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Kyphosis Lordosis Posture

Kyphosis Lordosis Posture

What's happening to my posture?

The Kyphosis Lordosis posture comprises elements of several distinctive alignment issues. The head, neck, and shoulders, display key characteristics of the forward head posture, the upper back presents with a strong thoracic Kyphosis (exaggerated posterior curve or rounding of the spine), and the lower back with a deep Lordosis (an exaggerated anterior curve of the spine). The pelvis also shows an excessive anterior tilt (tipping forward) – possibly affecting the degree to which the lower back is curving forward.

Kyphosis Lordosis PostureCharacteristics

Head is too far forward

Neck has an increased curve

Shoulders are falling forward and down

Chest and Rib Cage collapsing

Upper Back is rounding (Kyphosis)

Lower Back has an increased curve (Lordosis)

Pelvis tilting forward (anterior tilt)

Knees locked

Muscle Shortness - What's overworking?

Iliopsoas muscleQuadriceps - front of the thigh
Deep Abdominals - Iliopsoas
Lower back
Back of the neck

Muscle weakness - What's too long?

Upper Back
Front of the neck
Abdominals - more often the sides (External Obliques)

With excessive Kyphosis the chest can become depressed, tight, and sunken, while the corresponding upper and middle back can be flexed or bent forward, increasing the curve or “hunching” of the spine (upper back). The greater the degree of bending in the spine the greater the chance of developing forward head posture.

Balance between the muscles of the front and back of the upper body are clearly at odds in this pattern. The shortened muscles of the chest, upper shoulders, upper abdominals, are working alongside the weakened muscles of the middle and upper back. This combined muscle holding pattern has the effect of limiting our ability to lift upright due to muscle weakness of the back, and tightness of the front.

The lower back (Lumbar Spine) attaches to the pelvis and can be affected by any changes in position of the pelvis. With the Lordosis component of this posture pattern the pelvis tips forward, creating an increase in the natural curve of the lower back.

In an excessive Lordosis posture the balance of muscles of the front and back can be compromised by several factors including:

  • tightness of the muscles on the front of the thigh (Quadriceps),
  • tightness of the deep abdominal (Iliopsoas),
  • tightness of the lower back (Erector Spinae).

Also, a weakness of the Abdominal muscles (usually not including the Iliopsoas), and the hip extensors, Gluteus Maximus and the Hamstrings can affect achieving an upright posture.

Kendall, F.P., McCreary, E.K., & Provanc, P.G. (1993). Muscles, testing and function (4th ed). Baltimore, MD: Williams & Wilkins.

Here are some of the other common posture patterns:

Flat Back Posture

Sway Back Posture

Hyper Erect Posture

Forward Head Posture

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