Swayback – posture out of whack!

Swayback posture or hyper-lordosis is a common postural problem that can have a negative impact on quality of life and overall health.

The swayback posture is a specific type of poor posture which triggers low back pain.  The lower back is more prone to chronic pain and discomfort than most other parts of the body.  In fact, low back pain affects 60% of UK adults at some point in their lives!

Most cases of swayback aren’t severe enough to cause symptoms or need treatment, but don’t ignore changes in your body.

What is swayback posture?

It is a condition that affects the spine and causes it to curve forward too much.  It is a common pattern of postural dysfunction that differs from normal posture in the following ways:

  • The pelvis and hips are tilted to the front of the head.
  • An exaggerated curve inward of the lower back which results from the forward shift of the pelvis – also known as lordosis.
  • It also causes an exaggerated outward curve in the upper back – also known as kyphosis.
  • The chest cavity may round in on itself.
  • Forward head posture

The misalignment of the spine and pelvis from this type of posture can put you at an increased risk of developing back and hip injuries.

It can also contribute to other problems or injuries in other parts of the body such as the neck and shoulders, which are forced into a compromised position.

This type of poor posture can also put pressure on some of the internal organs, and can lead to problems such as:

  • Incontinence
  • Constipation
  • Heartburn

What causes swayback posture?

In some cases, this condition can be caused by injury or illness, but typically it is the result of poor posture, often caused by tight hamstring and back muscles exacerbated by things like sitting or standing in the same position for too long, which causes these muscles to tighten and become stiff and weak.

Sitting for many hours with poor posture may also compromise the stabilizing muscles such as the abdominals (stomach) and glutes (buttocks), when these muscles aren’t used, it can lead to weakness over time.

Other factors that can contribute to swayback posture include:

  • Spinal abnormalities – conditions like Scheuermann’s kyphosis can cause abnormal growth of the vertebrae in the mid back, which in turn can lead to a host of range of motion limitations.
  • Spondylolisthesis – with this condition, one of the vertebrae slips forward from the vertebrae beneath it.
  • Hip problems – hip conditions where the ball and socket of the hip doesn’t fully form (dysplasia) can lead to restrictions that contribute to postural issues.
  • Traumatic injury – such as sports and road traffic accidents, can cause permanent damage to your spine that can restrict the range of movement.
  • Obesity – young adults with obesity have poor postural stability and are at an increased risk of lordosis due somewhat to increased abdominal fat.


The symptoms of this condition often include:

  • Severe lower back pain
  • Difficulty in standing or sitting for long periods.
  • Tightness in the hamstrings and hip flexors
  • Tightness in the upper back muscles
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Difficulty performing certain physical activities.

How can your Chiropractor help?

Chiropractors may be able to help with cases of this condition by addressing the underlying structural issues. Swayback posture can be helped through a variety of Chiropractic treatments which can include:

  • Spinal adjustments and mobilisations aimed at increasing joint range of motion and flexibility and a restoration of a more normal hip and spine alignment.
  • Exercises to strengthen and stabilize the core muscles, by targeting specific areas, this will help address postural problems, focusing on tight muscles and building strength in weak areas.
  • Advice on lifestyle changes to help reduce stress on the spine.

Many people turn to Chiropractic treatment for the care of this condition.  Talk to your Chiropractor as soon as you notice any changes in your back, neck or anywhere else along your spine.

If you would like some further information or to speak to a member of our team please call us on: Hitchin 01462 420077 or Luton 01582 579687, alternatively e-mail us at: or