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Yoga for a bad swayback?

Piscus2010-07-04 13:09:18 +0000 #1
Hello. I will apalogize right off the bat for a long post, but I believe it is necessary to describe my condition. I will explain what is wrong and my current lifestyle.

I have an awkward variation of the hyperlordosis condition commonly refered to as swayback. I have done many many many google searches on possible corrections for this, but it seems as though these corrections are exactly opposite of what I need.

My existing condition can be described as follows: I have a very bad swayback. It hurts to sit, and is very difficult to stand. I am only 23

I weigh 170lbs and am 5 feet 9 inches. I developed this condition about 9 years ago. It started when I had to carry a close to 50 lbs backback to class daily. I would walk like a "pigeon" with the thing draped over my shoulders. Then, I began to study a lot, and sit.... A LOT. Infact, I have sat so much over these last 9 years that my hips have seem to become *fused* in this tilted position. My belly sags out, and my butt sticks out a significant amount. The tilt in my hips is significant enough that it is hard to stand up straight. X-rays have shown that I have no structural problems. Which lets the doctors believe it is muscular. The physical therapist noted that I have extreme inflexibility in my hips, the inside of legs (around the groin), front of my legs (pulling my hips forward), extreme tightness in my lower back pulling my butt up, tightness in hamstrings, and calves.

I am a senior in college now as a biology major. So, I study a lot. Infact, in a single day I think I am only on my feet for MAXIMUM 4 hours. That is correct... I sit or lay for about 20 hours a day for the last 4 years.

Now, I know many of you think I do NO physical activity. This is wrong! I have ALWAYS played sports, and currently have been bodybuilding 5 days a week for the last 3 years! I have developed an extremely strong lower back from deadlifting and squatting.. although I can't do this anymore becuase of intense pressure in this region. My lower back muscles are thick and stick out because of the way my butt sticks out b/c of the deadlifting. So, I do not think a pose such as cobra would be a smart idea for my case (this is what many google sites suggest for lordosis). I have decent abdominals, but nothing to brag about.

My diet is close to flawless. I take vitamins, eat 4 healthy meals a day composed of vegetables, and a significant protein source for 3 of the meals. I eat everything from chicken, to fish, pastas, every vegetable imaginable, milk is my favorite drink, and cottage cheese is my favroite snack.

Why am I posting here?

My physical therapist thinks that my condition can be correctable. He said that yoga would be great for me. He gave me hamstring and thigh stretches to help solve my problem, but I believe I need much more then that. Although I do not think I would be able to make a lifestyle change at this moment in my life (dumped tons of money into school...), I am willing to make a yoga routine commitment if it can provide relief, increase flexibility and potentially allow my hips to sit like a normal, flat bucket, instead of tilted down in the front.

Not only does it hurt, I am VERY self conscience about how my rear sticks out. It is extremely noticable when wind blows a tishirt against my back

Any advice about how I can begin to do what I need to do. Any questions about my workout routine or my lifestyle. Any suggestions on possible yoga routines are welcome. I'm looking for some help and am eager to practice yoga. Thanks for reading.

-Don


Willem2010-07-04 13:23:23 +0000 #2
Dear Pisces,

Yoga will be great for you. Better yet is a very experienced yoga teacher or a yoga therapist. Please check out Mukunda Stiles' website to find out if there are any structural yoga therapists close to you.

It is best to get a personalised yoga program which is geared towards your condition, a program which is adapted as you make futher progress. I don't think you started body building without a coach either.

In general, correcting lordosis means that the abdominals need to be strengthened and their antagonists need to be stretched (erector spinae, hip flexors, iliopsoas). So cobra is not a good recommendation at all! It strengthens the back muscles and stretches the abdominals. You would be better off with upwards stretched legs (urhva prasarita padasana), boat (navasana) and reclining hero (supta virasana). Your tight hip flexors and tight hip adductors are best adressed with bridge / runner's stretch /camel and triangle / bound angle pose / spread leg stretch, respectively. All of this information can be found in Mukunda Stiles' book on structural yoga therapy.

Please don't do any of this on your own, especially since you are new to yoga. Correcting postural problems requires help. A good yoga teacher or therapist will also help you to make the life style changes which you seem to be looking for. Best of luck. Namasté.

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