What is Swayback?
Swayback refers to the condition where there is an exaggerated inward curvature of the lumbar spine (lower back) due to a displaced distribution of weight and a shift in the center of gravity. This causes a distortion and misalignment of the lower back, leading to tightness and pain of the lower back and hips.
How Does This Happen?
The spine is made up of bones, muscles, and bundles of nerves (spinal cord), from the back of your neck to the tailbone. It acts as the body’s structural foundation to balance the head and neck, keep us upright, help us maneuver our bodies in different directions, and protect the spinal cord. For flexibility of movement, we naturally have four gentle spinal curves: cervical curve (neck area), thoracic curve (ribcage area), lumbar curve (lower back), and sacral curve (tailbone area). When there is too much pressure and weight shifted on our spine and center of gravity over an extended period of time, the lumbar curve becomes exaggerated, tilting the hips and head forward, giving the appearance of a distended abdomen, and forcing the shoulders back. Common causes include: bad posture (hunching over), trying to force yourself to stand up straight in an exaggerated way (ex. athletes such as gymnasts), wearing high heels, excess weight, and bone health issues.
Signs of Swayback
- Forward head tilt
- Pelvic tilt
- Belly pooch
- Rounded shoulders
- Lower back pain
How Do You Fix It?
To reverse swayback, we recommend the following:
- Release – TFL & Latissimus Dorsi 60 sec each
- Activate – Abdominals/Spinal Flexors 2 x 20
- Integrate – Single leg balance with scaption 2 x 20
- Strengthen – Dual leg bridge with intra-abdominal pressure 2 x 20