The lumbar area of the spine is naturally curved to enable our bodies to bend and move in comfort. This natural curvature is generally referred to as lordosis. Though mild lordosis is normal, when the curvature becomes exaggerated, patients may experience chronic pain and symptoms. This exaggerated curve is also called saddleback, swayback and hollowback at times.
Causes of lordosis
There are a number of conditions that can contribute to the development of lordosis. These often include:
- Spondylolisthesis – As one vertebra slips forward and over the adjacent vertebra the spine may experience an increased amount of pressure, causing the lower curvature to become exaggerated.
- Obesity – Patients struggling with obesity may find that their posture places an increased amount of pressure on this area of the spine. This can lead to the spine naturally beginning to curve.
- Kyphosis – Patients with severe kyphosis may develop an exaggerated lordotic curve. This is generally the body’s response to gaining balance when the curvature in the upper area of the spine becomes overstated.
- Discitis – Most common in children, an intervertebral disc infection can cause swelling that can manipulate the form of the lower spine.
- Osteoporosis – As the bone begins to weaken and dissipate, patients may experience the levels of the spine bending and taking on greater curvature.
Surgery and lordosis
Dependent on the level and severity of the condition, your physician may recommend a number of treatment options. For mild lordosis, the first form of treatment is generally monitoring and low-impact exercise and strengthening. For many patients, the pain and symptoms that are being associated with their lordosis may be caused by other underlying conditions such as bone spurs, bulging or herniated discs and spinal stenosis. Laser Spine Institute offers effective alternatives to traditional procedures through our minimally invasive procedures.
For patients with severe lordosis, often the best treatment is an open back fusion. However, before moving forward with any surgery it is important to understand all of the options available to you. For more information, or to see if you may be a candidate for one of our minimally invasive procedures, contact Laser Spine Institute today.