Sway back posture is the abnormal forward curving of the spine and pelvis that affects a person’s posture. This condition may affect people of any age, but it’s usually observed in older adults and pregnant women.
The cervical and lumbar spines naturally curve forward to maintain posture and absorb movement shocks. The spine in the neck has a 30- to 40-degree curve, while the lower back has a 40- to 60-degree curve.
However, when a person has a sway back posture, there is a drastic increase in the degree of curving, making the body appear to be leaning forward with the butt sticking out.
It’s important to know what sway back posture is to address this issue early on and avoid hip and back injuries and other health problems caused by poor posture. Read on to learn more about the condition and how to correct sway back to prevent problems down the road.
How Do You Know if You Have Sway Back Posture?
You can tell if you have sway back posture by looking at yourself in the mirror and checking if you have the following physical signs of the condition:
- Your pelvis and hips are tilted toward the front of your head
- There is an exaggerated curve around your lower back, resulting in a forward shift of your pelvis
- Your upper back curves outwards and hunches
- You have forward head posture
- You have tight hamstrings muscles that pull the pelvis forward
- You have a sunken chest
It’s best to consult a chiropractor who can thoroughly examine your body and diagnose the issue. They’ll be able to perform the necessary adjustments, corrective exercises and suggest lifestyle changes to address misaligned joints and correct your posture.
What Causes Sway Back Posture?
Several factors contribute to the misalignment of the spine and pelvis. Knowing what these are is important to fix sway back posture effectively.
The following are some factors that contribute to sway back posture:
- Sitting for extended periods
- Weak hip flexors
- Tense hamstrings
- Weak abdominal muscles
- Weak mid-back muscles
If left untreated, the asymmetry of the spine and pelvis with a swinging posture increases the risk of hip and back injury. Hip, back, and shoulder pain are common problems associated with this condition, as are migraines and neck tension.
Poor posture also puts pressure on your internal organs, leading to issues like:
- Reduction in lung capacity
Corrective Exercises to Address Sway Back Posture
Besides spine and hip adjustments, chiropractors will work with you to develop a treatment plan that includes lifestyle changes and corrective exercises to improve your posture.
It’s best to consult with them to find out the best changes to implement and exercises to perform to address your issues.
But there are also gentle and simple at-home corrective exercises that you can try by yourself to help with your sway back posture. These can be done either by sitting down or lying on a flat surface.
Seated Leg Lifts
This exercise improves the mobility of hip flexors and strengthens hip muscles.
- Sit up straight on a chair or against a wall with the pelvis in a neutral position
- Place your hands on the chair beside your glutes to brace yourself
- Keep your feet parallel and at a three-inch distance from each other
- While your left foot is on the ground, lift your right leg straight up
- Point your toes upward with your legs locked by the knee
- Slowly lower the raised leg down
- Before your foot touches the ground, lift it again for another repetition
- Perform 12 to 15 repetitions, then switch to the left side
- Switching to the other side means you’ve completed one set. Do 2 to 3 sets.
Lying Leg Lifts
This exercise stretches the hip muscles, strengthening them and improving mobility.
- Lay down on a flat surface with both arms on the floor and your knees bent at 90 degrees. Spread your feet out slightly
- Keep your head relaxed and your pelvis in a neutral position. Do not move the pelvis, and ensure your back isn’t arched upwards
- Push off the ground with your feet and squeeze your glutes to lift your hips until you’ve formed a straight line from your shoulders to your knees.
- Pause at the top for 10 seconds, then slowly lower your leg to the starting position
- Do 1 to 2 sets of 15 repetitions on each leg
This exercise strengthens the glutes and abdominal muscles to help support the pelvic area.
- Lie facedown on a yoga mat or towel
- Slowly push your body upward on your palms and toes, forming a straight line from your head to your ankles
- If you’re new to planking, perform a low plank instead by lifting your body with your forearms instead of palms
- Keep your body in a straight line while bracing your abdominal muscles
- Hold this position for at least 30 seconds
Glute bridges help strengthen the glute, lower back, and hips to strengthen these areas and improve mobility.
- Lie flat on your back with feet shoulder-width apart and flat on the ground
- Bend your knees at a 90-degree angle with your heels at least six inches from your glutes
- Your arms should lay flat on your side with palms facing upward
- Using your glutes, lift your hips slowly as high as possible without arching your back and push up with both your feet
- Once your hips and torso make a straight line, and you have established the glute bridge, squeeze your glutes and hold the position for a couple of seconds
- Keep the tension in your abs and glutes while you slowly lower your hips
- Do 1 to 2 sets of 10 repetitions.
Child’s Pose Yoga Stretch
This gentle stretch relaxes the body and loosens the muscles, specifically those in the lower back.
- Kneel on the ground and sit on your heels
- Stretch your arms forward with your hands flat on the ground
- Touch your forehead to the ground
- Hold this position, inhaling and exhaling deeply and slowly for 8 counts
Breathing exercises help realign the diaphragm and body to improve lung capacity.
- Start by getting on all fours with your hands and knees firmly on the ground
- Arch your back slowly and blow out breath strongly through your mouth
- Keep this position when slowly and deeply inhaling and exhaling through your nose
- Do this breathing exercise for 10 to 15 counts
How Chiropractic Care Helps Sway Back Posture
Leaving sway back posture unchecked may lead to problems in the future. For this reason, you should seek help early on while the condition is still manageable. Otherwise, you may experience pain, stiffness, and difficulty moving.
If the spinal misalignment has worsened, a chiropractor can determine the necessary treatment for your condition. They will also work with you to develop a personalized plan to treat your sway back posture.
Correct sway back posture with the help of local chiropractors. It’s an excellent way to prevent injuries and improve your overall health and confidence in the long run. Consult LifeClinic today for more information. You may also visit our website to check out our services and locations.