Lordosis: Causes, Types, Diagnosis and Treatment
Do you have an abnormal inward curve of the spine? It could be lordosis! Through this comprehensive blog, we aim to explain lordosis in detail, including its common causes, types, diagnosis, treatment and more.
What is lordosis?
The medical name for an excessive inward curve of the spine, Lordosis can interfere with your daily activities by negatively affecting the lower back & neck area. Sometimes called swayback, it can cause excruciating pain & discomfort in severe cases by exerting plenty of pressure on the spine. Lordosis that affects the lower back & neck region is called lumbar lordosis and cervical lordosis, respectively. It can significantly impact your mobility without appropriate treatment.
Common causes of lordosis
Specific factors & health conditions can elevate the risk of lordosis. This comprises:
- Obesity or overweight
- Improper posture on a regular basis
- Injury or disease related to the spine
- Osteoporosis (Condition in which bones become brittle & weak)
- Family Genetics (Inherited from one of the parents)
- Spondylolisthesis (Spinal disorder involving a bone slipping forward onto the bone under it)
- Achondroplasia (Deterioration in bone growth in the cartilage of the growth plate)
- Osteosarcoma (Type of bone cancer that starts in the cells which constitute bones)
What are the types of lordosis?
There are 5 primary types of lordosis:
Generally caused by obesity, postural lordosis comprises weak back & stomach muscles that aren’t able to support the spine, resulting in the spine curving forward.
An injury or trauma that causes a fracture in the connecting links of the spine, this type of lordosis causes pain in the lower spine region. It can also be caused due to growth defects. Over time, it can lead to pinched nerves in the spine.
Post-surgical Laminectomy Hyperlordosis
After a laminectomy (surgery wherein spinal bones are removed) is conducted over various spine levels, it can result in the spine becoming unstable & expand the normal curve to an abnormal level. This condition is more common in children than adults.
Neuromuscular lordosis comprises a long list of disorders or conditions that can cause various spinal curvature issues. Each type of problem features several treatment options.
Lordosis Secondary to Hip Flexion Contracture
A comparatively rare condition, this type of lordosis includes developing a contracture of the hip joints culminating in the spine being drawn out of normal alignment.
Can Pregnant Women Experience Lordosis?
A considerable number of pregnant women exhibit symptoms of lordosis such as hips pushed forward, buttocks sticking out, back pain, etc., due to the protruding belly. However, in many cases, it’s just the body’s adaptation to the pregnancy, and the back pain disappears after the baby’s birth.
How to diagnose lordosis?
Diagnosing lordosis generally involves doctors checking patients’ past medical history, conducting a physical examination and enquiring about the symptoms being experienced. After getting a brief idea, doctors generally recommend diagnostic tests, including a spine x-ray, to examine the angle of the spinal curve. An MRI or CT scan may also be advised to ensure an accurate diagnosis.
Treatment is necessary for lordosis only in severe cases. It comprises the following treatment options:
- Medications to decrease back pain & swelling
- Physical therapy & exercises for bolstering muscles and increasing range of motion
- Weight loss to improve posture
- Braces for children & teenagers
- Nutritional supplements like vitamin D
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may also be prescribed in case of intense back pain caused by lordosis. The kind of treatment recommended to a patient depends on the severity of the spinal curve and the reason behind it.
Lordosis can cause chronic back pain and have a substantial negative impact on a person’s mobility & flexibility, making it difficult to carry out daily activities. Nevertheless, with prompt diagnosis & subsequent treatment, lordosis can be successfully treated, preventing future complications. If you are experiencing signs of lordosis, then get in touch with our Spine Specialists at ANSSI Wellness Centre. Click here to schedule your appointment:FAQs