Lordosis is defined as a curvature of the spine in an anterior-convex manner, i.e. the central portion is further forward than the two extremities. Lordosis is normal in two part of the spine. This is the case for cervical lordosis for the vertebrae located in the neck, between the head and upper back, and lumbar lordosis in the vertebrae of the same name, making a bend in the lower back, just above the buttocks. Between these two parts of the spine, there should be another normal curvature, but in the other sense: posterior convexity. Kyphosis
, on the other hand, is where the central part is more posterior than both ends. Constitutional anomalies or adoption of poor posture can increase lordosis. Hyperlordosis must be recognized if it is present at the beginning of puberty, because growth can significantly increase these disorders and cause irreversible deformation.
Signs to highlight lordosis are visible; they are based on the pronunciation of the curvature at the back. If the curvature is not very pronounced, it will be more difficult to detect. Abnormalities of the "static spine," the physiological curvature of the spine, are sought mainly during the phase of adolescence, and are visible in the form of abnormal posture in the standing position or when moving.
The diagnosis is made after a thorough medical examination. The doctor will ask the child to stand straight and adopt different positions to see the deformations. The diversity of positions taken will identify areas of deformation accurately, in order to better adapt the treatment. In case of doubt, an X-ray of the spine, often in its entirety, will be done. Sometimes a CT scan or MRI imaging will complete the assessment.
Treatment will aim to reduce the deformation and thus the generated curvature.
Rehabilitation sessions will therefore be implemented. They will be supported by a physiotherapist (strengthening and stretching exercises, postures...). Medical treatment has little impact on lordosis. Eventually, an analgesic therapy may be considered if pain is felt continuously. In case of severe curvature, a brace may be necessary to prevent the accentuation of lordosis. Surgeries are rarely considered and only for very advanced cases.
Original article published by
. Translated by Jeff