What is Lordosis & How is it Treated?

Category: Spine | Author: Stefano Sinicropi

lordosis of the spine

As we mentioned last week, there are three common types of spinal curvature disorders: stenosis, kyphosis, and lordosis. We’ve dedicated whole posts to spinal stenosis and kyphosis, but we’ve never really delved into lordosis. So that’s exactly what we’re doing today.

Lordosis Curvature in the Spine

Lordosis is categorized as inward curvature of the lumbar and cervical regions of the spine. If it becomes excessive, lordosis can progress to lumbar hyperlordosis, which commonly affects dancers who put a lot of torque on their pelvis.

When a person puts a lot of forward stress on their hips, their pelvis and lower vertebrae are asked to shoulder more than their normal load. Due to this excess strain, the discs in your back begin to wear down unevenly, with the front of the discs wearing down at a faster rate. The resulting unevenness of the discs only further stresses the pelvic region, thus creating a dangerous cycle where the problem slowly worsens until there is a major issue.

So now that you understand the mechanical side of lordosis development, let’s take a look at some causes of the condition. Lordosis can be caused by:

  • Achondroplasia (Abnormal bone growth)
  • Spondylolisthesis (discs pushing forward)
  • Osteoporosis (bone density loss)
  • Improper bone development during puberty
  • Obesity
  • Muscle imbalances in the hamstrings or hip flexors
  • Complications from pregnancy
  • Poor posture

Treatment for Lordosis

Treating lordosis depends on the underlying cause. If it’s simply a case of bad posture or obesity, being mindful of your body can go a long way. Eat healthy, get regular exercise and take heed of your posture when you’re walking and sitting to ensure you aren’t overstressing your hips and lower back. Yoga is also a great way to combat lordosis by increasing body awareness, flexibility and range of motion in your hips.

If lordosis is being caused by a different issue, you may need to pursue other treatment options. Medications can help control inflammation and swelling in your lower back, and braces can help push your back into the right position. Should those other conservative options fail, surgery might be your best bet. Again, it depends on the root cause of the problem, but oftentimes a minimally invasive surgery to address the problemed discs can help move your spine back into a healthy position.

For more information on the condition, or to speak to a back specialist about an issue, click here to contact us.

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