Lordosis: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment and Recommended Exercises

It is a condition of the spine that causes an abnormality in the shape of the spine, very similar to scoliosis.

Lordosis is a significant inward curvature of the lumbar spine, either kyphotic (closer to the neck) or lordotic (closer to the lower back).

Compared to the rest of your spine, which when it occurs in the lower back gives the appearance of protruding buttocks in the back and protruding belly in the front. This curvature is in the lower back, just above the buttocks.

Lordosis makes the buttocks appear more prominent, and children with severe lordosis have a significant gap when lying on their back, below their lower back.

This condition is often accompanied by chronic back pain and limited mobility when moving or bending.

This condition can cause difficulties for the patient because the lumbar spine supports most of the body’s weight.

Fortunately, there are several treatment options available for people with lordosis, ranging from conservative to surgical, depending on the severity of the condition.

Causes of lordosis

The condition of cervical lordosis knows no bounds, as it can occur to anyone of any age.

There are cases where a direct injury to the cervical spine or an injury due to persistent muscle spasms can change the degree of curvature of the neck.

The most common causes of cervical lordosis are:

Postural changes

A change in curvature can occur over time with habitual poor posture when standing, frequent weight lifting activity, or abnormal sitting posture.

Patients struggling with obesity may find that their posture puts pressure on the lower spine area.

This can lead to the spine naturally beginning to curve inward more than normal.

Congenital conditions

There may be a slightly visible change in the cervical spine at birth.

This may be due to development within the uterus or trauma to the neck during childbirth, either by natural delivery or by cesarean section.

Lordosis can be the result of birth defects of the spine and often develops when the child begins to walk.

Congenital hip dysplasia, spina bifida, and neuromuscular disorders are common congenital causes of lordosis.

Musculoskeletal conditions

Medical conditions that affect the spine can cause a change in curvature.

There are several musculoskeletal conditions of the spine that can contribute to the development of lordosis, the most common of which include:

  • Spondylolisthesis – A vertebra can slip out of place due to a degenerative disc or joint, causing the vertebra to fall in front of the vertebra below it. If this happens, the lower curvature of the spine may be exaggerated.
  • Discitis: Most common in children, an infection of the intervertebral disc can cause inflammation that can manipulate the shape of the lower spine. Discitis or herniated disc conditions can alter the spinal discs.
  • Osteoporosis :  In osteoporosis, the bones of the spine can weaken over time and change position. Any amount of pressure can manipulate the vertebrae to change shape and direction.

Depending on the causes of lordosis, the two most common symptoms of this condition include limited mobility in the spine and chronic back pain.

Lordosis is also common in achondroplasia and other forms of skeletal dysplasia.

Symptoms

Lordosis symptoms are unique to spinal conditioning and vary from person to person.

Although many cases have physiological signs or signs that are not very visible or not visible, there are abnormal curvatures that can cause discomfort or pain.

In the case of cervical lordosis, a visible change in neck alignment from the posterior view may also be the only sign, if the curvature is not causing any compression on the nerves or tissue.

Known as a “backward sloping” neck, this neck positioning is an arch of the spine.

Pain may occur when turning the head or a reduction in range of motion.

It is seen when the person is lying down and the space between the neck or lower spine and the surface of the bed is greater than normal.

This explains why many cases are not documented unless seen during a medical examination.

Cases of lordosis with loss of movement or restricted movement of the neck can cause the muscles in the neck, shoulders, and back to tighten.

A localized nerve can become compressed by the spasm or the curvature itself and cause extreme pain.

In some cases of cervical lordosis when there is pain, there may be a link to the extreme curvature of the cervical spine.

The main clinical feature of lumbar lordosis is a prominence of the buttocks. The symptoms will vary depending on the presence of other defects.

These defects include muscular dystrophy, developmental dysplasia of the hip, or neuromuscular disorders.

Back pain, leg pain, and changes in bowel and bladder habits are not commonly associated with lordosis.

The symptoms of lordosis can be similar to those of other conditions or blemishes of the spine, or they can also be the consequences of an injury or infection.

Diagnosis of lordosis

It is difficult to measure and diagnose lordosis. Diagnosis should begin with a physical exam and diagnostic tests such as:

  • X-rays: An X-ray can measure and evaluate curvature, and the doctor or radiologist can determine the best type of treatment based on measurements of the angle of the spinal curve.
  • Bone Scans : Bone scans represent a method of evaluating degenerative or arthritic changes in the joints. They are used to detect bone diseases or tumors; Bone scans can also be done to rule out fractures, inflammation, or infection.
  • MRI scan: This test is used to rule out any problems that are related to the spinal cord and nerves.
  • CT scan: can produce detailed cross-sectional images of the bones, muscles, fat, and organs needed to diagnose lordosis.

Treatment of cervical lordosis

With the different degrees of curvature of cervical lordosis, a physical examination, medical history, and additional diagnostic tests can show changes in the spine and reveal the particular cause, as with degenerated discs.

Once the diagnosis of cervical lordosis is confirmed, any treatment depends on the extent of the curvature and whether there is any pain associated with it.

Postural physical therapy is often used to relieve any pressure on the nerves and prevent further curvature.

Any associated muscle spasm or pain can be treated with medication, compresses, targeted exercises, or the use of a support device, such as a collar.

Uncommon treatment of extreme curvature of the neck spine may involve surgical procedures such as spinal fusion.

The bone in the pelvic region can be placed between the collapsed vertebrae to stimulate bone growth, or metal plates can be used until the bones naturally fuse together.

Non-surgical lordosis treatments include:

  • Observation: In some cases, especially for children, you may want to check the growth progress of the spine every six months to determine if further treatment is necessary.
  • Bracing: In other cases where patients are still growing, a brace may be used to prevent further bending.
  • Physical therapy: In fully mature adults and adolescents, physical therapy can be used to strengthen the core and back muscles, helping to relieve pain associated with lordosis.
  • Surgery: For patients whose spine curves more than 75 degrees or those with severe pain, a surgery called spinal fusion can stabilize and correct the shape of the spine.

Treatment of lordosis also includes:

  1. Pain relievers to relieve back pain and discomfort.
  2. Weightloss.
  3. Vitamin D supplementation.

Lordosis reversal and its importance

The importance of proper treatment of cervical lordosis is apparent when the complications and health conditions that can arise from the condition are considered.

In addition to correcting poor posture posture, curvature treatment can prevent spinal injuries.

The vertebrae are designed to protect the spine as shock absorbers, and any deterioration or change in positioning due to cervical curvature can cause injury to the spine.

This is seen with joint disease and degenerative disc disease.

One risk for cervical lordosis is related to the disruption of essential nutrients and oxygen supply to the brain.

Hypertension, confusion, lethargy, pain, dizziness, nausea, and possible insomnia may appear.

Care and precautions to avoid any abnormal curvature can help prevent conditions that worsen spinal alignment, such as osteoporosis or permanent use of a back or neck brace.

Exercises for Cervical Lordosis

Exercises and strengthening the region can help patients regain any complete loss of motion or decrease in range of motion.

Regular exercise and a proper healthy diet can also prevent weight overload problems with the cervical spine.

Neck flexion

  • Stretch the back of your neck muscles to tone and strengthen.
  • In a standing or sitting position, gently rock your head up and down in a nodding motion.
  • This should be done very slowly for a set of five reps, with a downward chin grip for three seconds.
  • This exercise can also be done with a pillow behind the head.
  • Move your chin toward your chest to feel a slight stretch inside your neck.

Neck extension

  • Prevent injury to the acetate joint of the neck with this stretching exercise.
  • Stand with your shoulders back and your head and neck in a straight line.
  • Avoid arching your back when your head is pulled back and your eyes are looking up at the ceiling.
  • You should hold this position for five seconds and slowly return your head to its starting position.
  • Repeat for 10 times.

Neck retraction

  • Correct head positioning is practiced with this retraction stretch.
  • In a standing position, the head is moved back with the chin slightly down.
  • It is held for three seconds before returning the head to the starting position. It is repeated 10 times.

Lateral neck tilt

  • Neck muscles are gently stretched with this incline exercise that can be performed in a standing or sitting position.
  • He tilts his head to the side in a slow, smooth motion.
  • It is held for five seconds and the head is returned to the starting position.
  • Forward eye contact should be maintained without leaning the neck forward during exercise.
  • It is repeated on the other side. Do it 10 times on each side.

Neck rotation

  • In a sitting or standing position, the head is slowly turned to the side, keeping the back and neck straight.
  • Hold for two seconds before repeating on the other side.
  • It is repeated 10 times on each side.

Retraction of the shoulder back

  • In a sitting or standing position, the hands are placed along the hips, moving one arm and the shoulder back.
  • When the arm is flexed and the shoulder is back, hold this position for three seconds before returning to the starting position.
  • It is repeated 10 times.

Front shoulder retraction

  • This stretch can be done sitting or standing.
  • Move one hand to the opposite shoulder and hold the position for three seconds.
  • The arm should be bent at the elbow and the back should be kept straight.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat 10 times.

Shrugged shoulders

  • Stand or sit with your arms at your sides and your hands straight with your fingers pointing downward.
  • Both shoulders are raised keeping the head and neck still.
  • It is held down in that position for three seconds, returns to the starting position, and repeats 10 times.

Hip flexor stretch

  • While standing, the knee is bent back and the leg is grasped at the ankle.
  • The leg is pulled back and the hips are bent forward.
  • This position should be held for 20 to 30 seconds.
  • Then it is repeated with the other leg.

Lower back stretch

  • While lying down, the knees are bent towards the chest and the legs are supported with the arms.
  • This position should be held for 30 to 60 seconds.

Crunch

  • While lying down, the hands are placed behind with the legs stretched out.
  • Lift your torso off the floor at an angle of approximately 30 degrees (trying not to use your neck muscles for this).
  • Repeat this for 10 times.

Puente

  • While lying down, your feet are placed on the floor with both knees bent at about a 90 degree angle.
  • The thighs are squeezed and the hips are raised as much as possible.
  • This position should be held for 10 to 20 seconds and then repeated.