Photo credit: stronglifts.com
You may be familiar with swayback from observing horses. It’s a condition where the back of the horse is “scooped” instead of muscular and almost flat. Have you seen this in horses?
Just as the swayback occurs in horses, it can also occur in humans. And if you imagined that the horse could walk and then looked at its swayback spine, the spine would look similar to how it looks in humans
Humans have natural curves in their spine and vertebral column. These natural curves allow for maximum range of motion and movement in many directions.
One of these natural curves is in the neck, another is in the thoracic area, and another one is in the lumbar or lower back region.
The natural curve in the neck is similar to the curve in the lower back; it’s a C-shaped curve. The natural curve in the mid spine is the opposite direction of the cervical and lumbar curves.
When a person has swayback, the lumbar curve is exaggerated. It’s called hyperlordosis. When you stand against a wall, you should be able to put your hand between the wall and the small of your back. This is normal.
But in swayback, you can put more than your hand between the wall and the small of your back.
Swayback can cause pain and often, those with swayback are told to take anti-inflammatory drugs to decrease their pain, but there are other things to do for swayback treatment.
For example, chiropractors have discovered that one of the causes of hyperlordosis is tight low back muscles.
When any muscle or set of muscles pulls on the body in one direction, the body becomes out of alignment. The task then is to loosen the tight muscles and strengthen the weak muscles.
Once this task is accomplished, the swayback may be alleviated or remedied.
One of the first steps in relieving swayback pain is to correct the position of the pelvis. The muscles in the lower back wouldn’t be tight if the pelvis wasn’t tipped forward.
To determine the position of the pelvis, it’s based on the angle formed by the top of the pelvic bones.
The Elvis Wiggle And Michael Jackson Moves
Sometimes it’s difficult for people to understand what it means to tip the pelvis forward or backwards. Do you remember how Elvis used to move his hips around?
That act of moving his hips involves moving the pelvis forward, to the right, backwards, and to the left. When he moved his pelvis backwards, it simulates a motion during intercourse. Do you know what I mean?
Here’s another way to understand that motion. Think of Michael Jackson.
He was famous for moving his pelvis backwards as well, and some people were offended by the motion because to them it reminded them of what happens during sex.
But just because a person doesn’t like what it looks like to have a posterior pelvis, this doesn’t mean it’s smart to leave the pelvis stuck in an anterior position.
Belly Dancers and Gymnasts Move Their Pelvis, Too
Belly dancers are also famous for their ability to move their pelvis, too.
Mimicking their moves is an excellent way to regain the motion in the pelvic region. Watch a belly dancer on YouTube and you’ll see how she moves the pelvis in all four directions as well.
Olympic gymnasts often put their pelvis in a posterior position. You can see a swayback in their routines.
They mesmerize crowds with their ability to move their pelvis – and body in amazing somersaults, headstands, balancing feats and movements on the rings and parallel bars.
Lack Of Range Of Motion Is Never Good
When the pelvis is stuck in a forward position, that’s when swayback occurs.
This position tightens the lower back muscles. Keeping the position in this position for extended periods of time results in pain because the range of motion isn’t occurring.
Whenever you have limited motion in any part of the body, there will be pain. Many body aches and pains respond simply to movement!
It’s the muscles of the thighs that cause the rocking motion of the pelvis backwards and forwards. This means that exercises like back extensions and leg presses are important to those with hyperlordosis.
In fact, you could view hyperlordosis as a posture problem. Thus, improving posture is a big key in alleviating swayback.
Posture Exercises Are A Big Key In Swayback Treatment
A chiropractor can best determine what muscles need to be strengthened in hyperlordosis. But if you don’t have access to a chiropractor yet, then starting with simple and basic posture exercises is the way to go.
One excellent place to start is the ebook, Perfect Posture Program. In this book you’ll find a whole exercise routine that can help you strengthen the muscles to tip the pelvis back to its original position.
You’ll have to try it out and see for yourself what type of improvement you can get.