Lordosis

Overview

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.

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Causes

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.

Lordosis Symptoms

  • 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
  • Fatigue
  • Back pain
  • Loss of range-of-motion
  • Tenderness in the spine
  • Stiffness in the spine

Diagnosis

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.

man in physical therapy

Lordosis Treatment

We focus on Minimally invasive 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.

Can Minimally Invasive Lordosis Treatment Be just as Effective as Surgery?

As often as possible, doctors try to treat Lordosis using non-surgical techniques. Modalities like physical therapy can help strengthen the muscles that support the spine and may improve range of motion to some degree. However, when the curvature of the spine has reached a certain degree, surgical correction is deemed the most effective approach. Coastal Spine has multiple locations across NJ to assist you. Our team specializes in orthopedic surgery, pain management, and athletic training techniques that get results. We will devise a treatment plan around your needs and preferences using the most conservative therapies possible.

If Physical Therapy is the Best Option, How Long Will I Likely Need PT?

The length of time that you may need physical therapy to improve the effects of Lordosis will depend on the severity of your condition and other factors. Physical therapy can achieve remarkable results in three to six months. To promote efficient rehabilitation, it is imperative that you follow your physical therapist's instructions for performing exercises both during your sessions and in between them. Your therapist will demonstrate proper exercises for you, teach you how to perform them, evaluate your performance of them, and then recommend the frequency and intensity with which your physical therapy should be performed at home. Physical therapy does not cure lordosis but it can help manage pain and other symptoms.

Are These Lordosis Treatment Options Usually Covered Under Insurance?

Insurance coverage may be available for the treatment of Lordosis. To determine the amount of coverage, approvals, copays, and other details related to your treatment, it is wise to contact your insurance provider directly. Coastal Spine works with a variety of private health insurances, as well as all AmeriHealth and QualCare Insurance Plans. If you have questions, please feel free to contact our insurance department.

What Happens if I Don't Receive Lordosis Treatment Soon Enough?

Some people with lordosis do not require treatment. If, when you bend forward, your spinal curvature does not straighten, your symptoms may worsen without proper care. Your doctor can perform a thorough consultation and examination of your back to determine if clinical intervention or management is necessary. Depending on the severity of lordosis, internal organs may be affected.

Are Minimally Invasive Lordosis Treatments Painful?

Minimally invasive treatments for lordosis should not be painful but they may be uncomfortable. Physical therapy is the most common ongoing treatment for this condition. This modality involves teaching the body to move differently while simultaneously strengthening the muscles around the affected area. Physical therapy exercise can be tiring and uncomfortable as the body gets used to moving in a different way. Your physical therapist may perform ancillary treatments like ultrasound therapy to minimize inflammation, stiffness, and discomfort. You may also need to use ice, heat, or over-the-counter medication to alleviate temporary discomfort after lordosis treatment.

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