In November 2018, the Scoliosis SOS Clinic helped treat Matthew Ellison, a 31-year-old male from Devon who was diagnosed with hyperkyphosis and hyperlordosis following an injury. Here is his story!
As Matthew explained to us, he had always noticed that his back had a rounded shape, particularly in the shoulder and thoracic region. During Matthew's early teenage years, his mother took him to the doctor to have his back looked at, and the doctor informed him that he would simply grow out of it.
As the years went by, however, Matthew saw that he hadn't grown out of it, and in his mid-to-late 20s he started to experience increased levels of discomfort and pain on a daily basis - and especially during sports participation. Things got worse for Matthew when he suffered an injury, which resulted in an X-ray scan and a recommendation for spinal fusion surgery. This was something that Matthew was not keen on at all and wanted to avoid, and so his doctor suggested that he could try a non-surgical treatment programme like the Schroth method. Matthew conducted some of his own research, and this eventually led him to the Scoliosis SOS Clinic.
Before reaching out to us, however, Matthew attempted to self-medicate his back problem with regular physical exercise in an effort to 'open up' the curve in his spine and strengthen his upper back muscles. Unfortunately, due to the injury that he had suffered, these exercises ended up making his spine worse. Matthew then sought professional help and undertook a 12-week physiotherapy course in the hope of correcting his spinal curvature; during this time, he was given simple instructions which helped with pain relief at the end of each day, but weren't enough to reduce the curve.
Matthew comes to the Scoliosis SOS Clinic
Matthew found the Scoliosis SOS Clinic's website via Google and decided to get in touch. After a simple phone call that answered a lot of Matthew's questions, he decided to undertake a 4-week ScolioGold course with us to help alleviate the problems that he was experiencing. Matthew was sceptical at first regarding the efficacy of group-based therapy, but was very impressed with the level of attention he received during his one-on-one sessions. The treatment that we provided comprised massage for pain relief and specific exercises that targeted the affected area of Matthew's spine.
Upon the conclusion of his treatment course, Matthew's hyperkyphosis and hyperlordosis had returned to within normal range. Not only was he no longer in pain, he had actually grown 3.8cm taller!
Matthew recommends the Scoliosis SOS Clinic to anyone experiencing back problems like his. Watch the video below for a full account of Matthew's story and to see how the Scoliosis SOS team were able to help him.
If you have any questions about the Scoliosis SOS Clinic, or if you would like to book an initial consultation with us, please get in touch today!
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As you'll know if you've read our blog post on the subject, hyperlordosis is an excessive curvature of the lumbar spine (that is, the lower portion of the backbone). Whereas the spine of a scoliosis patient curves sideways, the spine of somebody with hyperlordosis curves inward, resulting in an unusually arched posture among a number of other symptoms.
Symptoms of hyperlordosis
While no two cases of hyperlordosis are precisely alike, the following symptoms are common among hyperlordosis sufferers:
- Back pain and stiffness
- Muscular imbalance
- Reduced flexibility
- Visibly arched posture (inward curve of the lower back, causing the buttocks and stomach to stick out)
One telltale sign of hyperlordosis can be seen when the patient lies on their back. A lower back curve will mean that the person's lower back will be raised up off the floor.
Hyperlordosis treatment methods
Hyperlordosis treatment usually aims to halt and reverse the progression of the curvature and alleviate symptoms such as back pain and muscular imbalance. These goals can be achieved in a number of different ways - common hyperlordosis treatment methods include:
- Bracing. If the patient is young and still growing, they may be told to wear a back brace. This is usually a rigid plastic shell that effectively holds the back's shape and prevents the curve from becoming more pronounced as the wearer's body grows.
- Surgery. In extreme cases, spinal surgery may be recommended to reduce the degree of the patient's lordotic curve and ease some of the symptoms. This will usually not be considered as an option for mild to moderate cases of hyperlordosis.
- Medication. If the patient's excessively curved spine is causing chronic pain and perpetual discomfort, pain relief medications of various strengths may be prescribed in order to battle this symptom.
- Exercise / physical therapy. As with scoliosis and hyperkyphosis, exercise-based physical therapy can be an effective option for hyperlordosis patients, particularly when it comes to improving flexibility, restoring muscle balance, and improving overall quality of life.
Here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic
in London, we specialise in the fourth and final treatment method: exercise-based physical therapy. We have treated numerous hyperlordosis patients with mild to moderate to severe spinal curves, and if you or a loved one suffer from a curvature of the lower spine, we would be more than happy to hear from you.
The most important thing to keep in mind when seeking information on your curved spine
is the fact that no two curves are the same. In fact, even perfectly healthy spines have some level of curvature, although this slight curve does not pose a problem unless it grows to be abnormally severe. Curvatures can occur in different parts of the spine and develop into a variety of shapes depending on the direction and location of the irregularity.
Previously on the Scoliosis SOS blog, we discussed the characteristics of hyperkyphosis
, a spinal condition which causes the upper
region of the spine to curve forwards, creating a hunched appearance. Hyperlordosis, on the other hand, occurs in the lower
(lumbar) spine, causing the patient to have an excessively arched posture in the lower part of the back.
To explain in more detail, here's a closer look at the causes and symptoms of hyperlordosis.
What causes hyperlordosis?
The first thing to note about hyperlordosis is that it can impact people of all genders and ages - although it is rare in children. The condition is frequently caused by bad posture, along with a number of other contributing factors and conditions, including:
- Spinal injury
- Sitting or standing for extended periods of time
- Uneven muscles, particularly a weak core
- Injuries and trauma gained while dancing
What does hyperlodosis look like?
Hyperlordosis causes the inward curve in the lower back to become exaggerated, causing the stomach and bottom to appear pushed out, and the inward curve to resemble the letter 'C' when viewed from the side. To find out how this differs from the appearance of scoliosis and hyperkyphosis, read our guide to different curvatures of the spine here
Can hyperlordosis be treated?
In the majority of cases, hyperlordosis is not a sign of a more severe condition, meaning that it can be treated and managed with physical therapy and exercises designed to strengthen the back, correct the curve, and improve overall posture. Here at Scoliosis SOS, we are able to provide tailored treatment programmes that are specifically designed with the individual needs of our patients in mind, allowing us to provide the best possible treatment.
If you have recently been diagnosed with hyperlordosis and you would like to find out more about our non-invasive treatment methods, please feel free to contact the Scoliosis SOS team today.