Hyperlordosis
En Español (Spanish Version)

Definition
Lordosis is a normal inward curve in the lower back and neck. Hyperlordosis, or swayback, occurs when the angle of the inward curve is exaggerated. The sooner hyperlordosis is treated, the better the outcome.

Hyperlordosis

The shadowed spine to the left shows ideal lordosis.
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Causes
The exact cause of hyperlordosis is often unknown.

Risk Factors
Factors that may increase your chances of hyperlordosis include:

  • Achondroplasia—a genetic disorder that results in abnormal cartilage growth and dwarfism
  • Spondylolisthesis—displaced vertebrae of back
  • Neuromuscular disorders such as muscular dystrophy or cerebral palsy
  • Congenital abnormalities of the spine
  • Back surgery
  • Hip disorders
  • Poor posture
  • Abnormal vertebral bodies—more commonly found in children with hyperlordosis
  • Hyperkyphosis—An exaggerated outward curve of the thoracic spine
  • Osteoporosis
  • Disc problems
  • Obesity
Symptoms
Often times there are no symptoms with hyperlordosis. Depending on the degree of abnormal curving, you may experience back pain.

Diagnosis
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. During the physical, your doctor may ask you to bend and move your back. Hyperlordosis can be seen during the exam. Some tests may be done to rule out or confirm other conditions that may be causing hyperlordosis.

Your doctor may recommend imaging tests to see the spinal curve and the structures around it. These may include:

Treatment
For mild cases of hyperlordosis, treatment is often not necessary. You may need additional treatment to resolve any underlying conditions that contribute to your hyperkyphosis. Your doctor may refer to you a specialist who treats spinal disorders.

Options include the following:

Physical Therapy
Your doctor may refer you to a therapist to learn specific exercises. Exercises may be used to strengthen muscles and increase range of motion. You may also be taught how to maintain a correct posture.

Medications
Medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be given for discomfort or to decrease swelling.

Back Brace
Braces are sometimes used with children. The brace can make sure the curve doesn’t worsen as they grow.

Surgery
Surgery may be used when the curve is severe, progresses, or when other treatment methods fail. The goal of surgery is to correct the exaggeration of the curve. The spine is corrected with a metal rod, hooks, or screws in the back bones. Surgeons also use a bone graft to promote new growth and stability.

Prevention
There are no current guidelines to prevent hyperlordosis.




RESOURCES:
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

North American Spine Society

CANADIAN RESOURCES:
Canadian Orthopaedic Association

Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation

References:
Acute low back pain. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated November 22, 2013. Accessed February 7, 2014.

Lordosis. Children’s Hospital Boston website. Available at: http://www.childrenshospital.org/az/Site1095/mainpageS1095P0.html. Accessed February 7, 2014.

Lordosis. Seattle Children’s Hospital website. Available at: http://www.seattlechildrens.org/medical-conditions/bone-joint-muscle-conditions/spinal-conditions-treatment/scoliosis/lordosis. Accessed February 7, 2014.

Spine basics. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Ortho Info website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00575. Updated December 2013. Accessed February 7, 2014.

Swayback (Lordosis). Cedars Sinai Health System website. Available at: http://www.cedars-sinai.edu/Patients/Health-Conditions/Swayback-Lordosis.aspx. Accessed February 7, 2014.

Vialle R, Khouri N, et al. Lumbar hyperlordosis of neuromuscular origin: pathophysiology and surgical strategy for correction. Int Orthop. 2007;31(4):513-523.

Last Reviewed February 2014



Health Information Library content is provided by EBSCO Publishing, fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.

 

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

 

To send comments or feedback to EBSCO's Editorial Team regarding the content please e-mail healthlibrarysupport@ebscohost.com.