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Fast Fitness - New Understanding of Hyperlordosis and Disc Injury

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Here is Friday Fast Fitness - a new possible contributor to vertebral disc injury, and how to avoid it:

  1. In my previous studies, I found that overdoing the inward lower spine curve (hyperlordosis) pinches the lower spine like a soda straw. It forces the spine joints, called facets, backward against each other, eventually wearing them, and compresses surrounding soft tissue. After long periods of standing, exercise, and lifting with too much inward curve, lower back pain is not a big surprise or mysterious to fix.

  2. Hyperlordosis was not previously thought of as a direct herniating force on discs. The major factor was and still is too much forward bending. Weighted flexion (bending forward bearing your body weight) opens the space between vertebrae in back, and over years of slouched sitting and bad bending and lifting forward, presses discs outward through that space creating herniated discs (an injury, not a disease). In my previous work I found that for someone with a disc already herniated, hyperlordosis pinches it, adding pain to the separate problem of the disc. Showing people how to stop standing in hyperlordosis greatly reduced their disc pain. In recent work, I found that hyperlordosis exacerbates, and possibly initiates disc herniation itself.

  3. My new work is showing that hyperlordosis is a probable mechanism to directly shift disc position. I made a diagram showing the disc injury coming from overarching/ hyperlordosis/ hyperextending the spine that is so common in pop fitness.

Above, Left and center - Drawings of two ways you can stand in hyperlordosis, and the results over time, on the discs.
Above, Right - Actual MRI, comparable to center drawing, shows disc herniation and pinching between
lower vertebrae.



Hyperlordosis in both walkers, easily seen at right. Damaging sloppy posture.


Hyperlordosis (overarching the lower spine) is a spine damaging posture. Hyperlordosis and the pain from it can be changed as easily as moving your spine to a smaller, healthier degree of arch (neutral spine). It is not tightening your abs, just moving your spine, as simply as bending your elbow. Links below tell more.

Related Fun Fitness Fixer:

Random Fun Fitness Fixer:

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For personal medical questions - Replies to Medical Questions. Limited Class space for personal feedback. Top students may earn certification, DrBookspan.com/Academy. Get more in Dr. Bookspan's Books.

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Drawing © copyright Dr. Jolie Bookspan. MRI courtesy of ChiroGeek
Walking hyperlordosis photo © by mikebaird
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About the Author


M.Ed, PhD, FAWM

Dr. Bookspan is an award-winning scientist whose goal is to make exercise easier and healthier.

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