What Is Lordosis?
A certain degree of curvature is normal in the human spine. When you look at your body from the side, you can see the gentle inward and outward curves of the neck, upper back and lower back, which are necessary for keeping the body properly aligned over the pelvis.
- The neck has a lordotic curve, meaning that it curves inward.
- The thoracic spine has a kyphotic curve, meaning it curves outward.
- The lumbar spine also has a lordotic curve.
These curves help the spine to support the load of the head and upper body, and maintain balance. Excessive curvature, however, may result in spinal imbalance. When the spine curves too far inward, this is called lordosis, or swayback.
What Causes Lordosis?
Lordosis can develop at any age. Certain conditions can contribute to the excessive inward curvature of the spine, including osteoporosis (bone thinning/weakening), obesity, discitis (infection of vertebral disc space), neuromuscular disorders, kyphosis (excessive outward spinal curvature), spondylolisthesis (slippage of one vertebra over another), hip dysplasia (misalignment), and achondroplasia (dwarfism). Lordosis also can be the result of poor posture.