Is the shape of your spine causing your lower back pain?

Structure dictates function, therefore the shape of your spine will dictate how it will function. There have been two recent journal publications in the last couple of months that are of incredible importance and significance to the understanding and management of lower back pain (LBP).


The first article was accepted for publication in April 2017 in The Spine Journal. It’s aim was to investigate the clinical significance of the curve of the lumbar spine and if it plays a role in the presentation of low back pain. The authors: Chun and colleagues performed a systemic review and meta-analysis of the relationship between low back pain and the lumbar lordosis (the normal curved shape of the lumbar spine). They concluded; “The meta-analysis demonstrates a strong relationship between LBP and decreased lordosis”.


It has been demonstrated that maintaining a neutral posture of the low back is of huge significance in the prevention and treatment of low back pain (McGill 2002, Harrison et al 2000, Majeske 1984, Pynt et al 2002). Thus prolonged pour posture when sitting can cause changes within the spine over time, which if not addressed, can lead to recurrent issues of low back pain.

The conclusion to this recent study is something that other authors have suggested in much earlier studies. Keifer in 1998 and Harrison 2005 published research into spinal modelling and found that movement of the ribcage and upper back forwards or backwards increases stress loading and intervertebral disc pressure of the lumbar spine. It has already been shown that increased loading and pressure to the discs causes altered metabolism within the disc cells, which triggers to production of inflammatory chemicals (Adams 1996, Hutton 2001, Neidlinger-Wilke 2012). This then causes the discs to wear out and degenerate faster, resulting in symptoms such as stiffness and pain.


The second study by Brown and colleagues published this year is about how to restore the normal curvature and alignment of the lumbar spine through none surgical, rehabilitative methods. This paper was published in the Chiropractic Journal of Australia this year. The paper demonstrates how the researchers were able to increase the lumbar lordosis using Chiropractic Biophysics and lumbar spine rehabilitation techniques to restore the lumbar lordosis and thus improving health related quality of life factors in the study patients’.


This is another paper adding to growing body of research showing that Chiropractic utilised along side structural rehabilitation techniques can restore normal structure and therefore function to the spine. This is why we at Spriggs Chiropractic utilise these techniques in the clinic to provide an evidence based, high standard of care to all those who seek our help. We are incredibly proud to be apart of this and offer these services to our patients.

To gain an accurate understanding of the shape of your spine, a full physical examination and X-rays are required. Using the Chiropractic Biophysics methods for analysing x-rays, we can provide you with a truly reliable and accurate measurement of your spine and therefore advise on if corrective chiropractic care is something you may or may not need. Contact us for more information or to book an appointment today and start your road to recovery.



  1. Chun SW, Lim C Y, Kim K, Hwang J and Chung SG 2017. The relationship between low back pain and lumbar lordosis: a systemic review and meta-analysis. The Spine Journal
  2. Brown JE, Jaeger JO, Polatis TA, Peters AJ, Oakley PA and Harrison DE 2017. Increasing the lumbar lordosis by seated 3-point bending traction: a case series utilising chiropractic biophysics technique. Chiropractic Journal of Australia 45(2) 145-154
  3. Keifer A, Shirazi-Adl A, Parinanpour M 1998. Synergy of the human spine in neutral posture. European Spine Journal 7: 471-179
  4. Harrison DE, Colloca CJ, Harrison DD, Janik TJ, Haas JW and Keller TS 2005. Anterior thoracic posture increases thoracolumbar disc loading European Spine Journal 14: 234-242
  5. Adams MW, McMillan DW, Green TP and Dolan P 1996. Sustained loading generates stress concentrations in lumbar intervertebral discs. Spine 21(4): 434-438
  6. Hutton WC, Elmer WA, Bryce LM, Kozlowska EE, Boden SD and Kozloski M 2001. Do the intervertebral disc cells respond to different levels of hydrostatic pressure? Clinical Biomechanics 16: 728-734
  7. Neidlinger-Wilke C, Meitsch A, Rinkler C, Wile HJ, Ignatius A, and Urban J 2012. Interactions of environmental conditions and mechanical loads have influence on matrix turnover by nucleus pulposus cells. Journal of Orthopaedic Research 30: 112-121
  8. McGill 2002. Low back disorders: Evidence-based prevention and rehabilitation. Champaign, IL: Human Kinematics.
  9. Harrison DD, Harrison SO, Croft AC, Harrison DE and Troyanovich SJ 2000. Sitting Biomechanics Part II: Potimal car driver’s seat and optimal driver’s spinal model. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 23: 37-47
  10. Majeske JA and Buchanan C 1984. Quantitative description of two sitting postures with and without a lumbar support pillow. Physical Therapy 64: 1531-1533
  11. Pynt J, Higgs J and Mackey M 2002. Milestones in the evolution of the lumbar spinal postural health in seating. Spine 27: 2180-2189.


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