What Is Lordosis? - Definition, Symptoms & Treatment

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  • 0:03 A Pain in the Back
  • 0:44 Causes of Lordosis
  • 1:15 Symptoms of Lordosis
  • 1:41 Lordosis in Children
  • 2:11 Treating Lordosis
  • 2:49 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Danielle Haak

Danielle has a PhD in Natural Resource Sciences and a MSc in Biological Sciences

Lordosis is excessive inward curvature, usually in the lower back. This positioning can put excess pressure on the spine and cause pain. In this lesson, you'll learn what causes lordosis, what the symptoms are, and how it's treated.

A Pain in the Back

Back pain is relatively common; you may have experienced it yourself at some point after lifting something heavy or even just bending the wrong way. But persistent back pain - the kind that doesn't just go away on its own after a little bit of time - can have many causes. One of these is lordosis.

So, what is lordosis? It is a condition that causes the spine to curve too far inward. It usually affects the lumbar region (lower back) but in rare cases affects the neck. Sometimes lordosis is referred to as swayback because the unnatural curvature causes the butt or stomach to stick out. This unnatural angle can put extra pressure on the spine and cause pain.

Causes of Lordosis

Lordosis can develop due to a number of reasons. Let's take a look at some of them. There's:

  • Poor posture
  • Obesity or weight distribution that can cause spine to curve abnormally
  • Osteoporosis, or when bones weaken and become brittle
  • Discitis, or inflammation of a disc in the back
  • Kyphosis, or an abnormally curved upper back
  • Spondylolisthesis - when a vertebrae slips out of place
  • Achondroplasia, which occurs when bones don't grow properly and is a form of dwarfism

Symptoms of Lordosis

So, what are some symptoms of lordosis? Excessive curvature of the spine can cause back pain or pain that radiates down the legs. It can also cause muscle spasms, tingling or numbness, problems moving certain ways, and bladder or bowel abnormalities. A person with lordosis can look like they are sticking their stomach and butt outwards, and when they lay on their back there is a larger than normal gap between the lower back and the ground.

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