentioned how to check to see if it is fused together but I did not see mention of what to do if you suspect it has. Does this require surgery?
Thanks for the comment. This is a good reminder I need to update this post!
If there is definite fusion, then the shape of the lower back is not likely to change with these exercises. However – keep in mind, this does not always equate to having issues.
Surgical intervention to “fix” a lumbar hyperlordosis is not something that I have come across.
If you have a fused lower back, I would suggest making your back as strong as possible and optimizing the movement of the hips, pelvis and thoracic spine.
I have several issues with my posture and I always have (I’m 20F). I have rounded shoulders, forward neck, hunch back, one side of my hips and ribcage sticks out more than the other, and I think I have Lordosis or a pelvic tilt. I’ve been looking at your exercises and I’m wondering about a few things.
1. If I need to fix so many things, how can I work out which exercises to do and how do I work out a routine (so to speak)? If I need to do them 2-3 times a week, how can I fit everything in to make sure that I’m trying to get the most out of doing this?.
2. Does sleep posture affect your overall posture that much? I cant sleep on my back, so I usually sleep on my front or on my sides or sometimes In a fetal-like position and my neck is always so far forward. My question is, would it be better to try and sleep on my back with a high pillow? All my pillows are low but soft, and I have a bamboo pillow which is bigger and harder, but It might be too high. I think this might not help my neck posture.
3. Everytime I try and sit up straight (specially sitting down), It hurts so bad that the only way I can get relief is sitting back into my bad posture. Sometimes its so bad, I get migraines. How do i fix this?
4. The top of my back (where the base of my neck is), looks like it has a massive hump. Its so embarrassing. Will this eventually go away if I fix my posture?
I apologise for the questions.
Phenomenal write-up. I’ve been dealing with this since at least Junior High, and I’m well into my 40’s. I’m going to start working through this and will report back.
Thanks for taking the time to post this!
Thanks for visiting the blog, Sean!
Let me know if you have any questions.
Remember to address any thoracic kyphosis and anterior pelvic tilt!
I have had hyper lordosis since high school (im 26 now) and this had led to many other problems such as lower back pain, neck pain, upper back pain and now I feel that it’s affecting my hips and ribs.
I’ve been to chiropractors, physical therapists, doctors, & massage therapists and they only seems to work temporarily or not at all. I feel as if I’m stuck right now and the pain is daily. Should I work with these exercises and stretches daily? Do I have a chance of correcting my posture and living pain free?
If your body can tolerate doing the exercises every day, then this is fine.
If not, you might need to consider every 2nd or 3rd day depending how your body feels. (More the merrier)
There is always a chance of correcting/improving posture!
If you have an arched lower back, also check to see if you have an anterior pelvic tilt and a thoracic hyper kyphosis as these can contribute to the hyperlordosis in the lumbar spine.
Thank you for such a great resource. I have had problems with my legs becoming weak and I believe it to be from a severe arched back. I started doing the exercises and stretches every night for the last 2 weeks and noticed the last 2 days a little more strength in my legs.
Great to hear the legs are a bit stronger after doing these exercises.
Have you had a chance to get a scan of the nerves in your lumbar spine to rule out any compression issue?
Hi Mark iv been back and fourth your site now for a year or so
Now though if ask for help
Do you live in then uk if so please email me if live in the UK if love come see you for my back pain , or do you do online assessment.
I did message your on face book aswell so if you see Ross H you now it’s me, thanks
I’m sure I have anterior pelvis tilt or rib flair, I read another comment on here about a guy and tight over developed lats and back and how he tough it was rounded back son he did pullups so on, I had to check the name as for a sec I though I write is as it was me all over on what he gets and had done
I have question,
When I’m squatting I always fall back is that a sign of weakness in a certain area ? If so where do I need to work on to correct this problem I also have got upper back pain could this weakness be causing that to maybe?
Most common cause of falling back in tight ankles.
See post: Ankle Dorsiflexion.
See if this applies to you.
Yea I can flatten it when I lay on my back. When I lay straight out on the floor there is a curve and I can fit my hands wrist and some of my arm underneath it. This is laying straight on the floor tailbone done arms up legs pointing.
The good thing is I can flatten the curve to the floor by repositioning my tailbone. So I guess it’s not fused. It’s pretty severe my family noticed as well. The band of my under wear is uneven the back part of the band is higher than the front of the waist.
Straightening it out is similar to deadbug move I have to actively do it when laying down and hold it
Hey Mark I have 1 or 2 more questions
Does APT or hyperlordosis always cause back pain? I don’t seem to have any lower back pain at all? I did briefly last year few times a month upon waking up but it’s disappeared.
2 I have big glutes can that affect some of the hyperlordosis test and generally by how much? Is there an alternative besides a x ray?
I’m 99 percent sure I have it
1) No – Having APT does not mean you will have any issues. But – in some people with back pain, the APT/Hyperlordosis may be relevant.
2) Xray would be the most accurate. If you lie down on your back, can you flatten your lower back to the floor?
Wall test with head, shoulders, butt and heels on wall I can fit 2 arms behind my back curve. Floor test I have an arch to and can fit my arm underneath my lower back. When I lay on the floor it’s tail bone down when I put my arm underneath. I was told I have a pretty large curve. Of course I can manipulate it when I do deadbugs and get my back almost flat.
When I wear a belt around my waist the back of the belt is a higher than the front. When I stand straight it’s pretty bad, I can see it my hips tilting down in the mirror alot, I think I’m just overthinking lol Thanks for the reply be well!
I’ve been having some real challenges with my lower back lately and I’ve been diagnosed with an “excessive arch” and “over stretched” muscles since high school, and have been to therapy, chiropractors, had scans, the works…but not once was I told the correct name. I’m at my wits end after having a massage and going to therapy yet again last week and I came across this article. Thank you :)
Hope it helps, g!
On the control your spine section. Where it talks about the line indication Is this somewhere on the back. Also how can you tell the difference between swayback and lordosis
Thank you for your reply
I definitely have hyperlordosis – i can fit my whole arm through the gap when i stand against a wall, not sway back, my hips are always tight, my lower back gets tight and aches when i stand up for too long, i have breathing and digestive issues, my chest caves in – but not my sternum, i can send you a photo if you want?
my lower belly sticks out and i am skinny with no fat, i may have slight kyphosis, but it seems hyperlordosis / anterior pelvic tilt is the biggest issue, but never any pain….
Can chiropractors fix hyperlordosis by manipulation or are they best with kyphosis or other?
Hi Mark. Thank you so much for creating this website. I have hyperlordosis as you have described it, and hunched shoulders. I know you have described a bunch of exercises and stretching to treat this, but I was wondering if there is any equipment such as an inverted bench that would be helpful? I am not talking about posture braces, but actual professional equipment to help with the exercises. Thanks again.
Personally – I don’t use equipment very often as I find the exercises/stretches will give great results.
The inversion table you mentioned can help decompress the spine and perhaps could loosen up your body.
For some of the equipment that I recommend, check out this post: Useful Tools.
Personally – I don’t use equipment very often as I find the exercises/stretches will give great results.
The inversion table you mentioned can help decompress the spine and perhaps could loosen up your body.
Mark, thanks for getting back to me so quickly. I have a device called a theragun. It was suggested by a personal trainer. Do you suggest this? Also, when the personal trainer was stretching me, he would put a lot of weight into it, to the point it would be painful, or at least uncomfortable. I don’t think doing these exercises and stretches a few times daily is going to be sufficient for me, as I spend the rest of the day reinforcing my posture issues. Ideally, I should stay constantly alert, but in reality I don’t. I know this is an issue of discipline and self awareness, but is there anything more extreme I can do than the exercises and stretching you have suggested? I have no pain or material damage to my spine, and am not fragile. I just have hyperlordosis and “computer neck”, so I can take extreme measures without having to worry about injury. Also, is there anyone in the Los Angeles area you would recommend that could take a more aggressive approach than copying what I see on your videos? Thanks again.
Theragun is fine on tight muscles as a release tool. Use the theragun on the erector spinae muscles in your lower back.
What you might need to consider is addressing your thoracic spine. (common area of stiffness)
If your upper back is curved, this will force the lower back to over arch.
See post: Hunchback posture.
Unfortunately – I do not know of anyone to recommend for you in LA.
I just discovered your website and have to thank you for being so generous with your advice and individual feedback.
I am a 65 year-old woman with sometimes-excruciating back and leg pain. Besides disc degeneration (L5 S1) from 15 yrs ago, I hurt my back 5 months ago while pulling up a fencepost. After 3 months of chiropractic, I’m still in great pain. That doc said I have a rotated pelvis and possibly piriformis syndrome. The highest pain points now are just below my right buttock and sciatica on the other leg! The sciatica was originally in both legs and felt like electric shocks. Now it’s mostly in the ankle of my left foot.
And after browsing your website, I’m sure I also have hyperlordosis and flared ribs. I know I need to exercise and strengthen, but what to start with? Spinal decompression for a few weeks, then what? Is it okay to treat several postural problems at once with exercise, or to do so in a specific order.
Thank you in advance for any advice you can offer.
Initial sciatica in both legs may suggest an issue with the lower back CENTRALLY.
You mentioned the L5/S1 region which could be a possible area where the nerve is being compressed.
Here are some decompression techniques: Self decompression for lower back at home.
If your symptoms are related to a disc issue, I would also suggest that you have a read of this post: Bulged Disc Exercises.
Once your symptoms have resolved, I would generally then suggest to start working on your posture.
(Note: Please ask your doctor or health care provider before starting any of the exercises!)
I have bad lordosis, i can fit my hand and arm all the way through, when standing flat against a wall – head, butt, heels. I have breathing issues too / digestive issues, which the doctors can’t find anything wrong after scans. My lower back is tight every day as are my hips. I am correct in thinking that this poor posture can interfere and affect my breathing, my chest / upper abs caves in too, not pectus excavatum, its not my sternum, but either side of stomach area, it’s strange, maybe kyphosis too?
Sounds like you could have thoracic kyphosis.
Position of your rib cage can definitely influence the way you breathe.
Do you happen to have a sway back posture?
First of all a big fat thanks to you for all your blogs. They are quite helpful. Second thing that I want to share with you is that I used to study on bed over my belly side and that caused I have sever pelvis issues. I am unable to walk properly, unable to sit properly and my left side of pelvis is exaggerted towrds forward and when I walk, I feel like the whole weight if my body is on my left foot. Can you pls resolve my problem.
If the left side of your pelvis is forwards, this may suggest a pelvis rotation to the right.
See post: How to fix a Rotated Pelvis.
Hello sir. Hope you are having a good day. Sir I have an inward arch on only right side of my back and as I was looking on internet, I came across your site with very effective workouts. I think It’s hyperlordosis on right side. My question is, can hyperlordosis be on single side of back? And if so should I only focus on the arched side I guess? Otherwise please suggest what’s the probable condition would be?
I’m also having pain in left knee for quite some years now. Can it be due to arched right side or back?
Would be grateful if you respond. Thanks
My right gluteal is also quite weak as when I look in the mirror it is clearly compressed inwards.
If you have a lordosis only on one side, I would think you have some sort of rotation going on in the spine.
Check out these posts:
– Twisted spine
– Rotated pelvis
I have APT and hunchback posture from working at a computer for 10-12 hours a day. My lower back (more on my right side) often hurts if I’m standing up without moving. But within the last 6 months, I’ve developed a pain on the muscles immediately next to my spine in my mid back on my right side, just above the small of my waist/below the chest. It’s a sharper pain localized in one spot, unlike the general lower back pain I experience. This pain comes and goes but usually happens when I’m using my upper body. It could be from standing over the sink washing dishes, or carrying something moderately heavy. If I sit for hours without break I get this pain as well. I have tried to find more information about this pain specifically but have been unable to find any information. Could you point me to specific stretches/exercises that might help? Thanks in advance!
Sounds like a rotated torso to me.
Check out this post: How to fix a Twisted Spine.
From what you’ve said, I would think your torso is leaning/twisting towards the left side making the right side of your back work hard to prevent the torso from further falling to the left.
Thanks for your answer Mark, I did suppose I was overusing the QL and that’s a confirmation.
I forgot to mention that I’m sitting about 6-8 hours a day, this is likely to be causing the QL to be overactive.
I’m starting to show the famous “6-pack” on my abs though. But it doesn’t look that good to have my stomach going out like this, in fact I find it quite ugly, I hope to get to fix this someday.
It feels like I should “stop” sitting but that is obviously difficult to do.
I’m starting to think that the QL is simply weak and needs strengthening, that’s something you didn’t explicitly mention in your post, or I missed it.
I think I also need to train my bum to get into a more neutral position by activating my glutes.
Thanks for your post, it’s very inspiring for me to fix my problems, keep it up!
Your posts were incredibly helpful.
I’m facing several conditions at the same time, I know I used to have the worst posture but it’s going better, however, there’s something I’m having troubles getting a hand on.
I got APT + Kyphosis + Hyperlordosis.
I used to have a lateral pelvic tilt that is now corrected.
The APT is still there but improving very slowly.
Kyphosis same, I’m much less hunched forward but still do, along with winged scapula. I decided NOT to work too much fixing the kyphosis because I feel like when I fix the kyphosis temporarily, it makes my breathing difficult and inhibited because of the APT (I can clearly feel the APT is the culprit here, I tried forcing my body into different positions to understand that). So I’m focusing on fixing the APT but it takes so long! I fell like I’m missing something (see below)
My entire body used to depend on the right side, the left side was very weak, and I feel like it is still the case somewhere but I can’t get to find which muscles.
Whenever I walk for longer than 5 minutes, I start getting a dull pain on the left side, weirdly it feels like in the stomach region around the lower ribs but I know I need to stretch the quadratus lumborum using the Pelvic side tilt exercise and that makes it go away, then I can walk again.
Do you have any idea what do I need to strengthen to avoid the quadratus lumborum activating and getting tight when I’m walking?
I also noticed that I got rather weak quads on that side, especially on the upper side of the leg, but very tight groin which makes it difficult to strengthen the quads without activating the entire region.
Thanks again for your work!
With an APT, you will likely be using the QL to keep your torso up right whilst walking.
If you are over using the QL, you might not be use your abdominal muscles enough. The dead bug exercise is great for this! (it will help with the APT as well)
Also, check to see if you have a corresponding rib flare.
If you have one sided issues, I would also recommend that you check if you have a rotated pelvis.
How to fix a Rotated Pelvis.
Sir i am suffering from excessive lumber lordois like i can freely move my hand in the gap while standing straight with the wall now and i have this since birth due to some mishandling by the doctor while delivering me. I also have anterior pelvic tilt which is my normal standing position and my muscles are stif because i can’t do that exercise of neutral pelvic allingment while standing i am a overwheight child or obese you can say with a weight of 98 kgs. I am a 20 years old female and i sleep on my stomach since childhood and can’t sleep on my back will this make my condition worse and how long will it take to recover my situation or is it even possible to treat with the help of these exercises. Please reply sir
I am 40 and have a hollow back and slightly hunched shoulders. It was caused, according to doctors at that stage, by oversized boobs! I had a reduction to correct that problem at age 19, but my back and shoulders got worse. I gained excessive weight because of chronic medication (sodium valproate) and yes, it kept getting worse.
6 months ago I decided to change my lifestyle and eating habits. And get excercise. I weighed 150,5kg. I lost 24,5kg. I’m trying to get more exercise but the pain and discomfort in my back makes it difficult. When I’m on my feet long my lower back feels like my hips and spine are going to disconnect any moment.
Will the pain ease as I lose more weight?
Can the hyperlordosis be responsible for my knee problems?
Is the hyperlordosis in any way responsible for my bad balance? I fall alot too. Have difficulty picking my feet up when I walk. I drag my feet and walk duck footed (feet pointing to the outside.) Are these all related?
Will these exercises help correct the problem at my age?
I’m a state patient and do not have access to private doctors here. These clinics I have access to don’t help with problems such as these.
Any further advice will be appreciated.
Large breasts can definitely impact how one holds their posture. (especially if the muscles aren’t strong enough to support the increased weight)
With hyperlordosis (excessive arch in the lower back), prolonged standing may potentially lead to increased pressure in the lumbar spine. If you lose more weight, this can reduce this said tension on the lower back.
Hyperlordosis does not directly cause knee issues, but it may be related. I would be more incline to see what it happening the hip and foot level with knee issues.
Hyperlordosis may affect your balance and walking pattern, but it would be hard to say if it is the exact cause of all the issues.
If you feel that the hyperlordosis a contributing issue, the exercises mentioned on the blog post will be a great place to start!
This was really helpful. Thanks a lot. Do you suggest to do these exercises once everyday? What is a realistic time frame to see some improvement?
Every day is awesome if your body can tolerate it!
If not – 2-3/week is a good frequency to aim for .
Your website is really helpful. Just a quick question though.
Should we follow the above mentioned breathing technique while standing up as well?
You don’t need to do it 100% of the time. But it is good practice to revisit the technique throughout the day.
I definitely have APT and I have had that since I was young because I used to walk on my toes as a child. However, how can I tell if I have fused lumbar lordosis? There is no way of seeing myself when I do the exercise shown in the picture. This has me worried. Health practicioners in my country would not adress it until it caused severe problems either way. Any other way of identifying if it is fused or not?
If you can get into that suggested position, your lumbar spine is not fused.
If you physically can’t due to tightness in the lower back, then you may be fused. (or just very tight)
I have been doing some research on your blog and I definitely have anterior pelvic tilt, Hyperlordosis, and flare ribs. I’m a 30 year old hairdresser who stands badly For 9 hours a day at work and am also a keen cyclist which I know can also throw up some weak glute, tight hip flexor problems. I’m just wondering if you have an area I should work on first ie A,P,T or Hyperlordosis ? Many thanks in advance,
In many people, addressing the Anterior Pelvic Tilt will often help with the flared ribs and hyperlordosis.
All the best.
Thank you very much for your article. I have been struggling with this for years without even knowing what it was.
I started weightlifting about 3 years ago (I go 5 to 6 days a week to the gym), I used to be very skinny without any muscle mass. Now, I have bulked up, but still remain in my normal weight. I follow a good diet and have decent sleeping habits. But my (upper) belly is always sticking out, which makes me look round and overweight, like my inner organs don’t fit inside my thorax.
I have episodical lower back pain and stiffness and (since reading this) I catch myself in a hunchback posture when sitting. I feel like I cant hold my own weight.
Now I see it’s all to do with bad posture. I am hoping that these exercises will help, but is there any posture corrector that you would recommend for this?
Thanks again for your help and sharing this wealth of knowledge!
I am not a huge fan on the posture corrector braces as people tend to rely on them way too much.
This can lead to weak and lazy postural muscles.
However- If you are starting to address your posture, they can provide some support. I would only recommend the use of it in the short term.
The main posture braces out are the ones that essentially pull your shoulders back. Try before you buy to ensure a good fit!
Do wall angels help with hyperlordosis? If they can, which I feel like they do, I definitely feel like they can give you better posture over time. But can doing wall angels every day actually make you physically taller over time via spine/muscle memory i.e. straightening of the spine?
Wall angels are one of my favorite exercises. It can definitely help with hyperlordosis in the lower back.
If you are missing some of your height due to the excessive curvature of your spine, reducing these curves should physically give you some height.
Nice! I’m 5’8 1/4 but definitely have at least mild hyperlordosis and kyphosis, probably more than mild. I’m doing wall angels as best I can every day now. Hoping to be 5’9 or a little more when all is said and done.
Thanks for this great blog!
It seems that i have multiple postural problems you mention. Its probably all connected. Forward head, rounded shoulders, hunchback, hyperlordosis. I don’t know where to start with the exercises. I sit all day for work and also on the way to and back from work for hours. Simply can’t sit straight much anymore even for short periods. It quickly causes pressure on my body making me want to lean forward on desk or backward. Im a thin guy by the way who doesn’t easily gain weight and not at all by just sitting.
I would like to know if you know any sports that are very good for posture? Ones that cover many exercises for overal good posture.
Thanks in advance,
Back stroke (swimming) is a sport that is great for posture.
I’ve never been able to touch my toes with my legs straight. I’m thinking that’s a large cause for my hyperloidosis. This has been a problem for me my whole life! I played collegiate sports and I’ve just dealt with having a tight lower back. Do you believe this is mostly a muscular issue for me, and that the solution for me is to do the above exercises and get my hamstrings more flexible? Never had any skeletal issues or disorders, but have been noticing my back push my stomach out more significantly as I get older (late twenties)
Do you happen to have an anterior pelvic tilt?
If you do – your hamstrings may be already too stretched out. This means it has no capacity to stretch even further to touch your toes.
If this is the case, I would address the pelvic tilt first and see if that improves anything.
If you still have issues, I would focus on eccentric hamstring strengthening. (Eg. dead lift negatives)
Thanks for the input here Mark. That would definitely make sense that it’s more of an APT, however I’m really not sure, but I’ll do what you suggest there in the article.
However, it seems like this tilt is purely based on a muscle strength imbalance. Is it so simple as to say I could just strengthen/release the surrounding muscles and the protrusion and tilt will go back to neutral?
Strengthening and releases are required at the start.
The real change is when you learn how to control the area.
Thanks for this website, it’s incredibly helpful!
I have the symptoms of Hyperlordosis, but I also have forward head posture, hunchback posture and flared ribs. I would like to address all of these issues using the advice on your website, but I am unsure where to start.
Is there any of these posture issues that I should prioritise addressing above the others, and if so what order would you recommend I work on these problems? I am worried that if I try and fix all at the same time I will take on too much and probably just end up giving up!
And upon further reading of your website I think I also have anterior pelvic tilt… which may be the cause of most of my posture problems… so this may be a good place to start?
I would just pick 1 area to begin with and see how you go with that.
Based on what you have, I would say start with the pelvis.
How to fix an Anterior Pelvic tilt.
This should help with Hyperlordosis and Rib flare.
If you persist with these exercises and hit a plateau, the next common area to address would be the thoracic spine.
Fix your Hunchback posture.
Thanks so much for getting back to me, really appreciate it!
Firstly I’d like to thank you for this website, it’s amazing.
I sat with an extremely arched lower back my entire childhood thinking it was “good posture” so now my ribcage sticks out a lot. When I try and pull my ribcage in, I get an extreme hunchback and forward neck. How should I go about fixing this?
Thanks in advance!
Sounds like you have a bit of Flared ribs.
Check out this post: How to fix Flared Ribs.
You will need to:
– reduce your lumbar hyperlordosis
– Address any thoracic Hyperkyphosis (See post: Hunchback posture)
– Address rounded shoulders
Thanks for your detailed explanation!
Recently I started having lower back pain, unrelated to soreness following exercise. I had been following instruction from the book Foundation* prior to experiencing these problems.
For me, it seems to have been a recipe for developing hyperlordosis!
I am now following your advice and exercises and am starting to experience relief.
How to explain the disconnect here? Any advice on whether or not there is a correct way to follow the Foundation regime without developing hyperlordosis?
Thank you for sharing these. I have arched back and also my knees give out a bit sometimes when I walk. It may not be obvious to others but I feel it myself. I’m not overweight and actually in pretty good shape and athletic. I also run every day (for years). Does running lessen the effects of your moves or can I still go running?
You can continue with your running.
Just be mindful of your lumbar arch.
hi im 20 female and i have scoliosis,forward neck,hunchback,rounded shoulders, and hyperlordosis. i have pain from just sitting on a desk and sleeping sometimes i have back pain. when i walk i feel like my balance is uneven. What should i correct first?
You can start with any area.
Most people tend to start in the area where they have the most pain, but you will soon need to move onto another area once you have extracted as much benefit.
What if my joints are fused, what are the options then?
The next best option is to continue exercises to prevent the resting lumbar arch from increasing any further (same exercises on the blog) and to optimize all the joints around the lumbar spine (ie. hips, thoracic spine)
Hi Mark I have scoliosis is it natural to have lordosis with it or I have another problem too?Thanks
It is not uncommon to have both hyperlordosis and scoliosis.
Should you stretch the hip flexors if you also have the sway back posture?
If your hip flexors are tight, then it is fine to stretch it.
However – in a sway back posture where the psoas is in an already relatively lengthened position, your probably better of strengthening it instead.
I didn’t realize that Hypelordosis are typically caused by tight or overactive muscles in your body. My wife has been vigorously exercising recently so that she loses enough weight before our vacation, but her back has started to look strained and curved recently. I think it would be best for us to call a chiropractic service for help.
For sure! I love chiropractors. Get a good assessment and some great exercises for the Hyperlordosis.
Thank you so much for this article. I remember being told by a chiropractor when I was a child that I had an exaggerated lumbar curve but I assumed I grew out of it. This article helped me to see that I still have it. I’m also convinced that this is contributing to the pain and discomfort I sometimes feel along the PSIS immediately after deadlifting. Is there any kind of mobilization or stabilization exercise I can do right before deadlifting, maybe as a warm up, that would help relieve this? I’m going to start doing the exercises in this post on a daily basis, but wanted to know if there was one in particular that’s good for a deadlift warm up. Thank you in advance.
I am a big fan of doing segmental cat/cow warm up exercise before dead lifting. (Have a quick youtube search on how to do it)
Can u suggest pelvis strengthening and control exercises.
Hi mark, would like to just check with you if lordosis is the reason to my lower back pain everytime I try to lie on my bed to sleep? Have been experiencing a sore kind of pain on my lower back recently and i can say that I might have lordosis due to the archs.
Thanks in advance!
It is definitely a possibility.
Try sleeping with your knees supported by a big pillow. (on your back)
If that improves the pain, then the pain might indeed be from the excessive lower back arch.
I have been doing few exercises (which I listed below) everyday for more than a month now for anterior pelvic tilt correction .My flexibility has increased but I don’t see any change in my tilt why?
Note:I don’t have flat feet or hatchback
Child pose Scorpion
Seated straddle stretch
Should I include any more exercises in my regime
I want your valuable suggestion on this .
Waiting for your reply
Hey Kris R,
You might need to focus on strengthening and control of the pelvis.
Eg. standing posterior pelvic tilts.
Can u suggest some of the strengthening exercises
Your site has put together all of the bits and pieces I found elsewhere on the internet. Thank you for being so clear in your explanations and instructions. Can’t wait to get started!
My absolute pleasure, Kathy.
Hope you find the website helpful :)
First of all thanks you for this amazing page may god bless you. May you tell me that what if joints are fused what can do ?
I would focus all the attention on strengthening exercises!
If the lower back won’t move, then you are going to have to optimise the function of the joints around the lower back (namely the hips, pelvis and thoracic spine)
Hey Mark, i have determined that i have: Anterior pelvic tilt, Hyperlordosis, forward head and dowagers hump. My question is, would it be best to focus on fixing from top(neck) to bottom(pelvis) or from bottom to top? Cheers
Ideally – you would want to start on the area that has the biggest influence on the others.
Otherwise – you can start anywhere!
Some people like to start where they tend to have any pain/symptoms.
Hi… I have hyper lordosis and my MRI said i have spondylolysthesis l5 on s1… By the way i’m 18… I’m so sad about it cause it makes my posture terrible… Is there any way i can fix it or it’s just permenant?… And how much height have i lost beacuse of it… Thanks for responding❤
You can fix it!
I would also recommend having a look at this post too:
How to fix a Anterior pelvic tilt.
So if some one has spondylolisthesis it means he has anterior pelvic tilts?
It’s definitely possible.
But it does not apply to everyone.
I have been active on the internet since 98, but this must be one of the most useful sites I’ve ever come across.
I have a history of a lot of sitting and will continue as a standing desks reduces my productivity.
Because of this, and probably some other factors, I have quite some postural issues.
Judging by what I’ve seen on your site, I probably have:
*Swayback or anterior pelvic tilt and/or hyperlordosis
*Dowager’s hump and/or kyphosis
*and probably a light form of scoliosis and some feet problems
Now, I’ve been stretching my hip flexors and it seems I have lessened the lordotic curve.
I also want to start doing bodyweight exercises again.
But since it’s all a bit overwhelming. I wonder what problem should I start to try to correct first?
And can I do the bodyweight exercises during the correction process?
That’s a huge compliment. Thanks John!
To answer your question of where to start… there isn’t really a wrong area to start with.
You can start in the area where you might have some pain/symptoms, or perhaps where you think might be the “key stone” area that is affecting multiple areas.
Take the exercises as far as you can in that particular area, then once you feel you have progressed as far as you can, search for another area to work on.
Best of luck!
Thanks for your time, Mark.
Just one question: what’s the difference between anterior pelvic tilt and hyperlordosis?
Are they just two different names for nearly the same condition? Or is there more to it?
(Lumbar) Hyperlordosis refers to the excessive arch in the lower back and generally occurs with an anterior pelvic tilt.
An anterior pelvic tilt specifically refers to the position of the pelvis.
Thanks so much, Mark, for explaining that!
Loved the article. Is there a particular massage ball youd recommended for these? Ive never owned one and dont know what to look for.
I like to use a Lacrosse massage ball.
They come in different firmness depending on your tolerance.
I hought sway back, hyper lordosis and anterior pelvic tilt are all the same thing. Some medical professionals say I have lordosis, others say I have sway back and others say I have anterior pelvic tilt. When describing what I have, they all are describing the same thing so I assumed they were all the same thing. I noticed you have these 3 things separated into different conditions with different exercise paths. Can you tell me how they are different? How do I know which exercise regime to follow?
They are some cross overs with the 3 postural issues.
Anterior pelvic tilt refers specifically to the forward tilt of the pelvis.
It can lead to hyperlordosis in the lumbar spine.
With sway back posture, the hips/pelvis are in a more forward position in relation to the feet. There is a lordosis as well, but I describe it as a “short lordosis” as the curve may be concentrated in the lower parts of the lumbar spine.
I’m so happy to find your website. Over the last year, I’ve lost 50lbs and for the first time am having lower back/hip/tail bone pain. I learned today that I have the anterior pelvic tilt and my pelvis is twisted. I don’t understand why this is causing my tail bone to hurt so bad. I haven’t fallen or injured it. I’ll be doing the strengthening exercises and seeing the chiropractor every other day for a while. I hope it helps soon.
Congrats on losing 50lbs!
In regards to your tail bone pain, have you been doing any exercises whilst sitting on the floor? (eg. ab works outs)
Pain can also refer to the tail bone from the lower lumbar spine joints. This areas is commonly injured with lifting with a flexed lower back.
Quick question. My posture has gotten worse over the years from working on the computer. I have forward hip posture, hunched back, and lumbar lordrosis. Looking at these exercises I feel overwhelmed and I don’t know where to start. What should I start correcting first? Or does it not matter?
Just start with one area.
In terms of which one to start with, there’s really no wrong area to start with.
Perhaps for you, try the hunch back posture exercises first.
Hello, I just came across your article and have not tried the exercises yet, but will! I recently got xrays that showed hyper curve to lower back with the disc at base of curve basically squished to the point of where it’s bone on bone. (very painful! When I get up from sitting it takes time to straighted up, standing, walking even some stretches I’ve done are painful) I’m curious about what exercises/ stretches would work best knowing about the disc deterioration? It would be nice to not have this constant pain in my back.
I would say that it is still fine to do all of the exercises mentioned, however, you will need to be very perceptive to how your body is responding to the exercises.
Stay away from sharp pains. Everything should be gentle and pain -free.
If in doubt, do a bit less than what you think you can do.
About a year ago I had sciatica due to a disc bulge/irritated piriformis (doctor was not completely sure which one…. Checked xray which was fine… didn’t do an MRI). It went away in about three months after physiotherapy. Now generally alright but prolonged standing or sitting is causing some hip pain… Also the main problem is when I do the prayer pose as shown above I have a sense tightness coupled with pain in my lower back….. Like something is glued together and wont seperate. Does this mean there is fusion of spine? …. As to hyper lordosis my back is not completely flat when I lie down with my legs straight but my hand wont pass through…. Let me know what you think… Thanks in advance!
This might suggest that you might be tight in the lower back and lacking lumbar flexion.
It does not necessarily mean you are fused in this area.
Without ongoing effort, you should be able to loosen it up!
Hi is it possibly for lordosis to put too much stress on rhectus abdominal muscle size?
A Lumbar hyperlordosis (esp with a rib flare) can place the rectus abdominis in a stretched position.
This can lead to an increased tension in the abdominal wall.
Pls answer I have super inward curve, if I do the exercise to released the tight muscles and cure back pain, But will my spine return too to its normal curve or what?? tnx
Yes – it is possible to regain your normal lumbar curve with the exercises if the muscles mentioned in the blog posts are causing your hyperlordosis.
Hey mark. I am a young figure skater and I think I have a lower back curve. Although for figure skating I have to have good posture and I think that is a reason I have this, I’m not sure is it’s really that. I figure skate a lot, so I don’t know what I’ll do. I also play hockey. My shoulders and neck have good posture, and I don’t really feel any pain except occasionally one of my hip flexors. I’m very skinny but my stomach pops out and I hate it. I’m flexible, so I don’t know if it is tight muscles or overworked muscles. I’m just worried that figure skating will make this worse or that my stomach will pop out forever.
Hey there Charlotte,
If you are skinny but have a bit of a belly that sticks out, it usually due to an anterior pelvic tilt.
If you are flexible, you will need to focus more so on muscular control rather than stretching.
I just wanted to ask if these streches can completely fix the problem, and if so how long would it take and how intensively do I need to do the exercises
They can definitely help with excessive hyperlordosis.
Start by doing the exercises 2-3/week and see how you feel. From here – increase/decrease intensity as appropriate.
This really helped. I experience extreme lower back pain walking and running.
Thanks for the comment :)
Great to hear that the exercises helped you.
Hi, I recently purchased a very firm foam mattress which I hoped would help fix my arched back. I’ve been waking up still with strong back pain but that I consider sustainable if it would actually contribute to helping my spine straighten out. Do you suggest I continue to sleep straight on my back on this firm bed or is it still better to sleep with a pillow below my legs? Is it better to sleep on a medium-firm mattress? I recently also dislocated a shoulder, what exercises for my back do you suggest given my temporary limited mobility with my arm?
The more prominent the curves in your spine, the more you will require to go on the softer side.
With mattresses, the general guideline is to go as firm as you can comfortably handle.
If the mattress is too firm, there is no support for your curves. This can place more pressure on the joints and muscles.
I would advise you to sleep on your back with your hips and knees slightly bent (and supported under the knees).
In regards to your shoulder, a good place to start is isometric external rotations of the shoulder.
I think your article is very helpful!
But I have a personal question..I know I have Hyperlordosis. And I also have X legs shape. I feel like my hips, femoral bone, knees and my ankles are in the wrong position. My knees hurt a lot when I’m standing for lots of hours.
I’m surely going to do the exercises for my pelvis, but what can I do to fix my knees?
Thanks a lot
I have the perfect post for your X leg shape!
How to fix a knee valgus
This is the best information I have found on this issue! I’ve spent the past two years dealing with awful neck, shoulder, and lower back pain. Since my healthcare providers do not seem to want to dig very deep to find the causes, I’ve done a lot of research myself. After urging my doctor to help and getting regular C1/2 adjustments that never seemed to hold, I gave up and started DIYing my care. With regular yoga, a reevaluation of my breathing (shallow for a long time without realizing it), and posture correction, my neck and shoulder tension is minimal. But, I still have the lower back pain. It’s almost worse. :(
I am naturally “well-endowed” in the back but do not carry a lot of excess weight around my midsection. I’ve always thought this had something to do with the lower back pain, but my chiropractor literally laughed at me for suspecting my own behind. Since I can remember, I have always felt stiffness in my lower back when bending over or after walking for a long time. Even though I am flexible and can do a full forward bend pose, I can feel my mid and upper back doing most of the work while my lumbar area stays almost straight as an arrow. No chiropractor has ever been able to adjust my lumbar or sacrum and I cannot ever remember the area being loose, popping, cracking, or moving at all.
I guess my question is, what do you do if you have a fusion? I’m not sure if that is the case, but I am interested to know how I would proceed with treatment (self-care or professional).
From what I’ve seen, a complete fusion (without surgery) in the lower back is quite rare.
Most of the time it is just tightness and/or lack of control of the region.
If you are indeed fused, then there will be a limitation how much change you can influence in the spine. In this case, you will need to focus on strengthening your muscles in the best posture that you can achieve.
Extremely Helpful Mark. i will try the exercises as iam experiencing severe lower back pain. Years ago i used to have a disc protrusion..now at 50 i just began experiencing this pain in September.I also believe i have a lipoma on the left side of my lower back and it is where i experience numbness and tightness.
All the best with the exercises, Nancy.
Let me know if you have any questions.
Wow! This is so helpful! Thank you!
Two questions: for those of us born this way, it is a lifelong battle. For me, maintaining posture (tuck his, pull back shoulders) is hard because I naturally slip back into my normal arched back stance. Do you recommend using a posture corrector? If so, is there one that is especially effective for hyperlordosis? Second question: maybe I missed this in the post, but is there a specific psoas stretching exercise you recommend?
Again, this site is fabulous! Thank you for generously sharing your knowledge.
Posture braces are fine for the short term. The only issue I have with them is if people become too reliant on it!
The psoas stretch that I like to do is the kneeling lunge stretch with emphasis on posterior pelvic tilt + glute contraction.
Does this ancient Chinese medicine really work Fong? I will try it at home. Thank you
Hi! Can you please explain me what is the difference between anterior pelvic tilt and hyperlordosis? It seems that you gave correction guides on both of them. I just don’t know which one do I have and which one to focus on. Thank you!
Anterior pelvic tilt refers specifically to the position of the pelvis.
Where as, Hyperlordosis refers to the excessive arch of the lumbar spine.
The usually occur together.
Thank you for this amazing post, I had been thinking of correcting my body posture for years and this post appears to be what I needed. Just 1 question, me and my brother (37 and 41 years respectively) have hyperlordosis probably by birth, it is not very severe so we never done any serious research to find ways to correct it but at this age I have started to feel lower back pain while working in the office and occasionally when I wake up. Kindly advise if we can do these exercises at this age and when we have this issue by birth?
(I am sorry if you have already answered this question on some other comment, but I gave a quick go through and wasn’t able to find)
You will still likely benefit from the exercises.
If you genetically inclined, there may be some limitation as to how much you can influenced.
However- at very least, you can prevent the hyperlordosis from getting worse.
Another great post. Can you shed some light on lumbar lordosis versus anterior pelvic tilt? Can one cause the other, do they occur separately? The approach to helping both issues seems to be very similar. Is it common to see both anterior pelvic tilt and lordosis together? Do you often see one without the other?
Commonly – an Anterior pelvic tilt will occur with a hyperlordosis.
A hyperlordosis can occur without an anterior pelvic tilt. Eg. sway back posture.
Hi Mark, I have been in PT for over a year and have a 6 day per week home exercise program with very little results. I have been reading several of your posts and wondering if you have any knowledge of Ehlers Danlos Syndrome? I have hip rotation and slight hyperlordosis. Have you ever met with an EDS patient and do you have any different recommendations in this situation?
I have not come across many patients with EDS.
However- since people with EDS tend to have hypermobility, strengthening exercises should be prioritized (rather than stretching).
Hey man, I’ve been dealing with hip pain and hyperlordosis after losing about 50 lbs and seeing what my spine actually looked like. It has taken me ~4 months at the gym and 4 weeks of PT 3 times a week, to learn all that I know about my injury/posture/corrective measures/etc. You have EVERYTHING I’ve learned/been told + more on this page. I just wanna say thank you for taking the time, and no more cobra stretch for me from today on!
Thanks for writing your comment.
All the best!
I have a problem with the Dead bug (Leg drop, bent knee) exercise where I cannot even hold the starting position, and I would like to ask for your help.
1) I start by lying down and resting feet on the floor.
2) Then I flatten my lower back by rotating the pelvis and the rotated state is maintained by legs.
3) Then I engage your core muscles to help with keeping the lower back flat.
4) Subsequently I lift my feet from the floor, and only the engaged core muscles keep the lower back flat.
5) The issue is that in this stage my core muscles immediately start shaking, and after few seconds a pain in the upper part of lower back starts to grow until few seconds later the pain is unbearable.
I suspect this happenes due to my extensive lordosis and weak core muscles.
My question is, is there some kind of excercise I can do to “prepare” my body for the Dead bug excercise?
Thank you very much for your reply,
This is a pretty common problem.
Here are some options for you:
2. In the starting position, keep your knees higher towards your chest. If this is still too difficult, you can just hug one knee to your chest whilst dropping the other leg only. (then switch sides)
3. In the starting position, rest your feet on a box. From here, you can lift your foot off the box (alternatively) as to bring your knee towards your chest. As your control improves, place the box further away from you.
See how you go with that!
Thanks for some great posts. I have 4 questions j hope you would be able to help with:
I have had a s curved posture for a long time (i feel heavy tension in the lower back when walking and tet neck tension often and i do have some issues eith bloating for a long time). I have trained for many years and am in solid shape overall.I often find when I try the dead bug exercises it even makes the hyperlordosis stronger in the lower back. Is this normal? Due to thick lower back muscles I struggle to feel if the spine actually moves off the floor despite not being able to put a finger underneath my back when lying down. Is this indication enough that my spine stays as flat as it should that I cannot get my finger underneath? If I am very bloated, could it be there is another nutritional (or even nervous system related) issue to solve in addition to the weak abdominals? Finally, you mention overhead is an issue under this postural condition- would a pulling overhead like chin ups also be a big issue here?
Would you say do programme above in the order you’ve set so stretch first then core then glutes??Would you do this everyday??
And how long before you would notice results??
I would recommend starting the exercises from top to bottom to begin with.
As you become more familiar with the exercises and how your body responds, you can do whatever order you feel good with.
Every day to every other day is fine.
In terms of how long to have results? You should see difference almost straight away (even if it is a small amount). In terms of a full correction – that really depends on how tight you are, how strong you are, the rest of your posture, the intensity and frequency that you do the exercises etc.
Hi Mark, Oh my word! I did all the above exercises and it work. I looked at my back afterwards and I see a difference. Thank you, thank you. Your my Hero!
Great to hear, Tasha :)
Hi! I am a 14 year old girl who has experienced a pooch persay due to this condition. I have just started these exercises in hopes of fast results. I do however struggle keeping a good posture. I’ll try to keep a good posture but then when I’m not focusing I go back to my normal posture. I’m hoping that I will still see results though.
Congrats on tackling this early , I hope you had good results I only started 2 years days ago 26 y
Great article. I will definitely work these into a morning/evening routine to see if I can strengthen my spine. I don’t feel I have Hyperlordosis though I may be the opposite. Back too flat. I do yoga at least once a week, walk and/or elliptical at least twice a week and usually don’t have problems but if I go on a trip to say New York and walk all day and stand waiting on the wife to finish shopping I find my back starting to spasm to the point I almost cannot walk. If I sit a bit and let my lower back stretch, it helps and I can go a little longer. I’m assuming I must stand a certain way which is not good on my low back. I do sit all day at a computer at work but don’t seem to have an issue there as far as pain. I try to keep a good posture when working. My hamstrings are extremely tight. Even with Yoga they don’t seem to ever stretch out much which could be most of my problems. They seem tighter after sitting or sleeping. I’m looking for a routine to do each day to help strengthen and I think your site is perfect for that so I plan to give it a try. Thanks again.
If you have a flat lower back, I would recommend checking out this post:
How to fix FLAT BACK POSTURE.
The post also covers a flat thoracic spine as well, but if you don’t have that, just focus on the lower back exercises.
Another blog post that might help you is this one: Posterior pelvic tilt. Have a look. It might relate to you.
Lastly, for your hamstrings: How to stretch the different parts of the hamstrings.
After two years off I began Running again. I spent the two years in the Gym/lifting and got my body really tight.Shortly after beginning a new running program I ran in to some back pain. Your article really helped.
It started with spasms that were really painful. I began some techniques to release the psoas and the spasms are gone but now I have a dull pain in my lumbar right above my tailbone that is like a one out of ten.
Am I on track?
Sounds like you are on the right track!
But I would keep eye on the new symptom in your tailbone region.
Thanks for your reply
In regarding my back curve it’s more a lower back arch I would love to be able to shoot you a pic to double check but if that’s the case should I still follow the exercises for sway back
Feel free to link me to a photo.
When I can figure out how to do this !!!
Just a quick one
I have quite a pronounced arch so I’m hyoerlordotic with sway back
Your post for hyperlordosis suggests to stretch the hip flexors where for sway back it says to not my psoas does get quite tight what would u recommend here for sway back it also says tight abs ?
I’m also abit worried about doing more ab work as I’m quite hunched but am working on upper extension stuff and rounded shoulders
Will it be ok ?
Thanks a heap
If you specifically have SWAY BACK POSTURE (which involves having an excess thoracolumbar (upper lower back) lordosis), then I would follow the exercises for the sway back posture.
hello again :)
thank you very much for the sitting on the floor advice.
I used to go swimming for my back before, but due to circumstances I could’t go to the pool anymore. so I decided to do the exercies on this page. It has been about 3 month that i have been doing these exercises 6 days a week.
these exercises HAVE WORKED WONDERS. my backpain is almost totally gone.
I can’t thank you enough for these exercises.
just one question though. do i have to continue doing these moves? if yes, for how long? are these lifelong moves that we have to keep doing because of our hyperlordosis?
P.S. for anyone suffering from this condition I really recommend doing these exercises it only takes about 30-40 mins a day and you will be pain free.
Awesome comment! Thanks for letting me know that the exercises have worked wonders for you.
In regards to your question, as your pain starts to go away and your posture improves, you can wean down the exercises.
You can even choose to focus just on the exercises that you feel give you most benefit.
I am a 15 year old guy and I have hyperlordosis. Not only does it make me insecure 24/7 but it makes tasks like lifting boxes and gardenwork painful after a while. Do you still think I can get it corrected fully? Maybe through surgery or thorough physiotherapy?
I don’t know your exact situation but it is very rare that you will require surgery for a hyperlordosis.
Give the exercises a try. If you still have some issues, you might need to search in other areas of the body that might be encouraging extension into your lower back.
Thank you for your advice, Mark! I feel like starting immediately! I’ve been suffering my whole life with this and doctors only prescribe anti inflammatory drugs… I’m 55 and decided to run 5K before the year is over, but my back is not helping me! God bless you.
My name is georgio, I’m 18 years old, I’ve got serious huperlordose and cyphose
All the doctors said that I can’t fix them anymore
But you’re saying that we can
Am I going to improve with time while doing your exercises?
“Sorry for my english”
It depends if you are fused in those positions. If you are, then it is unlikely to drastically change over a short period of time.
At very least, these exercises will help prevent it from getting worse.
I just tired a couple of the exercises and feel better already.
I have been doing physical therapy for 5 weeks but we werent exactly addressing the lordosis reversal. I looked back at my MRI and saw that was really the only thing significantly wrong. I also realized that for many years i have made this worse while thinking that i was correcting my posture. I would increase the already overached portion of my back and sort of square my shoulders in order to “stand up straight”. Yoor article addresses every point I have questions about. Very useful!
Thank you so much for your comment :)
All the best with your Hyperlordosis
Hello Mark, Thank you so much for your informative post, I am a 29 year old female and I had severe Hyperlordosis. I am curious did you have young/adult patients who flattened their exaggerated curves? I’m doing physical therapy for a few months and my doctor told me that there is no way to reduce the arch only to strengthen and stretch core muscle so it would not cause lower back injuries. It made me so discouraged to continue. I’d appreciate it if you share the success stories.
Yes – most definitely.
As long as your joints are not fused, you shold be able to improve your hyperlordosis.
Also check out this post: How to fix anterior pelvic tilt
and this one: Hunch back posture
They are common with hyperlordosis.
I do not understand how you can say that you can improve your hyperlordosis permanently if you are born genetically with tight or shortened psoas muscle…. You can’t lengthen them thru stretching, can you…? Is there anyway to surgically or thru stem cell stuff fix this….? It seems like something that some of us just have to live with. For example, I was born with hyperkyphosis which my father has and my older sister, it is a gene that runs in the family. I do not have hyperlordosis, just hyperkyphosis. I believe that it is due to tight tendons and ligaments that connect the lower body to the upper body. I do not have Scheuermann’s Disease.
Thanks so much for the great help. I was wondering if you could please explain what is meant by joints being fused. Which joints would these be in this case, and how to do a check to decide whether or not they are fused. Any links would be very helpful.
Hi Mark, this is an informative site, thanks! I’m a 49 year old female who was born with an extreme curve in my lower back. My spine makes the the shape of the number 2,for a lack of a better word. I’ve been trying various exercises after having 3 kids to no avail. I end up with severe back pain. I can’t stand for more than an hour or sit for to long because my back will hurt. I’ve gained so much weight after their births and I’m at a loss. I’ve tried walking but end up with pinched nerve and pain down my legs after.
Do I follow the exercise routine you gave above as well? Please advise!
Hey there Charmaine,
Do you happen to have thoracic hyperkyphosis as well?
Check out this post: Hunched back posture
I have got really tight quads which have become better by some stretching exercises. But whenever I walk my quads get a little bit tight and get stiff. Well your page on ideal posture of sitting is great.
Would appreciate if you make a one on standing too.
Will keep it in mind!
thanks alot Mike!
felt like someone was guiding me one-to-one!
really informative & the pics make it look easy n fun to do
by any chance do you post same stuff on instagram?i dont use fb but would love to follow your page on insta.
I will be making an instagram page soon :)
Hi Mark, thank you so much for this helpful post. It mirrors a lot of the info passed onto me in a recent personal training session, which is reassuring, but I find myself getting discouraged from lack of results after about 6 weeks of doing these stretches/exercises. Should I be doing these exercises every single day for best results? I want to be that consistent but must admit it’s a huge challenge. I am a nurse, and my work is exhausting and very hard on my back. My back pain, while I’m certain I do have hyperlordosis, is primarily in my middle spine. It gets extremely tight and spasms after a long shift at the hospital. I have a stretch routine I do nightly before bed, but I often wake up in the same amount of pain. I’ll lean over to wash my face in the morning and have severe pain/spasm if I’m not careful. Never experiencing pain in my lower back, but always in my middle/upper back. Any thoughts or advice on this? Is this likely just related to my poor “hunchback” posture? Thanks in advance for your time. Feeling pretty hopeless that I’ll ever resolve this.
Keep up with the exercises. It takes time!
If you feel that you have done everything you can for the lower back, it may be time to look for other areas that are driving your back into a hyper lordosis.
The 2 other areas I would suggest are the Pelvis and thoracic spine.
These posts should be able to point you in the right direction:
– How to fix an anterior pelvic tilt
– Thoracic kyphosis.
First of all, thank you for all the help and knowledge you provide to everyone.
My story is a little complicated, I will be glad if try to help me. I am 24 years old. I have a congenital lordosis that has Disrupted me a little in my childhood and in the adolescence, but only in the last two years has it started to hurt more significantly and caused me to get kyphosis. I think it was not only increase because the time past but also because I was injured in the knee and I got a cyst (ganglion) in the middle of the cross and a little bit of the strap was torn. I cannot fully fold the knee because it bothers there. I got used to resting and sitting for about a year when I had pain standing, now I stand more and walk against the pain. Also the Flat Feet started to bother me in the past two years and I moved to Orthotics, I did not try all the exercises that are on the site on the flat feet before (I tried the stretching exercises of the toes but it did not help so much).
My back is very bothering me todays. When I sit down it feels like I have to sacrifice a different limb every time to survive the day. Once I lean forward and my upper back or neck aches and another time I try to sit upright and then my lower back makes arch and it hurts. I have pain while breathing also. The same happens with standing but standing is less painful because I move in the place. (i am student and i stand all the morning because I can’t sit)
For a year I did some exercises and recently I started to take it more seriously. For 3 months I do a lot of exercises including what you published on the site, hour a day, and I feel good only at the time that I do fitness and the body gets hot and sweating. I like to sweat and do sports. It also improves my mood, but it helps me for the time when my muscles just get warm. I have become stronger than I started to practice, but for unknown reason, although the muscles have strengthened, it does not help me to the posture. My lordosis is probably very hard. Needless to say, it is also hard for me to find a good position for sleep.
Thinking about surgery …
Do you know any way without invasive intervention that I can try to straighten my back? I will be glad if you refer me for more exercises, information etc.
Thank you so much!!
I believe it’s safe to say I have Hyperlordosis, as I’ve practically got the Missouri Arch back there. I am trying to hone in on what’s causing my pain, as it could be a number of things: Bad posture while standing/sitting, weak back muscles, or sit-ups. However, it’s this last one that my question concerns.
As I am planning on joining the U.S. Navy soon, there are quite a lot of sit-ups in my future. Unfortunately, I can’t do more than twenty before pain kicks in. What would be the proper way for someone with Hyperlordosis to perform sit-ups? Or, alternatively, is there another core-building exercise I may use?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated, and thank you for your articles. They’ve been very helpful.
Try to flatten your lower back to the ground by bending your torso forward and keeping the ribs depressed( think about just lifting off your shoulder blades off the floor) just before you perform the actual sit up.
As you return to the starting point, try to reverse this movement.(that is – flatten your back first, then bring your shoulder blades down to the floor)
Hope this helps!
Thanks for being so prompt in answering my question. I followed your advice regarding sit-ups, and it seems to have helped. I also tried out the Dead Bug exercise. Wow! What a workout! I will definitely be using that one more often.
I’ve been having difficulty with my posture lately, but with your expertise and exercises, I believe I’ll be “back” on track in no time! :)
My pleasure :)
Please let me know how you are doing in the next couple of weeks.
I have a very badly arched back but it has been that way since I was born. I am twelve now but I was wandering if maybe there was a simpler way. But I really just want to know how I can remind myself to keep good posture.
Thank you so much for your thorough article on how to fix hyperlordosis. I feel like this is what I have but every time I go to a Chiro or PT, they tell me I have a rotated hip. It started bc I was having severe knee pain while running and then a month or two later I had a stiff neck for about 6 months. It was very painful but after a lot of Chiro and neck exercises my neck feels normal so I am focused on knee pain, hip pain and low back pain. I noticed when I lay down the left side of my back is flat on the floor while the right side is up and I can fit more than a hand in there. I think this is actually how I got a stiff neck, because it was also on the right side where I seem to have more of arch. Physical therapy and focused on strengthening my hips which they told me are weak some how. I have pain in my hips for sure, as well low back, knees and even my feet and buttocks. Most of the time, my pain is on my right side, but sometimes I get pain behind my hamstring on my left side as well as left knee pain. Can you explain this please? The PTs I have gone to are not helpful so I just do home exercises at home for anterior pelvic tilt. But I am not sure I am treating the right thing. I use to be super super active and now I am always in pain, I just want to get back to me. Thank you so much.
My body has always been very stiff especially my back and my neck. Also my quads are little bit tight.
Although doing exercises to relieve those muscles prescribed by my physiotherapist, I find difficulty while walking.
More than 10 mins of walking makes my butt a little bit sore and back hurt a little bit.
So what do you suggest in this regard???
Mark, I have a hyperlordosis, with a recent discovery of a hip impingement that created some issues with piriformis. How should I tackle this with FAI. I seem to struggle with glute activation as all those muscles in the posterior chain are short and tight (hamstrings, glutes, hip flexors, etc…)
If you have hyperlordosis and hip impingement, I would check out to see if you also have an anterior pelvic tilt as well.
An anterior pelvic tilt may be involved in all the points you mentioned.
Hi mark and thanks for all your goos instructions i have just started doing them today.
I have a question though.
We tend to sit on the floor a lot where i come from. What do you think it’s the best position to do so without hurting my back?
Thanks in advance.
I sit on the floor all the time too!
I would encourage you to keep changing positions as much as you can. You never want to get stuck in any one position for a prolonged amount of time.
However – if you are talking about the most neutral position for your lower back, you can try the kneeling position. But just make sure you don’t suffer from knee issues.
If you tend to sit crossed legged or with legs straight in front of you, it is a good idea to make sure you have good hip mobility and flexible hamstrings. This to allow you to maintain a more neutral spine in these said positions.
I recently doubted that i may have some postural problems and after coming across your website it looks like i may have upto 4 postural problems. I’d like to start doing the exercises you have mentioned but since I can’t do all the exercises everyday it will be much helpful if you could suggest a everyday plan to be followed.
Hi Mr. Mark.
I am 21 years old and I feel I have a lower back that is a little bent and I find it difficult to flatten my lower back on the bed as well.
I read your posts about hyperlordosis and APT and I found them very informative.
Although I have certain queries to resolve.
I have a history of lower back pain and have been advised to avoid forward bending as much as possible. I have been told to practice backward extensions instead. Also, lately, I have developed pain in both my knees and have been suggested knee extensions and avoid pressurising my knees with excess weight.
I cannot stand for more than 2-3 hours and cannot sit for more than 30-40 minutes. The upper part of my buttocks start to ache for some reason. Sometimes I face calf pain too these days. Unlike my childhood, now I cannot even sleep on my back. The spine doesn’t flatten and my lower back starts paining. I have a fairly tight body. The maximum I can stretch my hands while bending is the point between the knees and the toes. I am very thin (52kgs, underweight) with a height of 5.5ft.
Also, I suffer from a gas problem since birth (if it’s related in any way)
Please help me as to how to get normal again and be able to undo all of these problems. My query is, what exercise should I follow? The dead bug requires me to bend knees and the squats pressurises one knee by the body weight. Bridging again uses knees. Also the prayer pose is forward bending but I’ve been told to avoid it.
Hi Mark. I hope you can give me some advice! I am a petite female who transitioned to a standing desk 2 years ago. My right hip tends to rotate forward, and the psoas and piriformis on that side are short and tight. This pulls my neck and shoulder out of alignment and I get tension headaches and shoulder pain. Sitting down in the evenings to watch television or read a book is very uncomfortable. I use an TENS on my shoulder to get a little relief. Can you make any suggestion to help me get some relief? My right hip stays “jammed” according to my chiropractor. My entire right side is super tight! Can you also explain neural flossing in more detail?
For a rotated pelvis , check out this post:
How to fix a Rotated Pelvis.
Without your pelvis is a great position, the whole posture will likely be out too (which by the sounds of things, that’s what is happening with you)
Neural flossing is to help improve the mobility of the nerve by positioning/moving the body in a certain way.
In essence, it is like pulling a string from one side at a time, back and forth (just like flossing your teeth).
I was hoping you could help me figure out what is wrong with my posture. My rib on my right side seems to protrude out more than the left and my right rib also protrudes out more than the left. The arch on the right at my lower back is alot.
I was hoping to send you a picture, but I do not have Facebook.
It sounds like you may have:
– Flared right rib.
This post might help: How to fix flared ribs.
This is usually associated with extension of the right lumbar spine (as compared to left) and which may also involve a rotated pelvis to the left.
Check out this post: How to fix pelvic rotation.
If hyperlordosis is an issue, I would also see if you have a tilted pelvis: Anterior pelvic tilt.
Hi Mark. I do the wall test and I have a relatively big gap between the wall ana my lower back. When I try to put my back straighton the wall it seems that it’s impossible to do even when I try to hunch my back a little. When I sit most of the time my back is straight. Do I have hyperhidrosis?
It sounds like it!
Also check this post: How to fix anterior pelvic tilt.
Sometimes God knows why my abdominals hurt a little bit. What happens is that the region around my belly button become tight a little bit and my stomach protrudes a bit more because of that. Also it contributeseems to my butt sticking out??
Do u know what’s happening???
It is most likely due to an Anterior Pelvic Tilt.
Can I get some advices privately from you? I got a case, it is really rare. Contact me and I will explain it to you.
Antonio, you can contact me on facebook.
Hi Mr. Mark, i have a problem with back pain in L5-S1 straightening of the lumbar lordsis? positional or ? due to muscale spams , so what should i do the fix this problem , i feel that my spain is not normal so please advise me what should i do?
Straightening of the lumbar spine may actually due to a flat back or a posterior pelvic tilt.
This could mean higher chance of posterior disc bulges. Is this what you have?
I can fit both my hands in the arch my back makes against a wall while doing the lordosis wall test. Is this normal or do you think I have hyperlordosis? If I do then do you think I’ll be able to add an inch or two in height if I fix it?
My husband has had hyperlordosis forever. He recently was in a car wreck (not his fault) and has had a lot of neck, shoulder and back pain. He started physical therapy yesterday he only has right now one home exercise and it’s for his neck right now. But however, he was given a small log roll to put at his lower back when sitting and driving. Is this common for hperlordosis? In the past and just recently researching hyperlordosis I never saw anything that said to do that. I was just wondering because to me it seems like it would make the hperlordosis worse. I’m a disabled nurse so I understand any terminology you throw my way. ? I would really appreciate some helpful feedback. Thank you!
Hello nurse Kim,
It is common to have a hyperlordosis in STANDING, but a rounded lower back in SITTING.
If this is the case, a log roll in the lower back whilst sitting may prove beneficial.
Do tight shin muscles and calves contribute to a hyperlordotic posture?
I have always got problems while walking.
I have muscular imbalances around the scapular region and my legs( shins) hurt while climbing up stairs.As a result of that my hips are not in motion which is causing a very poor posture.
I also have APT which is improving. Thanks to the exercises of yours mentioned.
I don’t think that because of APT I’m having problems whilst walking.
So what to u suggest in this regard?
I can fit both arms on top of each other while doing the lordosis wall test.Is that normal or do I have hyperlordosis?If I do then how many inches do you think I could possibly add?
Hi Mark, I’m 17 and have hyperlordosis. How often should I do these exercises??
Try to do them as often as you can.
At minimum – at least 2-3/week.
Hello mark, this article was exactly what I was looking for. I’ve quite a deep arch in my lower back. And only recently I’ve began to get this afoul pain near my tail bone and sometime even my leg just above the femur below the pelvic. Am I also suffering from this hyperlordsis ? If so is it really bad ??
The hyperlordosis may be causing your issues stated.
I would also check this post: Anterior pelvic tilt.
I can fit both my hands in the arch my back makes when I do the lordosis wall test.Is this normal or do you think I have a hyperlordotic spine?If I do then how much height do you think I might be able to add by fixing it?
Sounds like you have a degree of Hyperlordosis. Depending on the level of curve, improving this may allow you to gain couple of cm in height.
I am so scared sir! My cousin has a hunchback disorder, and I feel that my spine curvature is wrong in the lumbar region, the vertebrae are protruding outwards instead of inwards.
I feel I may need surgery, customs chairs and things like this…
How can I send a picture?
You can catch me on Facebook.
If I have hyperlordosis without APT, is it normal that the stomach protrudes and butts sticking out??
Or these are the symptoms only in case of APT??
If you do not have APT but have a hyperlordosis, then there must be something going on with your upper spine too.
You can still have a protruding stomach with hyperlordosis. The butt sticking out, however, it usually a sign of either a) APT or b) a bigger derriere.
Whenever I sleep on my side, or do planks or the cat pose, my stomach protrudes ( like it inflates like a balloon)
So is it the result of weak abdominal muscles???
I ve also got hyperlordosis.
Hi Mark, I’m having trouble figuring out if I have hyperlordosis or an anterior pelvic tilt. I have rounded shoulders, flared ribs and a very deep arch in my lower back that causes my stomach to protrude. Can I send a picture for your opinion on what I should do?
Feel free to send your picture as a reply to this comment
You can send it to me on facebook chat and I’ll have a look there.
Hi Mark, thanks for sharing this great information. I found out that from my xray, I have hyper lordosis and also degenerative lumbar disc. My doctor suggests me to do yoga exercise: bridge, upper dog, especially back bend for my lower back pain. But in your article, you wrote that back bend poses are not allowed. So what’s your suggestion for my condition?
Thanks so much
You can still perform the back bends, but it depends on what is the main reason as to why you are doing it?
Is there a possibility that someone has little bit APT, little bit hunchback , little bit flared ribs which in whole creates excessive hyperlordosis.
Well that’s me . Which exercises to start with and what do u recommend in this regard.
Please reply ASAP.
Thanks for taking the time to do all this “extracurricular” work. You seem like a extremely knowledgeable PT, especially in the areas where I need help.
So, to start off, I recently switched from a FNP that (yes, my fault too, but I stand by it is harder to see when docs are giving you scripts left and right) about two years ago. A bit before 2 years ago, I dislocated my shoulder (it healed great), but something that will have relevance in a bit was in the ER x-ray they saw two small slivers of bone from my shoulder that were “sheared” I guess but they said they were far too small, in no dangerous position, etc so no worries. They gave me a month’s script of oxycodone (first time with opiates). I followed up two days latter with my FNP and she wrote my a 6 tab/day of 10 mg hydro/acetaminophen for 30 days. My 30 day follow up she said I would have pain for several months and to continue with my current script and she would fill over the phone monthly. Welllll, 8 month’s later and I ODed, sorta a good thing in a way because some anxiety issues were found out. Either way I am clean and back at school and don’t use opiates for any pain management.
So I found an actual MD, one who actually had fellowships in addiction medicine and sports med incidentally. Great guy. I had complained to my old FNP years ago about the “big curve” in my lumbar spine that makes my stomach look fat, she literally did not lay a finger on me to examine me and said I should swim once or twice a month (I wouldn’t have believed what she said but my mom was there). This MD did a full 90 minute H&P, noted:
1) My gait was off, I almost drugged my heel or struck it depending on where I was walking
2) He said my posture was bad, he said I had some sort of kyphosis, but he wanted X-rays.
3) He examined my feet and said he was referring my to a podiatrist, and ordering full view x-rays of my lumbar spine and knees, and lower legs. He also was getting the x-ray of my shoulder, and from a few years back I fell and my family was panicked so I let them do a CT scan which got my cervical spine so he wanted that as well.
He said my legs presented no congenital abnormalities per his discussion with the podiatrist and radiologist, however he had the radiologist verify my spinal films were actually mine because although in the last two years or so I have not exercised much, I did used to run 5-15 miles a week and he had concluded with the standard lab work and physical exam besides my musculoskeletal system, I was very healthy. But the lumbar films showed what my doc and the radiologist agreed looked like the spine of a div 2-ish contact college sport player who had played from a very young age (I never played contact sports). My lumbar discs were (relatively) significantly worn and the vertebrae showed signs of poor regeneration. Cue consult from a pathologist and and a very big endocrine/hormone/many other things workup he found I had very low TSH and T4 and almost no vitamin D which he again called the lab to verify they were my results because I had no genetic history of thyroid or vit D processing issues. Further odd was my calcium was on the low end of the scale but nothing crazy. He had the radiologist that generally did bone density tests look at my CT and X-Rays and he said it looked like my bones were a tad soft, the surface wasn’t quite “smooth” enough like it was healing really slow. So am on thyroxine for my thyroid and about 70k IU vit D/wk for a 3 month cycle- they don’t know if the low vit D is messing with the thyroid or if it is the other way around. My podatrsist agreed with my GP and I got my custom orthotics which are AWESOME.
So here is where I am:
My GP agrees me sitting on my butt for 18 months contributed to the lordosis and the, he is not quite sure to call it officially, kyphosis, but my shoulders do round forward a bit as well. My feet from my podiatrist I was told, definitely contributed to this, she said I basically have two different shaped feet, with very, very high arches. I am really confident I have APT, I have showed family members where the “level” part of my pelvis is and they seem to agree. I also have my femurs/feet externally rotating, and it was not always like this or at least not always this bad (I may have noticed a minor amount in the past but it is very noticeable now).
Now the frustrating parts, even doing the glute bridge, I can’t really get my glutes to flex, I just feel it in my lower back (and yes, in high school I had very defined erector spinae). I can’t really rotate my pelvis to get it neutral at all. So I am thinking of using my podiatrist and finding a PT after a run for a month or two and get to 10 MPW or so, to work on my femur rotation, APT, lordosis, maybe a little hunched back in my upper upper back, rounded shoulders coming forward a bit (but not crazy bad), my pitiful core strength, working on getting…I forget the term, but getting the nerves to “connect” with my glutes and posterior chain again.
Do you think if I printed off some of your exercises and such, when I met the PT, and was not like disrespectful or trying to tell him his job, but more like, I have done a lot of research into what I think my issues are and I was hoping you could flip through these 4-5 pages?
Also, any guidance into an ideal PT for posture issues and lordosis/APT originating problems? Should I see a orthopedic credentialed one? Or is this stuff general PTs handle all the time?
I will respond to this comment in the facebook chat.
Sir i have bad posture problem from 1 year now i walk within a hour or stand sometime i feel pressure on kower bck and worst pain…
My name is Ronnie and I am sixteen years old.
I have hyperlordosis associated with kyphosis ( hunchback). Also I have little bit APT.
I wanted to ask that which exercises to start with? As in first fix my hunchback or APT.
Also there is a pic of yours in the Web page of hyperlordosis which reads” things to avoid” in which you r overarching your back.
But in one of the exercises in the hunchback page
, the abdominal stretch,you r arching your back to feel a stretch in the abdominals.
So what to do ?
As in what to start with?
On one hand the exercises leads to an arch but in hyperlordosis we should try to minimise the exaggerated curve.
Could you please text some exercises to fix a kyphotic-lordotic posture.
Please reply ASAP☺
When you do the abdominal stretch for hunchback posture but you also have hyperlordosis, you only want to stretch the upper abdominal region.
This is achieved by only arching the upper lumbar spine in the “cobra pose”. (and keeping the lower lumbar region relatively neutral as possible)
Thanks a lot Sir.
Does hyperlordosis make you shorter than you actually are?If so,then by how much?
I know it depends on the severity of the arch but how much height could a person loose if he has an average hyperlordotic spine?
It certainly can. The amount that is shortens you by it related to the amount of curve in your spine.
An “average hyperlordotic spine”, if I were to guess, could make you shorter by ~1cm. But this also depends on what’s going on with the rest of your spine (ie. neck, thoracic)
What is the difference between Hyperlordosis and Anterior Pelvic Tilt???
And I have an S shaped posture which means I have:-
Anterior Pelvic Tilt + hunchback + rounded shoulders + forward neck +I am skinny fat.
Anterior pelvic tilt is the forward tilted position of the pelvis.
This will lead to Hyperlordosis.
(Keep in mind, you can also have hyper lordosis without an anterior pelvic tilt)
I made a post while back and I’m sure you are a very busy guy who is even kind enough to take so much time out of his life to help us out.
I feel like the above poster. Starting from the bottom, I have what my podiatrist described as two different shaped feet, not to significant, but I’m 23 and I finally got a good MD. He called my upper back some kyphosis, but honestly, it’s the hyperlordosis. I feel like giving up.
The podiatrist found my feet contributed to some walking patterns which she thinks put extra wear on my lumbar spine. I tend to “roll” on to the outside of my feet when standing, my femurs are externally rotated and so my feet are as well. I have very high arches and some heel strike that I could tell wasn’t insignificant from the podiatrist explanation. I have custom orthotics now.
How did I get to the podiatrist? I complained and showed my “fake” chubby belly and lordosis. The MD ordered multiple shots of my feet, knees, and some angles of my lumbar spine and he had to call the radiologist to confirm and consult. He said my discs were worn of that he could easily see in a division I contact sports players that played since a child or someone who worked picking up heavy objects and bending over excessively which neither is me. He found that the radiologist that does the bone density scans looked at a CT from a fall I had a while back (rule out head trauma- I was fine) and all my x-rays and said the cervical shots from the CT, my recent X-rays, and the fact when I dislocated my shoulder I “shearered” a small piece of bone off (years ago, docs thought nothing of it, said it was harmless), that the surface of my bones appear to be “rougher” (he said the best word the radiologist could simplify it with) and that there were signs of slow osteoregression. He said the extensive lab Chem-21, full blood panel, metabolic, hormone, and trace element panels verified I had slightly low calcium and almost no vitamin D. The pathologist and my doc theorized that because of my very low TSH/T4 thyroid hormones ((which is the calcium metabolism) caused my body to stop using vit D significantly, but I’m a huge calcium fiend, love me some milk. So my kidneys saw high levels of vit D and excreted them but eventually my calcium intake needed to be supplemented, but almost pointless till the hypothyroidism is in control since it makes osteocytes use calcium.
So I’m I’m medical treatment, have custom orthotics, and a screwed posture. Can I privately send you some pictures of my posture? I have been a couch bum for a while; I’m skinny fat, though the Tyroid meds are getting down to 190 real quick at 5’8″; I want to be fit, but I think I need a PT.
Do most PTs know the exercises you know, recognize the hyper lordosis, external femur and feet rotation, slight kyphosis, shoulders are rolled forward pretty sure and my neck is “forward” a bit I think too.
Could you recommend some articles I could politely show the PT (nice guy, did my moms knee replacement rehab). He won’t have an ego issue when he sees you focus on posture, gait, spinal postions, etc. honestly, he would probably be happy to learn something. Should I involve my podiatrist in my lower leg and foot PT?
I just want to run and get to ten miles a week and do some push-ups and if I can still do as pull up, and some sort of sub for air squats and sit-ups since my lower back does all the work. I can get 10 MPW in 7 weeks. I hope I hear back from you.
Any advice I could give the PT and so I can finally get fit enough to start running more than a few miles or start mark rippetoe’s starting strength. After PT I’ll check with my insurance and get assessments from the PT for a while and get a private Pilates instructor ornsomethinf to help me keep improving my posture and gait and help to implement your exercises.
I might be able to pay a few hundred dollars if you can assemble your articles and exercises relevant to the PT that he most likely wouldn’t know after you are my posture.
I’m just really basically begging for help. -Aaron
Just received your facebook message.
I’ll see you there!
This is Ronnie. I am suffering from the exactly the same problem that u are suffering with. I wanted to ask what to start with.As in first to fix the hunchback posture or APT?
Please reply ASAP.
I too have an S shaped body. The only difference in my body is that I see a hunchback from the left side of my body and not from the right.
Hi Mark, this was a great read and I am definitely going to try this thanks. I suffer from a bad shoulder and neck, and I have struggled to find exercises to strengthen my core and abdominal muscles as a lot of them I have looked at involve putting pressure on your shoulders for example the plank or some seem to put strain on my neck. Can you suggest a few key exercises I could do to help strengthen my core? (sorry for the long message) Cheers Greg.
The Dead bug exercise is the exercise I like to teach my patients about engaging the core, breathing, and alignment.
Click here for a post on how to perform them.
Brilliant, thanks Mark!
I have been studying this online for some time because I have hyperlordosis myself and I was born with it. I could not find answer for my question. Can I fix hyperlordosis if I’m born with it?
Thanks for response :)
I was wondering this too. I have mine from birth as well and it’s VERY curved in. I have been experiencing back and neck pain and most sites say the fix for that is good posture but can you accomplish that with congenital hyperlordosis?
If the arch is due to true genetic structural reasons, although it may improve with the exercises, there may be some doubt whether you can correct it significantly.
When I lie flat on !y back I can still fit my hand underneath my lower back is this normal?
It is normal within a certain limit
But you should also have the ability to flatten the curve at will as well.
First of all, thanks for all the great content you provide for free at this website. It has been helping me a lot during the past few months.
Cutting to the chase, I wanted to ask you something. I have so far believed that I do have hyperlordosis, and I have been practicing stretches (including the ones you provided) and exercises for about two months. However, recently, I started to think that maybe I just have a big butt, which gives me the impression of an excessive curvature around the waist. I tried talking to my doctor about the subject but I think he didn’t take my question seriously.
I know you can’t (and should not) diagnose anything from a picture, but would you mind taking a look at my picture, and letting me know if I at least have a reason to be worried about that, or if I’m just being paranoid? I would greatly appreciate.
Once again, thank you for your awesome work!
Have a look at this post:
Anterior pelvic tilt.
It’s always hard to tell from just one picture, but it looks like you might have this.
Thanks for the feedback, Mark.
I’m familiar with your APT post. At first my main worry was about the curvature on the back, but considering I also have a protruding stomach, it may be the case of APT. I’ll try adding some of the stretches from that post to my routine.
Keep up the good job!
Thank you so much for your article, I have always taught I have infections or body ache, until the pay is becoming unbearable to me. I usually carry a slight heavy bag to work everyday, most time with my left shoulder and at times with heavy hunchback. Before I decided to checked the internet and saw this helpful article on lumber hyperlordosis. Are this exercises a permanent fix or a temporary fix and if is permanent, will I continue after it has been fix or continue until the end of time. Thank you so much.
It’ll be a long lasting fix if you can make sure that you maintain the neutral lumbar position in the things that you do everyday.
I would still encourage to do the exercises, however, perhaps at a lesser frequency.
I’m going for army specials force and I realized with my PT that I have Kyphosis Lordosis
Actually it never really influenced on me and my workouts but in the last year I started to have some back pain and shoulder.
I have 30 days until my army season will begin what is sugguestion to do with that?
I am not sure if you can completely fix your posture in 30 days, however, your shoulder and back pain should be able to be addressed to some degree in that time period.
But – it really depends on what is exactly causing your pain.
In the mean while, I would encourage to keep your back and shoulder moving as much as possible. (without pain)
when I slouch I form a swaybck posture, however when I stand up tall I have an excessive curve in my lower back. For fixing swayback you suggest strengthening the hip felxors, however to fix lordosis you suggest stretching them instead. What would be more beneficial for me to do, so I can improve my posture?
I did exercises and did well for 2 weeks (without bridge) , but when I decided to start doing bridge exercise , 2 days and something wrong happened, my back returns to arch, and the muscles on either side of the lumbar spine becomes prominent and significantly firm to touch.. Now, I stopped exercising and didn’t know what to do.
Please advise why this?
It is very important to keep your core engaged whilst performing the bridge. This will help keep your pelvis neutral and your lower back less arched.
If you do not stabilise your mid section, you will likely use you lumbar spine erector muscles to perform the bridge exercises (… as opposed to using your glutes)
What should I do? Stretch lumbar spine?
1. You can start by stretching the lumbar spine.
2. Learn how to engage your core:
3. Incorporate core activation + glute contraction with the bridge exercise.
Perhaps only do a half bridge to begin with until you can co-ordinate it properly.
First of all, this is great article. I will definetly try my best to do these exercises but one thing about my hyperlordosis is that it’s genetic. My mom and uncle both suffering from hyperlordosis and they both have terrible lower back pain and since i have it from birth, i have the same troubles. When i tried to do some of these exercises, i failed to flatten my back on the floor.(I remember using pillows for physical activity classes when i was in middle school) I can’t stand up for more than 3h in a day, honestly i’d say i’m lucky if i managed 3h so is this normal? or should i see a doctor about this? Thank you!
If you can not flatten out your back, it may be due to muscular tightness.
1. Stretch your lumbar erectors:
2. Stretch your hip flexors:
3. Address any thoracic kyphosis:
How to fix a curved upper back
4. Check if you have rib flare:
How to fix rib flare
5. Learn to posterior pelvic tilt:
Here are some ideas to start you off!
If you can not flatten out your back, it may be due to muscular tightness.
1. Stretch your lumbar erectors:
2. Stretch your hip flexors:
3. Address any thoracic kyphosis:
How to fix a curved upper back
4. Check if you have rib flare:
How to fix rib flare
5. Learn to posterior pelvic tilt:
Here are some ideas to start you off!
Do you happen to know what the medical term would be for LOWER (instead of upper) curved back? I took my son to Chiro today and he was very concerned with how much his lower spine protruded outward. He ordered X-rays to be done. My son is 15, about 6′ tall and typically has pretty good posture. I’ve looked on the internet and cannot find much of anything about it.
Thank you so much, great website!
It sounds like your son has a lower thoracic kyphosis.
This usually occurs around the T9-12 region.
Thank you! I’m curious to see what X-rays show. Hopefully nothing serious, just wondering what caused it since he doesn’t have bad posture.
So I was wondering if it would be ok doit on carpet . And how many times do you suggest to do these exercise a day
It is fine on the carpet.
1/day is good to start off with.
Thank you for your helpful comments and exercises!
My issue is my daughter. She is 10 and a gymnast. And she has a pretty significant arch. I’m not sure how much is genetic, but it is at the point where as a Level 6 gymnast it’s hampering her progress. She’s working harder to have to do what everyone else in the gym with a straight posture is able to achieve. It’s more frustrating than I can explain, and she is starting to complain of lower back pain. Is there a way you can suggest to make her focus on fixing her arch during he school day. An easy way to explain what she should focus on doing during the school day so she gets used to correct back posture. And any kid friendly exercises you can suggest?
Hi Mark, I am 18 years old and I was recently diagnosed with hyperlordosis, cervical kyphosis and left lumbar/right thoracic scoliosis. Is it safe to do these exercises to fix my posture? I am afraid that exercises for fixing my kyphosis are only gonna worsen my hyperlordosis. I hope you can give me some advice. Thanks in advance, Milica.
These exercises would be a good starting point.
But I would consider the exercises for thoracic kyphosis and forward head posture.
330 lb deadlifts just won’t be reversed by holding legs 90 laying flat.
It might not, but it’s a good place to start.
You have a good heart in helping others. My issue is when I’m walking I’m stooping forward and slouching. When I’m standing I tend to bend forward and to the right, seems like it pulling me forward no matter I’m correcting it, so I have to sit down sometimes which gives me reliefs. I have a bulging disc in my L4-L5 last February but I think that’s not the issue now. My walking issues started last summer with tight muscles on my back, sore to my thigh when I walk. I wonder if I have a flat back or lordosis cause by tight muscles – but I fells I don’t have tight muscles now, or osteoporosis.
When I stretch doing McKenzie I feel worse later on with more bending forward and slouching. What’s stretches or strengthening I should do and avoid?
Which do you have? A flat/rounded lower back or a lumbar hyperlordosis?
The exercises are different for them!
Thank you for sharing this helpful article. I found related arch back exercises regarding my lower back pain. I had a big accident, and from during of this I always have complained of this pain. Your website is good and your article is too helpful to me.
Thanks for dropping by, Reny!
Hey Mark, thanks for this article. Any set routine I can follow? I’m a 16 year old overweight male and my back has a very excessive curve. (probably from years of sitting at school then hours on the computer) I want to fix my back as soon as possible as it is often very sore and feels tight. I’m often doing the lat stretch and twisting my body from side to side (would you recommend this) to get a crack in my back. And would you say sleeping posture matters as well?- I’m always sleeping on my side.
Also not sure if you specialise in this, but do you recommend any treatment for a sore neck. I have a very compulsive habit of cracking my neck (often forcing it with my hands) to relieve stress.
In my opinion, your sleeping posture is just as important as your up right posture. (Think about how many hours you sleep at night)
Although cracking and clicking your joints gives temporary relief, it is a sign that your joints are resting in a compressed position. By placing the joints in a more neutral state, there will be less squashing around the area.
This post here may be a good starting point for your neck.
Hi! I’m really happy I found your website, I find it really useful. I feel the need to ask you about one thing: you advise us to avoid doing any activities that require using hands above our head. Does it also count when we’re leaned forward (I guess it does, but I need to be sure)? I, for example, have always (so for 10 years already, I guess) washed my hair, standing above the bathtub (there was no shower in the house) in this position: (sorry, I assumed it would be best if I just draw what I meant lol) Even now – I do have a shower – I wash my hair that way, I’m simply used to it. Could it be one of the reasons for my lordosis? Should I avoid this position? I think the pain in my back gets stronger when I wash my hair, it’s really uncomfortable… But maybe it’s okay? Shouldn’t it do to my body what the prayer’s pose does? Could it be that it actually somehow helped despite the hands? Please answer me!
Your lower back is actually in a more flexed position in that drawing that you sent. (nice drawing by the way)
So – actually, this is a reversal of your lumbar lordosis… which you would think is good.. but in this particular position, you would be loading (perhaps over loading) your muscles, joints, ligaments and discs. If your lower back is used to being in HYPERLORDOSIS, then I would assume that you may be weaker when your back in FLEXED. This could be leading to your pain!
I would do it in a more hinged position. (See below)
Aim for the middle one “Neutral spine”
Thank you! :) Btw. I’ve been doing those exercises for 2 days already and noticed that nothing hurts me when I do the prayer’s pose or camel pose, be it on the chair or the floor. I don’t feel any pain in my lower back, as if nothing was stretching. Could it be that it isn’t that much of a mess after all? Because I’m starting to worry lol. My abdominal muscles have always been weak tho.
And yet another question that I have – does deep lunge do pretty much the same thing as the hip flexor stretch? I’ve found the first one in your ‘Is sitting destroying your butt muscles?’ article, tried it out and felt the pain mainly in the upper part of the back leg, including the hip. Thanks in advance!
You may not be as tight you as think if you do not feel the stretch in your lower back. If you are indeed tight, you may need to stretch one side of the back at a time. You can do that doing these exercises.
The deep lunge position is very similar to the lunging hip flexor stretch. As long as you are feeling the stretch, you are doing it good!
Thank you. Great post. I’m printing this out and doing it. Will report back. How long you think it will take for results?
Thanks Rebel X,
Make sure you have a look at anterior pelvic tilt and sway back posture to see if you have them as they may be contributing to your hyperlordosis.
Hey Mark I have an arched back been dio for it.
Is there any positions u recommend for sleep? Much appreciate
Try sleeping on your side, or on your back with your knees bent.
Check out this post : Sleeping posture.
Thank you for this info. I wanted to ask, how to tell the difference between APT and hyperlordosis? I am pretty sure I have both, all the symptoms of APT and a very visual deep curve in my lower lumbar. Doing corrective exercises for APT, would that also help with the hyperlordosis? Strengthen abs, gluten hammies and stretch quads, psoas and lower back? My shoulders/neck are also involved.
Thank you for your time,
Generally speaking, they occur at the same time and as a result of each other.
So – addressing one will help address the other!
Hello Mark, I’m finding the website early useful. I’ve had bad lower back for 4 years
And have recently seen a physio who diagnosed me as overextended.
Your website reinforces what he told me and shows me more exercises also.
I’m finding them all very useful, and you also explain exactly why you need to
Do them and it all makes more sense now. Pics are good too as it shows you exactly
What area you should be targeting.
Thanks a lot
I appreciate the kind comment :)
I have had this problem and severe back pain for so long and your post was so helpful!
I have an extremely arched back because of anterior pelvic tilt.
If I do these exercises everyday, how long does it usually take to fix Hyperlordosis?
Thanks again for this great post, so helpful!
Thanks for your comments.
It’s quite hard to say how long it is going to take. It varies so much from person to person.
Your issue could be due to tight muscles, tight joints, weak muscles, poor motor control… or even combination of everything! Each which all take different times to different people.
Hi, my name is Vin, and i cant figure out what i have and what to do. Seems like i have many issues and i think that doing some exercise may help some positions and hurt others. I know i definitely have rounded shoulders and some hunchback. However, my lower belly sticks out and my lower back has a small curve, but not as bad or severe as classic hyperlordosis as shown. i notice that when i stand for long periods of time my lower belly and hip pop forward along with my rounded shoulders and hunch back. Also when i sit i hunch. What do I have, do i have everything? And whats the best way to fix all of this? should i focus on one area and then start on another? For example you say not to do an ab stretch, but for hunchback it is required.
This is why posture can get a bit complex.
Postural deviations rarely exist on their own. They are usually combined with a whole lot of other stuff as well.
The question you need to ask yourself is, in WHAT POSITION, do you mainly get your symptoms?
If it is sitting, then you should fix your sitting posture.
If it is standing, then you should fix your standing posture.
Also – check out these 2 posts. You might be one of them!
– Anterior pelvic tilt
– Sway back posture
I’ve been doing the exercises you’ve recommended for APT, I seemed to fit the description when I checked a photo of myself. But now after seeing this post, I’m partial that I might just have hyperlordosis. I’ve been advised doing APT exercises if you don’t have APT is bad for posture. So before I carry on, is there any way to identify if the arch on my lower back is caused by a pelvic tilt or if it’s just hyper-lordosis?
If you have a neutral pelvis but a prominent lumbar lordosis, then is it likely that you just have a hyper lordosis.
This is usually seen in people with a long thoracic kyphosis.
Any way to call me?
I HAD A BACK INJURY FROM LIFTING A BOX BACK IN FEBRUARY AND IT CAUSED HYPERLORDOSIS ON JUST ONE SIDE OF MY BACK (right). It’s really taken a toll on me. Please HELP. Not sure if physical therapist and trainer at gym doing the correct things!
What exercises are you doing?
Hi there I am currently struggling with lower back problems and shoulder problems.
I had an L4L5 disc bulge with nerve compression 3 years ago, this was misdiagnosed and I had zero pain relief so was unable to do exercises or sit for almost all this time. I also have sacralisation and now that the bulge has healed I am able to sit but have a very stiff and painful lower back.
In addition for the last 6 months I have had terrible shoulder problems, a burning pain front and back but moreso at the front where my pectoral muscles are. My chest and neck muscles also hurt and my arms get very weak. The pec muscle on the one side is locked in spasm and my physio has no ide what to do. MRI showed mild arthritis, a scan of my left shoulder showed some tendonitis and impingement but as yet I have no treatment. Because the pain is so severe I am being referred for fibromyalgia and costocondritis, and also for a neck MRI. My pain is constant and worsens as he Day goes on, the more I use my arms. My shoulders feel as though they are being pulled forward and I definitely have a bigger arch to my back than I should have. I have been told that I have little muscle mass and my lower back muscles and abdominals are too weak to support my upper body. I don’t have any treatment as yet and my pain flares more with exercise. Can you suggest anything I can do to start relieving the muscle pain and strengthen myself. I don’t know where to start to heal myself, things are getting worse as time goes on.
For no major injury this seems a lot of pain and is very life’s limiting. The shoulder problems started with a pop in my right arm bicep area but this has shown as fine.
Sounds like you have a considerable amount of inflammation at the moment.
Your first step would be try to reduce it so that you can start to do more exercises to help fix your issues.
Did the doctor prescribe any anti-inflammatory medication for 1-2 weeks to see if it made any difference?
Hello there, yes I was prescribed naproxen initially followed by diclofenic. Neither made any difference and I struggled to tolerate them.
I have a lot of clicking in both shoulders also and some tingling down into my arms and my muscles all over feel painful. My gp now wants me to try pregablin. He feels it may be nerve pain as opposed to inflammation / I’m not convinced as the pain burns constantly and worsens the more I move my arms and shoulders.
Thank you for your advice
As your issue is quite specific, it is probably better to private message me on the facebook page.
I have bulging disc in L4 and L5 also. I have been in pain since 11/2014. I was carrying to much fire wood. Is the only thing I can think of. That caused it. I go to a pain management dr. And it’s the worst place ever. They do not help me figure out what’s wrong with me. The dr just wants to keep prescribing pain meds to me. I just want to be fixed. I have gained 50 lbs since 11/2016. Because the pain is so unbearable. Whenever I do anything. No pain medication helps. And I’m scared to take to much, because of addiction. I’ve seen to many people go down because of pain meds. I’m 5ft 51/2 in tall. And I weigh 218 lbs. I have never been this big. I was always very small. Even after having 3 kids. I never got over 165lbs. I have always had a deep arch in my back. Where it used to hurt laying of a hard flat surface. Now since all of this has happened. I’m trying to diagnose myself. Could the weight that I have gained be affecting my arch in my back? Causing it to be collapsing. Kind of like the arch in you foot. Because my back hurts when I reach, or bend slightly forward. Like doing dishes etc… It feels like my back locks up or something. It’s severe pain. And the only thing that helps is if I lay down. Or bend my back backwards. The only time I’m without pain is when laying down. But it does hurt even laying down. When I move my hips, forward, and in a rotation. But it’s kinda like a sore muscle feeling. Massage doesn’t help because I can’t get to the spot where it hurts. I bought a 10s unit 7000. And that seems like it’s the only thing that gets to it. Or if I rotate my back and hips. I don’t know what to do. My dr keeps mentioning getting injections. But I don’t trust that dr. And my insurance won’t even cover it anyway. Please if you have any advice for me. I would really appreciate it. Thanks so much.
Hey there Janine,
Increase in body weight will place a lot more stress on your lower back. (and can also increase the lumbar lordosis as a result of excess stomach weight). Managing your weight is going to be one of the most important things you need to consider… especially if your body is used to carrying 165lbs MAX.
It sounds like you have a posterior disc bulge at the L5 region. People with this issue usually respond reasonably well to lumbar spine EXTENSION. This basically means you feel a bit better when you arch your back backwards to an appropriate degree.
Have you tried this exercise before?
Arch your back as far back as it will go WITHOUT causing an increase in your pain. You are aiming for a sensation of TENSION. Aim for 20 seconds in this position and repeat 5 times .
Im so happy I stumbled on this great and informative page. I had to abandon weightlifting in 2009 for problems that were undiagnosed for years! It is only till recently that I am slowly self diagnosing/ eliminating potential causes and realizing the impact and effect of hyperlordosis. I used to literally get sick after workouts.
My back problem is quite an issue for my work too as a Photographer.
I took to cycling that was of not much help either as, as much as I came to love it, it rejected me with equal and opposite tenacity. Not just because of back issues, but also recently having found out I have an Leg Length Discrepancy, which would be fine if I were in any/ most other parts of the world. And possibly a fairly easy fix given the right tools and corrective aids. But in Kenya we do not have a single bike/ cleat fitter. I have sadly also abandoned my hopes of riding.
With your article, I hope to correct as much as possible to get back to the gym soon. If I can get back to weights without pain by Dec and go to the beach for my next birthday, I would have achieved a massive milestone.
I refrain from visiting the coast because I currently resemble what a failed science experiment of an apprentice sausage maker would look like.
Anyways, this is just to say thank you for the great information and useful tips.
Thanks for the comment.
If you have hyperlordosis, make sure you check out this post and this one too.
You may find them helpful!
I’ve had low back pain for many years now and I believe I have hyperlordosis. I haven’t officially been diagnosed or anything. I love this website, it’s very informative and I’m hopful i can somewhat correct this and have less back painwith tour exercises mentioned above. I wanted to include a photo to see if you think I have this. I do workout quite a bit and there are some exercises that hurt my low back. I try to do an alternative exercise but that doesn’t always work. Crunches and leg raises are not my friends at all in the gym. I have recently ordered a low back brace for supper as I’m increasing my weights. After doing that today, no brace yet, my low back is killing me. Help!! I’m not sure how to include the photo here.
Please forgive the errors! I meant support, not supper. And your, not tour
Feel free to send your photos through the Facebook page.
Hi, I really want to try this. Thanks for making it so clear! And I will.
I’ve had extreme lordosis my whole life, and I’m 37. I was diagnosed by an orthopedic surgeon with femoral antiversion at age 6, and I was told that I was likely to develop lordosis – that the lordosis is caused by the hip abnormality (which goes back 3 generations and my son has it too.) Is that true? Is that a thing that happens? I also have bent shins, supination,and the knees turn inward. We decided not to break my bones to fix it. My lordosis doesn’t cause pain, though it is extreme, just it’s cosmetically awful. If I try to tuck the hips in, they don’t fit, or I have to turn out my knees or feet.
I have to wonder, seeing this article, if everything I was told was a misunderstanding of the childhood diagnosis. Can I just fix it this way and have normal posture? Would I have to modify in any way?
The exercises might help with reducing the hyperlordosis, however, it also sounds like you would have to address the pelvis/hip femur complex as well.
Did you do a lot of W sitting as a child? This may have encouraged or been a factor of your femoral anteversion.
Yes, exclusively I did, but only because I couldn’t sit on the floor any other way without pain. My son does it too. I tried to correct it when he sat down. He’d go right back. Even at 15 months, round sitting caused him pain. I once considered the idea that w sitting causes femoral antiversion, but I have trouble believing that now, and I think it’s sometimes the other way around. Even as a toddler I couldn’t force his legs, (or my own back in childhood) into a wider circle where his feet were together. I wouldn’t be surprised if continued W sitting made it worse though, and it becomes a cycle. As the months go on, I see my older son having some of the same inefficient running mechanics that I have, knees together, feet flying off to the side. My younger son has no issue with this, and could sit normally as soon as he was able to sit.
I will say that being out of shape after 2 kids has really made that lordosis extreme, and I’ll have to do a lot of exercise to fix any of this. Maybe what I need is a specialist. I’ve been to personal trainers, and they just kind of shake their heads and modify exercises like squats for me. Thanks so much for your response!
i think i have Forward head posture,Rounded shoulders,Hunchback posture,Hyperlordosis
Anterior pelvic tilt,Sway back posture,Knee valgus ..
It is hard to sleep every day..It hurts too much when I wake up.
I have too many bad things. Do not know what to do
If your eyes are okay, show me a picture of my body and want to consult you
Feel free to message me on Facebook and I’ll see if I can direct you better there.
HAD TO SAY THANKS
NO WORRIES, SARA!
First of all thanks for the great article,
Ive recently started a strength program (stronglifts) which includes overhead pressing and alot of high bar squatting. I also have a slightly arched lowerback so I was wondering how i could minimise damage on the overhead press or should i completely avoid?
Also could the squatting cause any potential problems?
As long as you keep your core engaged, abdominals braced and lower ribs down whilst you are performing the exercises (squats, over head press, dead lifts), this should help reduce the hyper extension of your lower back.
Thank you SO MUCH for making this site!! When I was looking up weather there was anything I could do to correct my tilt this was the most helpful and informative source I have found yet and gives me lots of hope for my back pain. I was afraid that it was just something I would have to live with. My boyfriend has it too and we plan on doing these exercises together.
How frequently would you suggest doing these exercises a day and how many repetitions? I know that for some exercises if you do too little it doesn’t make much of an impact. Both of us have the time to do what we need to to get better.
Thank you Doc.
I would do it as often as your body will let you.
But if you would like a starting point, I’d say every 2nd or 3rd day is a good place to start.
Have you checked if you have an anterior pelvic tilt?
Yes I have. I plan on doing these stretches and exercises as well. Thank you for your reply and advice!
Let me know if you need any more help.
Thanks for the post. I am Olivia and I am 30 years old, I have a slight arch in my lumbar region along with rounded shoulders. I have also noticed slight right foot pronation.
My biggest problem is i cant do single leg raises because my knees tend to bend automatically, i cant keep the knees straight lying down at all :( I am a yoga fanatic as well. I would love to rectify my postural problems. I understand i have weak core and some muscle imbalances.Please guide me where to start.
Do you mean single leg bridges?
Thanks Mark for writing back :)
Find the link to the image above,I am not sure what it is called but when I lie supine on the floor and try to raise single leg while other leg is straight with knee extended on the floor , Following things happen:
a) Lower back starts to arch
b) Knee of the raised leg starts to bend automatically
c) femoral-humeral joint of the raised leg makes painless, creaking sounds sometimes.
Also, when I am standing or walking my right foot is always pointing outward.
So, I am planning to follow your offered solutions for Hyper lumbar lordosis and Rounded shoulders along with checking sleeping, sitting and standing postures as i sleep on my stomach and spend 5-6 hours in front of the screen.
Do you think it’s the right approach?
Should I perform all the activities mentioned everyday or perform 3 days for shoulder and 3 days lower back?
Apologies for a long message and Thanks in advance for your time and advise.
Thanks for clarifying that!
It sounds like you lack control over your core muscles which are important in this movement.
Without a strong foundation, the muscles which lift your leg can’t work efficiently. As a result, your body may compensation by bending.
Also – the core is responsible to controlling your lower back in this supine position. Without proper engagement of the core, the lower back will arch off the floor.
If you are getting noises from the hip, is it more of a click or a snapping sound?
Thanks, I suspected so – weak core is playing havoc with my body .
It’s a mild click sound.
Hi Mark, in your experience, is it possible for someone who has lumbar lordosis and an anterior pelvic tilt, to safely practice handstands? I know this would differ from person to person, and is also dependent on abdominal and core strength. Assuming that a person has consistently practiced the exercises you have suggested to help with ‘fixing’ their posture, do you is handstand a posture best avoided even after their posture is improved?
It is fine as long as you aim to maintain neutral pelvis/spine.
If you keep falling into APT and hyperlordosis, I would consider keep getting your core muscles stronger until you can maintain neutral spine.
However – just make sure you have adequate a) Wrist extension at least 80-90 degrees) and b) full shoulder flexion.
I’m aware that results will vary tremendously from person to person, but how long on average do you think it would take a person to fix hyperlordosis through these methods?
This is a really hard question to answer.
It really depends on what exactly is causing the hyperlordosis.
Some people are just not engaging the right muscles, others might be very tight, and others might have a combination of both.
It also depends on how long you’ve had it. How much time you are dedicating to exercises. What you do throughout the day etc etc.
Some people can fix it straight away by just engaging the right muscle, whereas otherwise who have a lot tightness, they can take more than 3 months.
Hope this answers helps.
I was wondering how you should be standing straight? In #2 – Things to Avoid, you have a picture of an arched back when standing up. This is my ‘natural’ back when standing straight. How do I walk without having this posture?
Also, how do you deal with Hunchback, Arched Back, and maybe even Head-Forward posture all at the same time? I feel like I have an arched back and a bit of the other 2.
Appreciate this page, has been very useful!
You will have to do the exercises to help reduce your hyperlordosis when walking. It is likely your tight muscles/joints are holding you in this particular position.
If you have multiple postural deviations (which is very common), I would start on optimising your arched back if it is the most prominent.
Thanks for replying so fast. This page is super helpful and I really appreciate it!
Do you by chance have any experience with diastasis recti & abdominal hernia? I have that as well as, maybe anterior pelvic tilt or hyperlordosis (or can I have those at the same time?) I took a picture of myself & my shoulders also round foreword. There is so much info online I don’t know where to start. Thank you. Hopefully you can point me in the right direction do my back can stop hurting & I can help my abdominal muscle separation.
I have seen quite a few people after their pregnancies with diastasis recti and hernias.
Having an anterior pelvic tilt places your abdominal wall in a long and inefficient position, which effectively makes that area very weak. This can lead to a higher chance of abdominal hernias.
I would start working on getting good at the “dead bug” exercise. You can find some examples of this here.
Just make sure you understand how to engage your core appropriately. Do not over tense your tummy muscles!
Let me know if you need more help.
Thank you Mark! I will try the dead bug exercise. I did forget to mention that I also have lower rib flare. I’ve been working on the anterior pelvic tilt but no idea how to help the ribs to go back in (looking back at childhood pictures it seems to be a long time problem) I’m concerned because when I try and exercise my ribs will feel bruised afterwards.
One more thing, you know when you lay on your back, with your feet flat on the floor so your knees are bent.. Well when I do that my lower back arches. Is that from anterior pelvic tilt? So if I keep correcting my posture it will get better?
Thank you so much for your response. I’ve recently become a facebook follower since finding your website :)
Rib flare is very common with an anterior pelvic tilt and hyperlordosis. This is due to the over active muscles in the back next to the spine.
You should be able to flatten your back once you gain better control of your spine/pelvis.
Thanks for following on Facebook!
So rib flare will correct with the correction of anterior pelvic tilt and hyperlordosis. Thanks for the reassurance!
Thank you! Good post! And great way of explaining with pictures! awsome job!
my daughter is 12 and has this, she is very self conscience about it and embarrassed about it because it makes her stomach protrude more than others. She asks about what she can do all the time about it. I decided to research it and found this site. Isn’t there anything we can do or something to wear at night that might help in correcting this?
Unfortunately, There is no splint (… that I know of) that is used to address this issue.
The best thing to do is to do exercises for it.
Have a look at this post on Anterior Pelvic Tilt.
See if this fits her presentation.
I sit down for most of my day, around 5/6 hours at school and then most of my time at home. How do I get into the habit of sitting correctly?
I find myself sitting as shown but then realise that I’ve started to slouch half an hour later…
Initially, it is all about awareness.
You need to keep catching yourself when you slump into bad posture and then re-correct.
Secondly – it is knowing exactly what the ideal sitting posture is.
Thirdly – you will need to identify what kind of posture you have so that you can do the specific exercises to help you maintain a more natural posture.
Realistically – you will not be able to maintain the ideal posture 100% of the time and this is completely fine. Just try to aim to be in a more neutral position than what you are doing now.
I was infected with the vertebrae of L5 and S1 when the diagnosis was found to bulge the disc
My question is whether this injury can be treated permanently or is it a stage of cartilage slide and can not be treated
Can I return to my sports life normally or have my sports career ended?
It is still possible for the disc bulge to retract to some extent.
For it to go back 100% will be unlikely.
But having said that, you can definitely do certain exercises to resume your sports.
Please, I would like to give you examples of these exercises if you can
I just want to say that I practice karate. Can I go back to practicing the sport at the same level before the disease?
I also want you to explain how well you can heal and if possible
And what sport can I do right now and whether the bike is harmful or useful and I am in this case
Hey Mark! Thank you so much for offering your help. I was wondering if i could put a pillow under my head, , because everytime i do these exercises, I get headaches from the hard floor.
That is a great idea!
You might want to check out this post too: Forward Head Posture correction.
I’m so blessed to meet you! I have had this pelvic tilt problem forever! I am going to do your exercises, but the “bridge” exercise hurts me too much so I can’t do that one. Do you think it’s because I have 2 degenerative disks? That is my question. I am 61 years old but not necessarily inactive until the past 6 months. Either way, I’ve been a commercial cleaner all my life and I don’t want to stop because of my tilted pelvis which is really bringing me down.
Thank you for YOU!! You are truly a giving person sharing this knowledge.
I commend you.
If you are doing the technique correctly, try raising your hips off the ground to half the height to when the pain starts. This might help your body get used to the exercise.
Hi Mark! I’m so happy that i have found your website.you provide much needed help for people , including myself… thanks alot!
regarding “things to avoid” section: does this qualify as being a dangerous move for someone with hyperlordosis?
i saw a TED talk about this exercise, i wanted to know a professionals opinion.
thanks in advance!
I love that yoga pose. It’s called the Utkatasana pose. Great for posture.
However – if you are someone who has a significant arch, I would perform the exercise with a more neutral spine and with your abdominal muscles braced.