Lordosis: symptoms and treatment
The lordosis is the curvature of the cervical and lumbar spine, in which the convexity is facing forward. This anatomical feature can have a physiological and pathological character. Physiological lordosis — a natural phenomenon that provides full-fledged operation of the entire musculoskeletal system, pathological represents a serious danger to health and requires compulsory treatment.
Description of the disease
The spine of a healthy person should have 4 mandatory bends: cervical and lumbar (lordosis of the spine), as well as thoracic and sacral (kyphosis). It is thanks to this feature that the body can withstand various loads, and the body — fully functioning. Natural physiological lordosis is formed in infants after the first year of life, lordosis pathology can appear at any age.
In modern medicine, several types of this anatomical phenomenon are distinguished on the following grounds:
- Localization (cervical and lumbar);
- By origin (primary and secondary)
- According to the form (physiological, pathological hypo- and hyperlordiasis)
- Depending on the mobility of the spinal column (fixed, unfixed, partially fixed).
Primary curvature of the spine develops due to pathologies that occurred directly in the vertebrae or affected them. These are benign and malignant tumors, inflammations, osteochondrosis and trauma, congenital malformations and anomalies, excess weight, etc.
Secondary cervical and lumbar lordosis is formed under the influence of problems in other departments of the musculoskeletal system and is called to restore the balance of the body. The main reasons — hip dislocations, poliomyelitis, spastic paresis of the legs, rheumatoid arthritis, pregnancy, etc.
Pathology with the prefix «hypo» means rectification of the lordosis of the cervical spine or lumbar spine. The causes of this pathology usually become congenital anomalies, sports and car injuries, osteochondrosis in old age, intervertebral hernia. Hyperlordosis of the cervical or lumbar spine is an increased curvature of the vertebral column forward, which can be caused by a whole complex of causes, from congenital injuries to excess weight, age pathologies and bearing of the baby.
Symptoms of cervical lordosis
Pathological cervical lordosis develops in schoolchildren due to violation of posture during reading, home and classroom activities, in adults — due to improper sitting in front of the computer and TV. Primary lordosis of the cervical spine also develops as a complication after a serious inflammation or tumor, secondary cervical lordosis (hypo- and hyper-) often results from birth trauma.
Hyperlordosis of the cervical spine reveals itself with such symptoms:
- The head is low and set sharply forward
- A clear violation of posture with a clear neck bend;
- Pain during palpation of the affected neck;
- Severe pain when turning the head
- The patient practically does not turn his head to the right and left and does not move his shoulders because of severe discomfort.
If the cervical lordosis is straightened, then primarily the mobility of the neck and thoracic spine is markedly reduced, blood circulation is broken, resulting in the brain receiving inadequate nutrition. With this syndrome, any displacement of the vertebrae of the neck can lead to fainting and even ischemic stroke.
Straightening of cervical lordosis can be accurately recognized by the following features:
- Severe neck pain
- A constant sense of fatigue and a depressed mood
- Frequent headaches and dizziness;
- Numbness of the scalp and neck
- Periodic darkening in the eyes;
- Reduced appetite;
- Violation of metabolic processes.
With the started forms of pathology of the cervical part, the cardiovascular and respiratory systems suffer: there are disruptions in breathing, disturbances of the heart rhythm.
Symptoms of lumbar lordosis
The pathological lordosis of the lumbar region leads to overstrain of the muscular skeleton and ligamentous apparatus of the spine, as well as violations in the work of the organs of the cardiac and digestive systems. The main manifestations of this pathology can be divided into 3 groups — pain in the lumbar region, external deformation of the skeleton and internal symptoms.
The lumbar pathology in the degree of «hyper» has the following symptoms:
- Pain sensations in the lumbar region (severe attacks or persistent aching pain)
- Noticeable impairment of posture due to curved waist
- The abdomen is strongly protruded, with excess weight, the curvature only increases;
- The pelvis and the whole body are tilted backwards
- Knees are moving apart;
- Walking and long standing on the feet quickly tire.
If the lumbar lordosis is smoothed out, the compression syndromes associated with squeezing the nerve roots of the spinal cord in the lumbar region come to the fore. Painful sensations in this case can occur in different places: in the spine, in the heart, in the stomach, etc. In such a disease, it is important to consider all the symptoms that can signal problems with the back.
When in the lumbar lordosis rectified, there are such signs:
- Pain and limited mobility in the lumbar region
- Rapid fatigue when walking and standing;
- Numbness of back and legs
- Changed gait
- Your back feels unnaturally flat when you feel it.
In the absence of treatment, internal organs also begin to suffer: arrhythmia, pressing pains in the heart, digestive difficulties and constipation, metabolic disorders.
Diagnosis and treatment
To diagnose the curvature and straightening of physiological lordosis, the following methods are used: palpation, x-ray (side-view image), computed tomography and MRI.
Before treating lordosis lumbar or cervical directly, it is necessary to eliminate the cause that caused the defect: cure trauma or osteochondrosis, eliminate inflammation, get rid of excess weight, etc. For the treatment of primary pathology, surgery may be required; Secondary curvature or straightening is usually treated conservatively.
The main methods of treating different types of lordosis are:
- Manual and acupuncture;
- Back and neck massage
- Curative physical training courses
- Using an orthopedic corset
- Spinal column extension
If the development of physiological lordosis — a sign of full growth and development of the child’s body, then the pathological curvature of the spine at any age can cause irreparable harm to health. Therefore, it is so important to carry out preventive measures for a healthy back since the school period and all life.
To prevent the lordosis of the cervical spine, as well as the curvature and straightening of the lumbar spine, you must follow simple rules:
- Monitor your posture in all situations.
- Do not overload your back.
- Perform light workouts during the work day (especially for office workers).
- During pregnancy wear a special bandage.
- Go in for sports and walk more often.
- Monitor diet and take multivitamin complexes for a healthy spine (vitamins B, D and A, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus).
- If you have any suspicious symptoms, consult a doctor.
Cervical and lumbar lordosis is at the same time an anatomical feature of a healthy person and a dangerous pathology. To prevent the transformation of physiological lordosis into a serious back disease, it is important to know all the symptoms and observe the simplest preventive measures.