Tag Archives: LORDOSIS

Spinal curvatures

Deformities of the spine: Lordosis, Kyphosis, and Scoliosis

ICD-9: 737.20 LORDOSIS

ICD-9: 737.10 KYPHOSIS

ICD-9: 737.30 SCOLIOSIS

Video: How to Correct a Scoliosis With Exercise and Stretching

Description

⚡ Lordosis ⚡ is an abnormal inward curvature of the lumbar or lower spine. This condition is commonly called “swayback.” Kyphosis is an abnormal outward curvature of the upper thoracic vertebrae. Commonly, this curvature is known as “humpback” or “round back.” Scoliosis is an abnormal sideward curvature of the spine to either the left or right. Some rotation of a portion of the vertebral column also may occur. Scoliosis often occurs in combination with kyphosis and lordosis. These three spinal deformities may affect children as well as adults.

Spinal curvatures

FIGURE. Spinal curvatures

Etiology

Lordosis, kyphosis, and scoliosis may be caused by a variety of problems, including congenital spinal defects, poor posture, a discrepancy in leg lengths (especially in scoliosis), and growth retardation or a vascular disturbance in the epiphysis of the thoracic vertebrae during periods of rapid growth. Kyphosis may be the result of collapsed vertebrae from degenerative arthritis, or it may occur following a history of excessive sport activity. Obesity and osteoporosis can be contributing factors for lordosis. These three spinal deformities also may result from tumors, trauma, infection, osteoarthritis, tuberculosis, endocrine disorders such as Cushing disease, prolonged steroid therapy, and degeneration of the spine associated with aging. Lordosis, kyphosis, and scoliosis also may be idiopathic.

Signs and Symptoms

The onset of lordosis, kyphosis, and scoliosis frequently is insidious. Signs and symptoms may eventually include chronic fatigue and backache. Scoliosis is often detected by individuals when they notice that their clothing seems longer on one side than on the other. Or they may notice when looking in a mirror that the height of their hips and shoulders appears uneven.

Diagnostic Procedures

Physical examination and anterior, posterior, and lateral x-rays of the spine are the most commonly used procedures to detect these spinal deformities.

Treatment

Treatment varies according to the nature and severity of the spinal curvature, the age of onset, and the underlying cause of the disorder. The goal is to slow the progression of the disease. Physical therapy, exercise, and back braces may all play a role in the treatment of these conditions. Spinal bracing, if closely watched and properly constructed and fitted, may be able to halt the progression of the curve in scoliosis. Surgery may be necessary, however, in cases of adolescent scoliosis if the curvature seriously interferes with mobility or breathing. Spinal fusion, using bone grafts and metal rods, is sometimes performed to straighten the spine in this situation. Surgery is rarely necessary for correction of kyphosis. Analgesics may be prescribed to alleviate the pain that frequently accompanies these disorders.

Complementary Therapy

Kyphosis may respond well to massage. Physical therapy and exercises to strengthen abdominal muscles can decrease lumbar lordosis. Hamstring stretch can reduce muscle contractures, or a permanent shortening of muscle. Stress proper posture. In scoliosis, it is helpful for individuals to turn their whole body, rather than just their head, when looking to the side; yoga is helpful to some.

CLIENT COMMUNICATION

Emotional support is essential. Instruct clients on the use of any brace and to avoid vigorous sports. Meticulous skin care is important to prevent irritation and skin breakdown due to the brace rubbing against the skin.

Prognosis

The prognosis of an individual with lordosis, kyphosis, or scoliosis depends on the underlying cause of the particular disease, how early it is detected, and whether it responds to treatment. In some cases, a spinal deformity may be arrested but not corrected. Pulmonary insufficiency, degenerative arthritis of the spine, and sciatica may arise as complications of spinal deformities.

Prevention

Prevention of lordosis, kyphosis, and scoliosis includes correction of any underlying cause and maintaining good posture. Weight loss can reduce the risk of lordosis. Scoliosis screening in public schools is mandated by law in some states.

Lordosis

 

Lordosis Exercises: For Core and Hips

Hyperlordosis, simply referred to as lordosis, is an excessive inward curvature of the lower back, sometimes referred to as swayback.

It can occur in people of all ages and is more common in young children and women. It may occur in women during and after pregnancy, or in people who sit for extended periods of time. It can cause symptoms like low back pain, nerve problems, and is associated with more serious conditions like spondylolisthesis.

In some people, lordosis is caused by poor pelvis position. When the pelvis tilts too far forward, it affects the curvature of the lower back, causing the person to look like they are sticking their bottom out. A small amount of lordosis is normal, but an excessive curve can cause problems over time.

Lordosis is often due to an imbalance between the muscles surrounding the pelvic bones. Weak muscles used to lift the leg forward (hip flexors) combined with tight muscles used to arch the back (back extensors), can cause an increased pelvic tilt, limiting movement of the lower back.

One case study found that strengthening the glutes, hamstrings, and abdominal muscles can assist in pulling the pelvis into proper alignment, improving lordosis. This can help decrease pain, increase function, and improve ability to do everyday activities with ease.

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Sitting Pelvic Tilts on Ball

This exercise helps bring awareness to the position of the pelvis, as well as stretches and strengthens the abdominals and back extensor muscles.

Equipment needed: exercise ball

Muscles worked: rectus abdominis, gluteus maximus, and erector spinae

  1. Sit on an exercise ball with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, shoulders back, and spine neutral.
  2. Pick a ball that allows your knees to be at a 90-degree angle when you are sitting with your feet flat on the floor.
  3. Tilt your hips and round your lower back by contracting your abdominals. Feel as if you are trying to bring your pubic bone to your bellybutton. Hold for 3 seconds.
  4. Tilt your hips in the opposite direction and arch your back. Feel as if you are sticking your tailbone out. Hold for 3 seconds.
  5. Repeat 10 times, alternating directions.
  6. Complete 3 sets.

Ab Crunches with Transverse Abdominus (TA) Activation

Strengthening the abdominals can contribute to better pelvic alignment in people with a forward tilted pelvis.

Equipment needed: mat

Muscles worked: rectus abdominis, transverse abdominus

  1. Lie flat on your back with your legs bent and feet flat on the floor. Place your hands behind your head or cross them over your chest.
  2. Breathe in. As you breathe out, pull your bellybutton to your spine, engaging your transverse abdominus muscles, the muscle that wraps around your midline like a corset.
  3. Raise your head and shoulders a few inches off the floor to do a crunch, while maintaining the contraction in your abdominals.
  4. Return to starting position, relax, and repeat 10 times.
  5. Complete 3 to 5 sets.

Dead Bugs

This dynamic core exercise helps people maintain a stable spine during movements of the legs and arms. It targets the transverse abdominus muscle, which is essential for spine stabilization.

Equipment needed: mat

Muscles worked: transverse abdominus, multifidus, diaphragm, and hip flexors

  1. Lie flat on your back with your arms and legs pointing straight up away from the body.
  2. Take a deep breath in and when you exhale, pull your bellybutton to your spine and feel as if you are flattening your back toward the floor without moving the hips.
  3. Lower your left arm and right leg at the same time until they are hovering a few inches above the ground.
  4. Return to starting position and repeat on other side. Repeat 10 times.
  5. Complete 3 to 5 sets.

Hip Extensions with Drawing in Maneuver

This exercise can increase strength and stability in the muscles of the lower back and pelvic region, decreasing lordosis.

Equipment needed: mat

Muscles worked: gluteus maximus, hamstring, erector spinae

  1. Lie flat on your stomach with your arms comfortable by your side or tucked under your head. Extend your legs straight behind you.
  2. Take a deep breath. As you exhale, draw your bellybutton towards your spine, engaging your core muscles.
  3. Ideally you should feel as if you are trying to lift your belly off the mat without moving the spine.
  4. While holding this contraction, lift 1 leg off the mat about 6 inches. Focus on engaging the large muscles of the buttocks.
  5. Hold for 3 seconds, return to starting position. Repeat 10 times.
  6. Repeat on other leg. Complete 3 sets on each side.

Hamstring Curl

The hamstrings are the large muscles that run down the back of the thigh. Strong and flexible hamstrings can help support neutral pelvic alignment.

Equipment needed: resistance band

Muscles worked: hamstrings (semitendinosus, semimembranosus, and biceps femoris), calf muscles (gastrocnemius), and hip flexors (sartorius, gracilis, and popliteus)

  1. Tie a resistance band into a loop around a pole or sturdy object.
  2. Lie flat on your stomach with your feet a foot or two away from the pole.
  3. Loop the band around your ankle.
  4. Bend your knee and pull your ankle towards your buttocks away from the pole.
  5. Try to isolate the movement to the working leg, keeping everything else as still as possible. You should feel the movement down the back of the thigh.
  6. Repeat 15 times, then repeat on other side.
  7. Complete 3 sets on each side.

The Takeaway

Correcting poor posture and excessive lordosis can prevent more severe conditions of the back and spine. A 2015 study looked at the effects of lumbar stabilization exercises on the function and angle of lordosis in people with chronic low back pain. They found that stabilization exercises, like the ones described above, are more effective than conservative treatment for improving function and angle of curvature in the back.

Always consult your doctor before starting an exercise program to make sure it is right for you. If these exercises cause an increase in pain, stop immediately and seek help. Pain or difficulty with movement associated with excessive lordosis can be a sign of a more serious condition and should be evaluated by a doctor or chiropractor. Rare cases of lumbar hyperlordosis may require surgery and cannot be treated with exercise alone.

Hyperlordosis: Treatment, Prevention, and More

What’s hyperlordosis?

Human spines are naturally curved, but too much curve can cause problems. Hyperlordosis is when the inward curve of the spine in your lower back is exaggerated. This condition is also called swayback or saddleback.

Hyperlordosis can occur in all ages, but it’s rare in children. It’s a reversible condition.

Keep reading to learn about the symptoms and causes of hyperlordosis and how it’s treated.

What are the symptoms of hyperlordosis?

If you have hyperlordosis, the exaggerated curve of your spine will cause your stomach to thrust forward and your bottom to push out. From the side, the inward curve of your spine will look arched, like the letter C. You can see the arched C if you look at your profile in a full-length mirror.

You may have lower back pain or neck pain, or restricted movement. There’s limited evidence connecting hyperlordosis to lower back pain, however.

Most hyperlordosis is mild, and your back remains flexible. If the arch in your back is stiff and doesn’t go away when you lean forward, there may be a more serious problem.

What causes hyperlordosis?

Bad posture is the most frequent cause of hyperlordosis. Other factors that may contribute to hyperlordosis are:

  • obesity
  • wearing high-heeled shoes for extended periods
  • spinal injury
  • neuromuscular diseases
  • rickets
  • sitting or standing for extended periods
  • weak core muscles

For pregnant women, a 2007 study found that hyperlordosis is the way that the female spine has evolved to adjust to the additional weight of the baby.

You can check your posture with a simple test:

  • Stand up straight against a wall. Keep your legs shoulder-width apart and your heels about 2 inches from the wall.
  • Your head, shoulder blades, and bottom should touch the wall. There should be just enough space to slip your hand between the wall and the small of your back.
  • With hyperlordosis, there will be more than one hand space between the wall and your back.

When do you see a doctor for hyperlordosis?

Most cases of hyperlordosis don’t require special medical care. You can correct your posture on your own. You’ll need to do some regular exercises and stretches to help keep up good posture.

If you have pain or your hyperlordosis is rigid, see a doctor to determine the cause. Depending on the diagnosis, your doctor may refer you to a back specialist or a physical therapist. Sometimes hyperlordosis can be a sign of a pinched nerve, loss of bone in the spine, or a damaged disk.

Your doctor will do a physical examination. They’ll ask you when your pain started and how it has affected your daily activities.

Your doctor may also take X-rays or other imaging of your spine to aid in diagnosis. You may also have a neurological exam and other tests.

What kinds of treatment are available for hyperlordosis?

Your treatment plan will depend on your doctor’s diagnosis. In most cases, treatment will be conservative. In rare cases, surgery may be required.

Conservative treatment may include:

  • over-the-counter remedies for pain, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), or naproxen (Aleve)
  • a weight loss program
  • physical therapy

Children and teens with hyperlordosis may need to wear a brace to guide spinal growth.

Exercises to try

Your doctor may refer you to a physical therapist. They may also give you a set of exercises to do on your own to help your posture.

There are many kinds of exercises and stretches to choose from, depending on your age and your level of fitness. Yoga and chair yoga are good choices. The important thing is to develop an exercise routine that you can stick to. You should also be aware of keeping good posture when sitting, standing, or engaging in activities.

Here are some simple posture exercises that require no equipment:

  • Move your shoulders forward and up toward your ears and then back down, pushing out toward your back.
  • Stretch your arms out at your sides at shoulder height, and roll them in small circles.
  • Standing up, squat as though you were sitting in a chair.
  • Standing tall, place one hand over your ear. Rest the other hand and arm flat at your side. Lean in the direction opposite to the covered ear.

What is the outlook for hyperlordosis?

Most hyperlordosis is the result of poor posture. Once you’ve corrected your posture, the condition should resolve itself.

The first step is to be aware of your posture during your normal daily routine. Once you know what it feels like to stand and sit properly, keep it up. You should see results right away, even if it seems awkward at first.

Develop an exercise and stretching routine that you do daily. Consult with your doctor if you’re not sure about the appropriate level of activity for you.

Post reminders to yourself to sit or stand straight. Ask your friends and family to tell you when they see you slouching or hunched over at your computer.

Good posture takes vigilance until it becomes automatic.

What can you do to prevent hyperlordosis?

You can often prevent hyperlordosis by practicing correct posture. Keeping your spine correctly aligned will prevent stress on your neck, hips, and legs that could lead to problems later in life. Here are some more tips to help prevent this condition:

  • If you’re concerned with weight management, start a weight loss program. Talk to your doctor if you need help getting started.
  • If you sit a lot during the day, take small breaks to get up and stretch.
  • If you have to stand for a long time, periodically shift your weight from one foot to the other, or from your heels to your toes.
  • Sit with your feet flat on the floor.
  • Use a pillow or rolled towel to support your lower back when sitting.
  • Wear comfortable, low-heeled shoes.
  • Stick to an exercise program of your choice.

Lordosis: Causes, Treatments, and Risks

What is lordosis?

Everyone’s spine curves a little in your neck, upper back, and lower back. These curves, which create your spine’s S shape, are called the lordotic (neck and lower back) and kyphotic (upper back). They help your body:

  • absorb shock
  • support the weight of the head
  • align your head over your pelvis
  • stabilize and maintain its structure
  • move and bend flexibly

Lordosis refers to your natural lordotic curve, which is normal. But if your curve arches too far inward, it’s called lordosis, or swayback. Lordosis can affect your lower back and neck. This can lead to excess pressure on the spine, causing pain and discomfort. It can affect your ability to move if it’s severe and left untreated.

Treatment of lordosis depends on how serious the curve is and how you got lordosis. There’s little medical concern if your lower back curve reverses itself when you bend forward. You can probably manage your condition with physical therapy and daily exercises.

But you should see a doctor if the curve remains the same when you bend forward. Read on to find out what lordosis looks like and how your doctor will diagnose for it.

Common causes of lordosis

Lordosis can affect people of any age. Certain conditions and factors can increase your risk for lordosis. This includes:

  • Spondylolisthesis: Spondylolisthesis is a spinal condition in which one of the lower vertebras slips forward onto the bone below. It’s usually treated with therapy or surgery.
  • Achondroplasia: Achondroplasia is one of the most common types of dwarfism.
  • Osteoporosis: Osteoporosis is a bone disease that causes a loss of bone density, which increases your risk of fractures.
  • Osteosarcoma: Osteosarcoma is a bone cancer that typically develops in the shinbone near the knee, the thighbone near the knee, or the upper arm bone near the shoulder.
  • Obesity: Obesity is an epidemic in the U.S. This condition puts people at a higher risk for serious diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

What are the types of lordosis?

Lordosis in the lower back

Lordosis in the lower back, or lumbar spine, is the most common type. The easiest way to check for this condition is to lie on your back on a flat surface. You should be able to slide your hand under your lower back, with little space to spare.

Someone with lordosis will have extra space between their back and the surface. If they have an extreme curve, there’ll be a visible C-like arch when they stand. And from the side view, their abdomen and buttocks will stick out.

Cervical lordosis

In a healthy spine, your neck should look like a very wide C, with the curve pointing toward the back of your neck. Cervical lordosis is when your spine in the neck region doesn’t curve as it normally should.

This can mean:

  • There’s too much of a curve.
  • The curve is running in the wrong direction, also called reverse cervical lordosis.
  • The curve has moved to the right.
  • The curve has moved to the left.

What are the symptoms of lordosis?

The most common symptom of lordosis is muscle pain. When your spine curves abnormally, your muscles get pulled in different directions, causing them to tighten or spasm. If you have cervical lordosis, this pain may extend to your neck, shoulders, and upper back. You may also experience limited movement in your neck or lower back.

You can check for lordosis by lying on a flat surface and checking if there’s a lot of space between the curve of your neck and back and the floor. You may have lordosis if you can easily slide your hand through the space.

Make an appointment with the doctor if you are experiencing other symptoms, such as:

  • numbness
  • tingling
  • electric shock pains
  • weak bladder control
  • weakness
  • difficulty maintaining muscle control

These may be signs of a more serious condition such as a trapped nerve.

Lordosis in children

Often, lordosis appears in childhood without any known cause. This is called benign juvenile lordosis. It happens because the muscles around your child’s hips are weak or tightened up. Benign juvenile lordosis typically corrects itself as your children grow up.

Lordosis can also be a sign of a hip dislocation, especially if your child has been hit by a car or fallen somewhere.

Other conditions that can cause lordosis in children are normally related to the nervous system and muscle problems. These conditions are rare and include:

  • cerebral palsy
  • myelomeningocele, an inherited condition where the spinal cord sticks through a gap in the bones of the back
  • muscular dystrophy, a group of inherited disorders that cause muscle weakness
  • spinal muscular atrophy, an inherited condition that causes involuntary movements
  • arthrogryposis, a problem that occurs at birth where the joints can’t move as much as normal

Lordosis in pregnant women

Many pregnant women experience back pains and will show the signs of lordosis, a protruding belly and buttocks. But according to Harvard Gaze, research shows that lordosis during pregnancy is actually your spine adjusting to realign your center of gravity.

Overall back pain may be due to altered blood flow in your body, and the pain will most likely go away after birth.

How is lordosis diagnosed?

Your doctor will look at your medical history, perform a physical exam, and ask about other symptoms to help determine if you have lordosis. During the physical exam, your doctor will ask you to bend forward and to the side. They’re checking:

  • whether the curve is flexible or not
  • your range of motion
  • if your spine is aligned
  • if there’re any abnormalities

They may also ask questions like:

  • When did you notice the excessive curve in your back?
  • Is the curve getting worse?
  • Is the curve changing shape?
  • Where are you feeling pain?

After narrowing down the possible causes, your doctor will order tests, including X-rays of your spine to look at the angle of your lordotic curve. Your doctor will determine if you have lordosis based on the angle in comparison to other factors like your height, age, and body mass.

How to treat lordosis

Most people with lordosis don’t require medical treatment unless it’s a severe case. Treatment for lordosis will depend on how severe your curve is and the presence of other symptoms.

Treatment options include:

  • medication, to reduce pain and swelling
  • daily physical therapy, to strengthen muscles and range of motion
  • weight loss, to help posture
  • braces, in children and teens
  • surgery, in severe cases with neurological concerns
  • nutritional supplements such as vitamin D

What’s the outlook for lordosis?

For most people, lordosis does not cause significant health problems. But it’s important to maintain a healthy spine since the spine is responsible for much of our movement and flexibility. Not treating lordosis could lead to long-term discomfort and an increased risk of problems with the:

  • spine
  • hip girdle
  • legs
  • internal organs

How to prevent lordosis

While there aren’t guidelines on preventing lordosis, you can perform some exercises to maintain good posture and spine health. These exercises can be:

  • shoulder shrugs
  • neck side tilts
  • yoga poses, like Cat and Bridge pose
  • leg raises
  • pelvic tilt on a stability ball

Prolonged standing may also change the curve of your spine. According to one study, sitting significantly decreases changes in the lower back curve. If you find yourself standing a lot, due to work or habits, try taking sitting breaks. You’ll also want to make sure your chair has sufficient back support.

When to see a doctor for lordosis

If the lordotic curve corrects itself when you bend forward (the curve is flexible), you do not need to seek treatment.

But if you bend over and the lordotic curve remains (the curve is not flexible), you should seek treatment.

You should also seek treatment if you’re experiencing pain that interferes with your day to day tasks. Much of our flexibility, mobility, and daily activities depend on the health of the spine. Your doctor will be able to provide options for managing the excess curvature. Treating lordosis now can help prevent complications later in life, such as arthritis and chronic back pain.