Cervical Lordosis: What is it? Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention

It is a medical term that refers to the degree of curvature of the human neck, indicating an atypical exaggerated inward curvature of the neck region.

To fully understand this natural curvature of the neck, it is essential to understand some other conditions that involve cervical lordosis.

Cervical lordosis is a curve in the upper part of the spine (the cervical region), the vertebrae of the neck. The curvature in the spine typically helps stabilize the head and spine while maintaining balance.

The cervical spine is usually C-shaped (with the C pointing toward the back of the neck), but there are times when the curvature is more profound than usual, causing what is known as cervical lordosis.

Cervical lordosis is an abnormal inward curvature in the neck area that makes the head appear to be pushing forward (or sticking out) beyond its normal position.

There is also a reverse lordosis (cervical kyphosis) where the cervical spine straightens or leans in the other direction.

Several factors are known to cause cervical lordosis. In many cases, it is an inherited condition. In most cases, cervical lordosis is caused by neglecting to maintain good posture.


It can also be caused by injury and trauma, stress, and strain on the neck. Osteoporosis, which is the thinning of bone tissue and loss of bone density over time and can often be found in the neck region, is also a cause of cervical lordosis.

With the thinning of bone tissue, the neck is not as strong and can lean outward in a relaxed state instead of maintaining its upright position.

Those with osteoporosis find that the forward neck position feels more normal and accommodating, although it may seem uncomfortable.

Hyperlordosis: the neck’s curvature is more profound than average from back to front. Your head may appear to be pushed forward and rest lower between your shoulders. Essentially, those affected seem to have a valid forward neck extension.

Hyperlordosis: also known as cervical kyphosis or ” military neck. “The straightening of the cervical curve characterizes this condition. Looking from the side, a person’s channel appears to be straight, without a natural curve in the neck.

The neck is made up of seven bones that make up the cervical region of the spine. While it is normal to have a slight inward bend to help support the head’s weight, those with loss of cervical lordosis can have neck problems in virtually every aspect of their lives.

What Causes Cervical Lordosis?

While cervical lordosis is more common in adults, the condition can occur in children. Both men and women are affected equally, without a significant predisposition to race or ethnicity.

The condition is known to result from years of poor posture and neck muscle spasms. The following are some examples of causes of cervical lordosis:

Poor Posture – This is commonly seen in people who work at a computer for long hours, leading to neck strain.

This tension in the neck muscles makes them pull on the cervical spine, to which they are attached. Over time, poor posture can lead to misalignment of the cervical spine.

Injury: A direct damage to the cervical spine can result in a loss of cervical lordosis, which means that your neck may not be in its natural position. This can be seen after a whiplash injury.

Osteoporosis is a condition commonly seen in the elderly, where bone becomes more porous as bone density is lost.

Because the head weighs a couple of pounds, this adds more stress to the already brittle bones leading to cervical spine abnormalities.

Musculoskeletal Disorders: There are pre-existing skeletal and muscle disorders, often at birth, that lead to abnormalities of the bones throughout the body, including the neck. These can include achondroplasiakyphosis, and scoliosis.

Importance of a healthy cervical curvature

The human spine comprises 24 mobile bones, also known as vertebrae. It serves to support your weight, keep you upright, and help you perform any number of intricate movements.

It doesn’t stop there, as your spine also houses your spinal cord, along with a fragile tube-like structure that begins at the end of the brain and continues to the distal end of the spinal column.

The spinal cord consists of nerves that carry incoming and outgoing signals between the brain and the rest of your body. The cervical vertebrae are just one region of this vital structure.

Symptoms of cervical lordosis

Neckbone abnormalities can lead to several different signs and symptoms.

Considering that the cervical region contains vital nerves that travel to and from the brain, problems affecting the neck can lead to various unwanted symptoms; the following are examples:

Neck pain/discomfort – The most common problem faced by those with abnormal curvature of the neck bones, and usually as a result of forwarding head posture.

The pain may be experienced as stabbing or sharp, but some may only experience a limited range of motion.

Nerve Pain – Due to nerve entrapment, which results from abnormal curvature of the cervical vertebra pinching a particular nerve.

This can lead to muscle tension and other nerve-related symptoms, such as numbness and tingling in the arms, hands, and fingers.

  • Muscle spasm/weakness.
  • Limited physical capacity.
  • Fatigue.
  • Headaches.
  • Vertigo.
  • Back pain.
  • Poor posture.


An experienced physician can view the neck’s curvature to obtain an accurate diagnosis. But to get a better idea of ​​how it develops, a complete history and physical exam will often occur.

An X-ray is ideal for looking at the bones and will be a tremendous preliminary test for cervical vertebral alignment and degree of curvature.

Treatment for cervical lordosis

Depending on the underlying cause of your particular case of cervical curve abnormality, the treatment will be different. But pain medications and muscle relaxants will often be a common point of treatment.

If the severity of the pain is too great, a collar can be used to help restrict movement. The best form of therapy will come in the form of physical therapy.

This will help correct incorrect posture, strengthen muscles, and improve range of motion and flexibility, as physical therapists know how to restore the natural curve of the neck best. However, in extreme cases of cervical lordosis abnormality, surgery may be employed.

Guided exercises with a physical therapist to treat cervical lordosis

Exercises for treating cervical lordosis abnormality can be a great way to improve pain and increase mobility; however, they must be done with care.

Ideally, cervical lordosis exercises should be performed under the guidance of a trained physical therapist. The following are some examples of activities to restore the cervical curve:

Neck rotation

Slowly turn your head from the neutral position to the right and left side of your body and return to the neutral position again. Rotate your neck to each class as far as possible without causing discomfort or pain. Do this exercise 10 times on each side.

Neck flexion

Either from a sitting or standing position, bend your head down so that your chin touches your chest. Hold the place for a few seconds, and then slowly bring your head back to the neutral position.

Do this exercise 10 to 15 times. It will help flex and maintain your neck muscles, essential for maintaining normal posture.

Neck retraction exercise

It involves a forward retraction of the neck, causing the head to slide back and forth. This can be done in a sitting or standing position.

The forward slip should extend over a backward retraction three to four times. Repeat each movement ten times.

Neck extension

Extend your head back so that your face looks up toward the ceiling. Maintain optimal extension for a few seconds and then bring your head to the neutral position. Perform this exercise slowly to avoid injury. Repeat 10 times.

Posterior or backward shoulder retraction

Sit or stand with your spine straight and your head in a neutral position. Place both hands on the sides of your hips. Retract your shoulders by pushing your arm and shoulder back in this position.

Rearward retraction is accomplished by turning the arm outward while flexing at the elbow joint.

Hold this position for a few seconds and return your arm and shoulder to the original work. Repeat 10 times.


Keeping your arms down at your sides, slowly lift your shoulders toward your head as far as possible.

Hold the shrugging position for a few seconds and then bring your shoulders to the neutral position. Repeat this exercise 10 times.

Forward shoulder retraction

While keeping your spine straight, place your hands on opposite shoulders (right hand on the left shoulder, left hand on the right shoulder).

While keeping your arms bent at the elbow, hold this position for a few seconds and return your arms to the neutral position. Repeat 10 times.

Lateral neck tilt

While keeping your spine straight and starting with your head in a neutral position, slowly tilt your head toward your right shoulder while looking straight ahead. Now do this for the opposite side.

It is important not to turn your head while trying to bring your ear closer to each shoulder. Repeat ten times on each side.

Prevention tips

Having chronic neck pain can be very uncomfortable and prevents us from doing the simplest of daily activities.

Most abnormalities that affect the neck occur over a long period, and the patient now knows that they will eventually suffer from cervical complications later on.

Fortunately, if you practiced a few simple prevention tips, you could help mitigate the problem completely. The following are some tips you can start doing today.

Be mindful of your posture, a significant source of spinal-related pain, as most of us spend most of our days sitting or standing with poor posture.

Over time, this can lead to changes in the curvature of the spine, especially the cervical vertebrae.

It is recommended to sit and stand with the shoulders back and not push the head forward, and the ears should be aligned vertically with the shoulders.

Sleep on your back; Sleeping on your stomach can cause the curvature of your spine to change over time. If this is too difficult for you, several types of pillows can help. Also, speaking with a certified chiropractor can give you some additional advice.

Optimize Your Workplace – Many jobs today require a computer, which can lead to various posture-related problems.

Raising the monitor about three inches above eye level is recommended, as looking down at the screen can hurt the neck over time.

Also, keeping your feet flat on the floor while working at a computer will help keep your shoulders back.

Don’t keep your wallet in your back pocket – Large, bulky wallets in your back pocket can imbalance your posture as you sit.

Visit Your Chiropractor – When in doubt, consulting an expert is always good.

Chiropractors will know how to keep your spinal alignment healthy and can perform a simple physical exam and X-ray test to ensure you get the best treatment for any possible case of cervical lordosis abnormality.