The Fitness Fixer
The Fitness Fixer

Overhead Lifting, Reaching, and Throwing Part II - Lower Back

Part I of this three part series, showed a major hidden cause of rotator cuff injury - jutting the neck and chin forward while raising arms. This post shows a major hidden cause of "mystery lower back pain."

Letting the head and neck hang forward is called a "forward head." The forward head puts the shoulder at a position of compression when the arm is raised, even when using a computer, a common cause of pain and numbness that radiates down the arm.

The forward head is a bad posture. It causes much upper back and neck pain. Usually people have a forward head because they do not know it is bad posture and do not prevent it. Occasionally they have used a forward position for so long that the muscles get tight and it feels familiar to jut forward and strange to hold the neck and head in upright healthier position. Click links below to Fitness Fixer articles that show how to spot and prevent the cause of the injurious positioning.

The photographer (red shirt) in the photo at left, several of the people in blue shirts, are leaning the upper body backward to raise the arms. Leaning back increases the inward arch of the lower back.

The resulting posture is called swayback, overarching, and hyperlordosis.

Hyperlordosis is a major cause of mystery lower back pain. The sharp angle presses on the lower spine, making it ache. Over time, the compression can injure the facet joints which are the joints of the vertebrae, discs, and soft tissue.

Reader David from Belgium has made us several helpful training videos. In the one below:

  • Click the arrow to watch as he reaches upward.
  • He first allows the beltline to tip downward, then mostly corrects it.
  • David left some of the arch to show readers.


I thank David for all his continuing great work. We are in the process of making more of these helpful topic segments.

Fitness Fixer Posts on Related Topics:

Questions come in by the hundreds. I make posts from selected ones. See if your answers are already here by clicking links and archives. Read success stories of these methods and send your own. Have The Fitness Fixer e-mailed to you, free. Click "updates via e-mail" - Health Expert Updates (trumpet icon) upper right column. Find fun topics on the Fitness Fixer Index.

Lordosis photography photo by kevin 813

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About the Author


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