Types, And Causes of Lordosis

cervical lordosis


An Overview

The spine is not straight but slightly naturally curved in an ‘S’ shape to support the body structure. When the natural cervical or lumbar curve changes to a deep curve, causing arches, it is called lordosis or swayback.

The natural curve of the spine helps the body in the following ways:

  • align your head with the rest of the body
  • support the weight of the head
  • absorb shocks of sudden movements, accidents, or thrusts in sports activities
  • stabilize spine  
  • helps in flexible spinal movement

Lordosis, if not congenital, develops gradually, causing various lifestyle problems. Lordosis can occur for various reasons and is classified into the following categories.

What causes lordosis?

Lordosis can happen to anyone for several reasons, such as:

  • Achondroplasia: Achondroplasia is a disorder in which bone growth slows and causes dwarfism. 
  • Spondylolisthesis: Spondylolisthesis is a spinal condition in which a vertebra slips onto the vertebra below. Typically, it is treated with therapy or surgery. 
  • Osteosarcoma: Osteosarcoma is bone cancer. It develops in the shinbone, thighbone, upper arm bone, or near the shoulder. 
  • Osteoporosis: Osteoporosis is a bone disease when the bone becomes porous, like a honeycomb. It reduces bone density, increasing the risk of compression fractures causing spondylolisthesis or lordosis.
  • Obesity: The condition of excess overweight is called obesity. Obesity increases heart disease, type 2 diabetes, lordosis, and cancer risk. 

Lordosis can happen to anyone. But it is more prevalent among children, pregnant women, and older adults.

Types of lordosis

Primarily, lordosis is of two types: cervical and lumbar.

1- Cervical lordosis– In cervical lordosis, the cervical spine’s natural curve arches forward or outwards so that the head and spine are not straight.

2- Lumbar lordosis– The lumbar spine arch deepens and moves inwards in a ‘C’ shape such that the person’s belly protrudes.

Lordosis is further categorised into the following types:

3- Postural Lordosis

Bad postures lead to pulling the back forward. As a result, the stomach and back muscles weaken and cannot hold the spine’s straight alignment causing the spine curve to deepen.

4. Congenital/Traumatic Lordosis

Congenital lordosis is lordosis by birth-  to a newborn due to too much pressure in the womb. Otherwise, lordosis can also occur due to compression fractures, postural changes, spinal infection, or sudden falls and accidents.

5. Post-surgery lordosis

Sometimes, lordosis can occur after spinal laminectomy or spinal tumour removal surgery.

6. Neuromuscular Lordosis

Neuromuscular lordosis occurs when the back muscles weaken due to neuromuscular conditions such as muscular dystrophy,spina bifida, or cerebral palsy and cannot hold the spine’s alignment.

Diagnosis and treatment of lordosis

Lordosis can be recognised by sleep posture. If the space between your back curve and the bed is too much, it can be lordosis. However, sometimes, lordosis is not visible. Dr. Akhil Tawari physically examines your back and orders scanning tests such as bone tomography, spinal CT scan, and other scanning tests to confirm lordosis and measure the curve’s angular deflection.

The treatment is planned according to the diagnosis. The treatment comprises the following modules:

  • Straightening of the lumbar spine with braces
  • Surgery to correct the swayback
  • Physical therapy and muscular rehabilitation
  • Weightloss and postural changes

Dr. Akhil Tawari is one of the most revered spine surgeons. Consult Dr. Akhil for your spinal changes or other spinal complications