Lordosis is the abnormal inward curving of the spine that leads to a shape called “swayback.” In children, the condition is sometimes called benign juvenile lordosis, which means the lordosis symptoms are temporary and will fix themselves as the child grows.
Lordosis symptoms can be caused by a variety of different issues. These include achondroplasia, a disorder where bones do not grow properly; spondylolisthesis, a slippage of the vertebrae; or discitis, inflammation of the disc space between bones of the spine that may be the result of an infection.
Lordosis can also result from osteoporosis, obesity or kyphosis, which is a forward rounding of the back (also called hunchback) to correct the body’s alignment.
- Inward curve of the spine, which is most easily observed by lying down on a hard surface to see the gap between the low back and the surface
- Pronounced buttocks
- Back pain
- Loss of range-of-motion
- Tenderness in the spine
- Stiffness in the spine
The first step to diagnosing and providing lordosis treatment is to observe and measure the curve of the spine. Coastal Spine may also recommend an X-ray or spinal MRI.
We focus on nonsurgical lordosis treatments, including:
- Observation: In some cases, especially for children, we may want to check progress of spine growth every six months to determine if further treatment is necessary.
- Bracing: In other cases where patients are still growing, a brace may be worn to prevent further curving.
- Physical therapy: In adults and fully matured adolescents, physical therapy can be used to strengthen core and back muscles, which helps to alleviate pain associated with lordosis.
- Surgery: For patients whose spine is curved more than 75 degrees or those in severe pain, a surgery called spinal fusion can stabilize and correct the shape of the spine.