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Lordosis: Types, Causes, Symptoms & Effective Treatments

Lordosis is a spinal curvature that exaggerates the lower back's inward curve. Types include lumbar and cervical lordosis. Causes range from poor posture, muscle imbalances, and obesity to congenital conditions. Read on to learn more about the causes, symptoms, and treatment for the disease.

A Comprehensive Guide to Lordosis Management

Lordosis is a spinal curvature where the natural inward curve of the spine, particularly in the lower back or neck, becomes exaggerated. This condition, often termed "swayback," leads to an excessive arch that may affect posture and alignment. Various factors contribute to lordosis, such as poor posture, muscle imbalances, obesity, congenital conditions, or pregnancy.

Types of Lordosis

There are several types of lordosis (swayback) based on the symptoms and curvature of the spine. Some of them are listed below.

Lumbar Lordosis

Lumbar lordosis is an exaggerated inward curve of the lower spine. A person who suffers from this condition will experience pain in their lower back due to poor posture, muscle imbalances, or obesity. 

Cervical Lordosis

Cervical lordosis is an excessive inward curve of the neck's spine. It can result from poor posture, trauma, or congenital conditions. This condition can lead to neck pain, muscle tightness, and limited range of motion.

Traumatic Lordosis

Traumatic lordosis is an abnormal spinal curvature resulting from severe trauma or injury. Such trauma can damage vertebral structures, ligaments, and muscles, leading to a pronounced inward or outward curvature. As a result, it can lead to pain and limited mobility and affect the alignment of the spine overall. Prompt medical evaluation is essential to assess the extent of damage and provide appropriate treatment to prevent further complications.

Post-surgical Lordosis

Post-surgical lordosis is an abnormal spinal curvature that develops after surgery, often involving the spinal column. Surgical procedures can alter the spine's natural alignment, causing excessive or insufficient curvature. This can lead to pain, discomfort, and reduced spinal function. Adequate post-operative care, rehabilitation, and follow-up are crucial to monitor and manage any changes in spinal curvature, ensuring optimal recovery and minimizing complications.

Common Causes of Lordosis

Some of the common causes of lordosis (swayback) are listed below-


Poor posture, such as prolonged sitting or standing with improper alignment, can contribute to lordosis. It places excessive stress on the spine's natural curves, causing the lower back to arch excessively and leading to an exaggerated inward curve, known as lumbar lordosis.


Obesity can contribute to lumbar lordosis and cervical lordosis by altering body weight distribution, leading to increased stress on the spine's natural curves. Excessive weight can cause the lower back to arch excessively, resulting in lumbar lordosis.


Osteoporosis, characterized by weakened and brittle bones, can impact spinal health. It may lead to vertebral compression fractures and changes in spinal curvature, including kyphosis or increased lumbar lordosis.


Trauma, such as accidents or injuries, can cause abnormal spinal curvatures like lordosis. Severe impact or fractures affecting vertebral structures can disrupt the spine's alignment, leading to exaggerated or insufficient curvature.

Muscular dystrophy

Genetic disorders such as muscular dystrophy  weaken and degrade muscles over time. It can impact muscle function, mobility, and posture, potentially affecting spinal curvature and alignment.


A spondylolisthesis occurs when one vertebra slips over the other, often forward over the one below. This can affect spinal alignment, leading to changes in curvature and potentially causing lordosis.


Spinal surgery can inadvertently cause or exacerbate lordosis. Changes in vertebral alignment due to surgical interventions may lead to an abnormal curvature, affecting spinal posture and potentially resulting in conditions like lumbar lordosis.

Symptoms of Lordosis

Symptoms of lordosis vary based on its severity. Excessive curvature may cause lower back pain, muscle tightness, and discomfort, particularly when standing or walking. Changes in posture can lead to an exaggerated arch in the lower back or neck. Limited range of motion and mobility challenges might occur due to altered spine alignment. In severe cases, muscle weakness, numbness, or tingling can develop.

Pain and discomfort may extend to the hips or legs. Consulting a healthcare professional for accurate diagnosis and assessment of symptoms is crucial to initiate appropriate treatment and prevent complications.

Lordosis in Children

Lordosis in children involves an exaggerated spinal curve resulting from poor posture, muscle imbalances, or congenital conditions. While a certain degree of lumbar curvature is normal, excessive or abnormal curvatures require attention. Monitoring growth, promoting proper posture, and addressing any underlying factors are crucial to preventing complications and ensuring proper spinal development.

Lordosis in Pregnant Women

Lordosis in pregnant women often occurs due to changes in the body's center of gravity and increased weight in the abdominal area. The spine's natural curves adapt to support the growing uterus, resulting in an exaggerated lower back curve. Proper posture awareness, gentle exercises, and prenatal care can help alleviate discomfort and prevent excessive strain on the spine during pregnancy.

Diagnosing Lordosis

Diagnosing lordosis involves a medical evaluation based on physical examination, posture assessment, and medical history. Imaging tests like X-rays or MRI scans help visualize the spine's curvature and assess its severity. A healthcare professional will analyze these findings to determine if the curve is within normal limits or requires intervention. Accurate diagnosis guides appropriate treatment strategies, whether through exercises, lifestyle modifications, or medical intervention, to address underlying causes and promote spinal health.

Treating Lordosis

Treating lordosis involves exercises to strengthen core muscles, improve posture, and alleviate discomfort. Lifestyle adjustments, ergonomic improvements, and medical intervention may be necessary for severe cases. Here are some effective treatment plans for the condition.

Physical Therapy and Exercise

Physical therapy plays a crucial role in lordosis treatment. Therapists design exercises to strengthen core muscles like abdominal and back muscles, which support proper spine alignment. Pelvic tilts, cat-cow stretches, and wall angels improve spinal mobility and posture. Hamstring stretches, hip flexor stretches, and gentle spinal extension exercises alleviate muscle imbalances. Combining these exercises with expert guidance ensures effective lordosis management and promotes optimal spinal health.

Anti-inflammatory Medications

Anti-inflammatory medications like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) help manage lordosis-related pain and inflammation. They reduce discomfort by inhibiting inflammation-causing chemicals. Over-the-counter or prescribed NSAIDs can be used under medical guidance. However, long-term use should be monitored due to potential side effects. Consultation with a healthcare professional ensures safe and appropriate medication usage.


Bracing involves using specialized devices to support and correct spinal curvature in lordosis. Braces aim to improve posture, alleviate discomfort, and prevent further progression of abnormal curvatures. Depending on the severity of the condition and the individual's needs, they are prescribed. Regular use of braces, coupled with expert guidance, can aid in managing lordosis and promoting spinal health.

Lifestyle Modifications

Lifestyle modifications for lordosis include:

  • Maintaining proper posture.
  • Staying active with spine-supportive exercises.
  • Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Practicing ergonomics.
  • Avoiding prolonged sitting.

These changes promote spinal health and alleviate discomfort associated with abnormal curvatures.

Lordosis Surgery

Surgery for lordosis correction is considered in severe cases unresponsive to conservative treatments. Procedures aim to realign the spine, often involving fusion of affected vertebrae with implants or bone grafts. Surgical intervention alleviates pain, improves posture, and enhances spinal health.

Preventinting Lordosis

Preventing lordosis involves:

  • Maintaining good posture during activities.
  • Incorporating exercises that strengthen core muscles.physical 
  • Practicing proper lifting techniques.
  • Avoiding prolonged sitting or standing.

By maintaining a healthy weight, spinal stress is reduced. Ergonomic adjustments in workspaces and regular breaks during sedentary tasks are essential. Regular physical activity, awareness of body mechanics, and timely medical attention can help prevent the development of abnormal spinal curvatures like lordosis.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Contact a medical professional if you experience persistent lower back pain, discomfort, or changes in posture. Seek help if symptoms interfere with daily activities, limit mobility, or worsen over time. Additionally, if you notice symptoms like weakness, numbness, or tingling in the legs, or if you're concerned about developing an abnormal spinal curve, consult a healthcare provider for accurate diagnosis, assessment, and appropriate management.

Living Well with Lordosis: What You Can Expect at Physiotattva

Experience exceptional care for Lordosis at Physiotattva with our personalized assessment, state-of-the-art equipment, and decades of experience in the field. Tailored treatment plans address individual needs, integrating exercises and a holistic approach towards lordosis. Our expert team ensures optimal spinal health, enhanced mobility, and improved quality of life. Partner with Physiotattva for comprehensive guidance and practical strategies today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Which type of deformity is lordosis?

Lordosis is a type of spinal deformity characterized by an exaggerated inward curvature, often occurring in the lower back.

What is the common name for lordosis?

"Swayback" is the common name for lordosis, described as an excessive inward curvature of the spine, especially at the back.

Is lordosis a permanent condition?

Lordosis can be managed and improved with proper treatment, exercise, and lifestyle changes. Its severity and response to treatment determine its permanence.

Can lordosis be treated without surgery?

Yes, lordosis can often be treated without surgery through exercises, physical therapy, lifestyle adjustments, and posture correction.

How do I know if I have lordosis?

Check for exaggerated inward curves in the lower back or neck. If posture appears arched or discomfort arises, consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis.

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