Friday - - ASK THE EXPERTS -


I’m a 14-year old girl and I find that my lower back ap­pears to be curved ex­ces­sively in­wards. Are there any treat­ments for this in ayurveda?


Don’t slouch. When stand­ing or walk­ing, keep your back straight. We all have heard th­ese words from our par­ents sev­eral times when we were grow­ing up. Though they might not have been aware of all the reper­cus­sions of poor pos­ture, they seemed to know the best er­gonomics.

Ev­ery­one’s spine curves a lit­tle in the neck, up­per back, and lower back. Th­ese curves cre­ate the S shape of our spine. Our spine has four nat­u­ral curves and th­ese curves help our body to ab­sorb shock, sup­port our weight, align our head over the pelvis, sta­bilise its struc­ture, move and bend flex­i­bly.

A kyphotic curve is a con­vex curve in the spine. The curve is in the tho­racic and sacral spine.

A lor­dotic curve is con­cave, and is found in the cer­vi­cal and lum­bar lev­els of the spine. But if your lum­bar con­cave curve arches too far in­ward, it’s called hy­per­lor­do­sis, or hol­low back, sway back or sad­dle back. This can lead to ex­cess pres­sure on the spine, caus­ing pain and dis­com­fort.

Lum­bar hy­per­lor­do­sis is com­mon in dancers. Im­bal­ances in mus­cle strength, mus­cle tight­ness and dif­fer­ence in length are also a cause. Ab­nor­mal­i­ties in bone growth, spondy­lolis­the­sis (a con­di­tion in which ver­te­brae slip for­ward) and os­teo­poro­sis (frag­ile bones) are some of the causes of hy­per­lor­do­sis.

Other causes in­clude poor pos­ture, obe­sity, cur­va­ture dis­or­ders of the tho­racic spine and dis­eases af­fect­ing the in­ter-ver­te­bral discs. Hy­per­lor­do­sis is seen in peo­ple hav­ing ex­ces­sive vis­ceral fat (belly fat); it is also seen in preg­nant women.

Stretches, mus­cle-strength­en­ing ex­er­cises, weight re­duc­tion, pos­tural cor­rec­tion and mas­sages can help to im­prove the con­di­tion. Ayurvedic ther­a­pies like podikkizhi and ab­hyangam are use­ful.

DR VL SHYAM is a Dubai-based ayurveda prac­ti­tioner

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