A Closer Examination Of Lordosis Curves Of Spine
Lordosis refers to the excessive inward curve of the spine. Lordosis can be normal if found within proper limits in the cervical spine (the neck) or the lumbar spine (the low back). However, excessive lordotic curves (too much lordosis), can be problematic and lead to complications and issues such as neck pain, back pain, arm pain, and even weakness or numbness in the arms or legs, depending on the site of involvement.
Excessive lordosis differs from the normal lordotic curves of the spine at the lumbar and cervical regions. The natural lordotic or kyphotic curves of the spine are there to position the head over the pelvis and work to distribute mechanical stress while a person is moving. Excessive lordosis curves are often seen in the lumbar spines of those diagnosed with scoliosis. Therefore, treatment and management of lordosis are critical, especially if you or your child is diagnosed with scoliosis.
When it occurs in the lumbar spine, the patient typically appears swayback, with the buttocks being quite prominent, and an exaggerated posture in general. Lumbar lordosis is also painful and affects movement sometimes.
What Factors Contribute to Excessive Spinal Curves of Spine?
The structural integrity of the spine can be adversely affected by some disease process thus leading to lordosis. Here are some of the common causes:
- Spondylolisthesis: This occurs in the lumbar spine when one vertebra slips forward about the adjacent vertebra.
- Osteoporosis: This is a disease affecting bone density that sometimes causes vertebrae to lose strength; thus, compromising the structural integrity of the spine.
- Obesity: This may cause some overweight individuals to start leaning backward to improve balance, which has a negative effect on posture.
- Kyphosis: This may force the lower back to compensate for the imbalance that a curve occurring at a higher level in the spine creates.
- Discitis: This is an inflammation of the intervertebral disc space that often results from an infectious process.
- Scoliosis: An abnormal side-bending of the spine, which is often coupled with rotations, leading to a three-dimensional scoliotic disorder, and eventual lordosis of the lumbar and an associated kyphosis of the cervical spine.
Not all lordosis cases require medical treatment; however, evaluation is warranted if the curve is rigid or fixed.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Excessive Spinal Curves
An intensive physical examination of the patient reveals much about their health and general fitness. Our doctors of chiropractic will inquire about when the curvature was first discovered, its past progression, and any other related symptoms that the patient might experience. The examination provides a baseline from which the doctor of chiropractic can measure your progress during treatment. The examination may include:
- The Range of Motion: to measure how the patient can perform the movement of extension, flexion, spinal rotation, and lateral bending.
- Palpation: This determines spinal abnormalities through feel.
The neurologic evaluation assesses the following symptoms: numbness, pain, motor function, extremity sensation, muscle spasm, weakness, and bladder/bower changes.
X-Rays are the best means of assessing a lordotic spine.
The patient reveals the entire length of the spine by standing when the PA (Posterior/Anterior) and lateral X-rays are taken. Spinal flexibility is evaluated using side bending AP (Anterior/Posterior) X-rays. If the spinal cord is suspected of having been compromised, an MRI may be ordered. The Cobb Angle Method is sometimes used to measure the lordotic curve in degrees using a standard full-length AP X-ray.
Best of Non-Surgical Lordotic Spine Treatment Options in Malaysia
As with any condition, the best approach is the non-invasive means of care. And, when it comes to excessive lordosis or kyphosis, our non-operative methods of assessment and treatment are second to none. Our goals are to provide our patients with a comprehensive non-surgical means of care for a healthy active life. Lordosis and Kyphosis are mechanical disorders that are best treated through mechanical means.
Our clinical teams of chiropractors and physiotherapists will utilize a variety of methods from physiotherapy and chiropractic treatment that will be further enhanced with therapy or treatments rendered through specialized therapy devices that target the spine. So, you can rest assured that the care you get from a Chiropractic Specialty Center® is the best means of correcting excessive lordosis or kyphosis.
There are some surgeons who recommend surgery to correct posture imbalances. However, we are of the opinion that surgical interventions for postural corrections are the cause of additional abnormalities that were not present before the invasive procedures. So, our advice to those who are considering a surgical intervention is to proceed with caution.
Neglect of an excessive lordosis or kyphosis can result in neurologic involvement. Therefore, it will be best to obtain corrective care as soon as possible to avoid further complications. However, if non-surgical means of care fail, it might be necessary to opt for surgical intervention.
Whether the treatment is surgical or non-surgical, it is important for the patient to follow the instructions from the doctor. The patient should discuss any concerns about activity restrictions with our doctors of chiropractic or the surgeon who operated on their spine. Our clinical teams can put together a specific treatment and therapeutic procedure to increase the range of motion, flexibility, and strength. The therapist might provide a customized home exercise program for the patient.
The Bottom Line on the Lordotic and Scoliotic Spine
Lordosis curves of the spine might be a debilitating condition, but with the proper care and attention, it is manageable and even treatable. This article has provided a brief overview of lordosis, how it comes about, and the treatment options currently available. Patients suffering from this condition should seek help from our clinical chiropractic teams in Malaysia for appropriate treatment. Keep in mind that lordosis is not scoliosis, but many patients diagnosed with scoliosis have excessive lordosis in their lumbar spine for which needs to be targeted with specialized scoliosis treatments.