Physiological, necessary for a person, backbends are laid in the first year of a child’s life, at a time when the baby learns to sit, stand and walk. As you grow older, these curves become stronger and serve as a kind of padding, reducing the daily stress on the entire spinal column.
But under the influence of some negative changes, the bends can become excessive or, on the contrary, insufficient, and then it is considered a pathology that requires an appropriate course of treatment. Abnormal lordosis most often occurs in people in the lumbar region, less often in the cervical vertebrae.
What is lordosis?
The term lordosis in the medical literature is usually used to designate such an arch of the spine, which with its convexity is directed anteriorly. Bends in the neck and lower back are considered natural, but only if they are moderately pronounced.
Pathological curvature is most often hyperlordosis, that is, the bend deepens further forward. Less often, hypolordosis occurs, while the natural bend is straightened, that is, smoothed out.
Pathological changes in the deflection of the cervical segment can occur due to the negative influence of injuries, diseases with severe metabolic disorders, and neoplasms. Often, such a pathology is provoked by scar tissue contraction after 3-4 degree burns.
Neck lordosis can be with excessive protrusion of the vertebrae forward or smoothed, in the latter case, osteochondrosis most often becomes the leading cause .
External signs of lordosis of the neck are practically invisible at the first stage of this disease, but as it progresses, the defect will be clearly visible to others. You can pay attention to:
- Change in the normal position of the head. With hyperlordosis, the head is always pushed forward and its low position is revealed.
- Incorrect posture.
Both hypolordosis and hyperlordosis lead to the fact that the normal anatomical location of the canal, in which the vessels and nerves pass, changes. In this case, the blood supply to a part of the brain and the innervation of some organs are disturbed. Such changes cause:
- Pain in the head of varying intensity.
- Dizziness and occasional darkening in the eyes.
- Numbness of the cervical spine.
- Fatigue, decreased immunity.
As the pathological lordosis worsens, the load on the underlying segments of the spine also increases, and this leads to a change in a person’s gait. With pronounced degrees of abnormal curvature, the knees will move apart during movement, and the abdominal bulging is noticeable.
Curvature of the lumbar spine
Pathological curvature in the lower back can be caused both by diseases of the spine itself, and by certain disorders in the hip joint. With a disease, the center of gravity shifts, which further exacerbates the deflection.
Regardless of whether the angle of bending is increased or smoothed, the majority of patients have the following symptoms:
- Back pain and most of all in the lower back. Soreness often increases markedly with increased physical effort, prolonged walking.
- Outwardly, there is a change in posture. When lordosis deviates excessively in a person, the abdomen protrudes noticeably forward, the buttocks move more posteriorly, and the stronger the degree of hyperlordosis, the more clearly these defects are. In a person with flattened lordosis, the back is flattened, no protrusion of the abdomen is noted.
- With hypolordosis, when sitting and in a horizontal position, there is a rapid fatigue of the entire back, an increased bending anteriorly provokes the onset of pain when a person is on his stomach.
- The gait is disturbed and looks more like a duck.
As the severity of the pathological curvature worsens, other symptoms join, the person begins to worry:
- Periodically numbness in the lower extremities.
- Disturbances in the process of urination, problems with bowel movements.
- Sleep worsens.
- In women, menstruation malfunctions occur, gynecological diseases intensify or primarily occur.
- In men, erection worsens.
A pathological change in the absence of a course of correct treatment and correction leads to the fact that the degree of deviation becomes more and more and this leads to all sorts of rather serious consequences.
In medicine, several classifications of lordosis are used.
By localization of the curvature itself:
- Lumbar lordosis.
- Cervical lordosis.
According to the etiology of the development of abnormal lordosis, there are:
- Primary. It develops as a result of certain changes affecting the spinal column in any part of it.
- Secondary occurs as a compensatory reaction to lesions of the femur, hip joints.
According to the degree of mobility, lordosis is divided into:
- Unfixed (first stage of pathology). At this stage, a person is able to independently give his spine a natural position. Treatment of non-fixed lordosis is considered the most optimal and effective.
- Partially fixed is set when there is a restriction in natural mobility, soreness during physical exertion or attempts to straighten the lower back on their own.
- A fixed type of lordosis is when it is almost impossible to return the torso to the position laid down by nature.
According to the form, lordosis of the spine is divided into:
- Physiological, they are located in the neck and lower back. These bends are formed even in a child in the first months of his life.
- Pathological, these are hypolordosis or flattening and hyperlordosis.
In fact, there are many reasons leading to pathological lordosis. These are congenital anomalies of the musculoskeletal system, osteochondrosis, severe metabolic disorders, overweight, and improper posture.
In children, lordosis is most often determined by:
- With rickets.
- Due to cerebral palsy and trauma during childbirth.
- With dysplasia of the pelvic joints.
In adolescents, the main reason for excessive curvature is a sharp jump in body growth, insufficient physical fitness and a systematic violation of posture in the sitting and standing position.
In adults, the development of pathology occurs with diseases such as:
- Spinal lesions – spondylolisthesis, chronic osteochondrosis, ankylosing spondylitis.
- Spinal neoplasms, metastases.
- Systemic diseases – rheumatism, lupus erythematosus, diabetes.
- Obesity puts unnecessary stress on the spinal column.
- Inflammatory or other abnormal processes in the muscles, as a result of which the spine cannot be supported in the desired position by the muscle corset.
Women have a tendency to form excessive curvature during pregnancy. Especially this disease often occurs if there were already certain pathologies of the body’s support before conception.
The lack of treatment for pathological lordosis and the inevitable increase in bending lead to the fact that not only the functions of the corresponding parts of the spine are disrupted, but also the work of many internal organs changes for the worse.
Complications of lordosis, characterized by excessive bulge, include:
- Inflammation of muscle groups in the lower back and neck.
- Instability of the spinal column, leading to prolapse of discs and the development of hernias.
- Spinal cord compression.
As the disease progresses, the situation with normal posture is aggravated, it becomes quite difficult for a person to walk, disturbances in the intestines increase, during the work of the heart, lungs, and kidneys. In women, severe lordosis often leads to problems with conception or bearing a fetus.
Consequences of flattening
With smoothness, lordoses are completely straightened or there is only a slight bulge. With prolonged curvature, the following pathological changes are observed:
- The spinal cord contracts. This is expressed at first by periodic numbness in the arms and legs, a violation of normal gait. In the future, incontinence develops or vice versa, difficulty in the outflow of urine.
- Demyelination, that is, damage to the outer sheath of the nerves. This leads to the onset of pain with any of the most insignificant influences and to paresis with paralysis.
- The vertebrae are displaced, in turn, this creates the prerequisites for trauma to nearby tissues, muscles, the vascular bundle and the spinal cord itself.
- With lumbar flattening, the normal position of the intestines often changes. As a result, this causes problems with peristalsis, constant flatulence, persistent discomfort, and constipation appear.
- With smoothness in the cervical spine, the work of the vertebral artery is disrupted, which, as a result, often becomes the cause of ischemic strokes.
How to treat?
Complex treatment in the early stages of pathological changes in the bulge is the most effective.
It is necessary to use simultaneously not only medicines, but also physiotherapy procedures, various exercises, folk methods.
Treatment should be persistent and daily, only this will allow the person to prevent further progression of the disorder in the spine. With lordosis with the greatest severity, surgery is often proposed.
Of the physiotherapy techniques, in most cases, they are prescribed:
- Massage. It is performed in courses at least twice a year until the stabilization of lordosis is noted.
- Electrophoresis with drugs, magnetotherapy relieve pain, relax muscles, increase the flow of blood and nutrients to the affected area. Usually appoint up to 10 sessions of physiotherapy.
- Traction is performed only if it is established that there is no significant deformation of the vertebral segments. The stretching procedure is used to relieve muscle spasm and stretch segments.
- Swimming is a great way to strengthen muscles, which is necessary to prevent further pathological process.
A set of physical activities for pathologies of the spine is selected for people on an individual basis. The main goal of the classes is to strengthen muscles, improve nutrition in cells and tissues, relieve stress from the spine.
The elementary recommended exercises for lordosis of the cervical and lumbar spine include the following:
- It is necessary to lie down with your back on the floor, while your legs are thrown onto a nearby chair so that there is a right angle between your hips and knees. Then one of the hands is placed between the floor itself and the lower back. The exercise consists in bringing the lower back to the floor, which is controlled by means of the hand, at the same time you can move the pelvis forward and draw in the stomach.
- To eliminate problems with the cervical spine, head tilting in different directions is recommended. When bending to the side, it is necessary to ensure that the ear approaches the shoulder.
- From a standing position, make bends, trying to cover the shins with your hands.
The effectiveness of physical exercises, first of all, depends on the constancy of their implementation. It is necessary to set aside time for a set of classes every day.
Treatment with medicines is prescribed at the initial detection of the disease, with exacerbations of the symptoms of lordosis and to eliminate other pathologies of the spinal column.
The therapy regimen mainly consists of the following drugs:
- Anti-inflammatory drugs . Use tablets for systemic exposure and ointments externally, when they are used, inflammation decreases, anesthesia occurs.
- Vitamin therapy helps to improve biochemical processes and nutrition of vertebral tissues.
- Muscle relaxants are prescribed to relax the muscles.
- With osteochondrosis, chondroprotectors are prescribed in a course .
Surgical intervention is offered to the patient when conservative methods do not give positive changes and the situation with pathological curvature is aggravated.
Various techniques are used; during the operation, the spine can be straightened and fixed in this position with the help of selected fixators. In another variant, the changed discs are replaced with implants and thus the abnormal curvature is eliminated.
Of the folk methods, methods are often used to improve metabolic processes in the body and to relieve inflammation. In addition to herbal preparations with a similar mechanism of action, used internally, compresses applied to the area of pain are also used. With their help, soreness and discomfort is reduced.
Corsets for lordosis are especially indicated when the curvature begins to form in children. The selection of the corrective device is selected according to individual parameters and in order to achieve correction the child must wear a corset most of the day.
Supporting corsets are also necessary in order to prevent further strengthening of the pathology.
The main preventive measures to prevent abnormal lordosis include:
- Normal and constant physical activity. A person must constantly move, during sedentary work there should be breaks for kneading the muscles.
- Sports activities. Sports loads strengthen the muscle corset, this has a positive effect on the state of the entire support of the human body.
- Timely treatment of all diseases. Metabolic disorders, hormonal disruptions, diseases of the musculoskeletal system can provoke a pathological curvature. If these pathologies are treated in time, then the risk from lordosis will be minimal.
- Obesity prevention.
- Correct posture when performing any type of work.