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Lordosis

Lordosis
Classification and external resources
ICD-10 M40.3-M40.5, Q76.4
ICD-9 737.2

Lordosis is a medical term used to describe an inward curvature of a portion of the vertebral column.[1] Two segments of the vertebral column, namely cervical and lumbar, are normally lordotic, that is, they are set in a curve that has its convexity anteriorly (the front) and concavity posteriorly (behind), in the context of human anatomy. When referring to the anatomy of other mammals, the direction of the curve is termed ventral. Curvature in the opposite direction, that is, apex posteriorly (humans) or dorsally (mammals) is termed kyphosis. Excessive or hyperlordosis is commonly referred to as swayback or saddle back.

Contents

Cause

A consequence of the normal lordotic curvatures of the vertebral column, (also known as secondary curvatures) is that there are differences in thickness between the anterior and posterior part of the intervertebral disc. Lordosis may also increase at puberty sometimes not becoming evident until the early or mid-20s. Imbalances in muscle strength and length are also a cause, such as weak hamstrings, or tight hip flexors (psoas).

Excessive lordotic curvature is also called hollow back, saddle back, and swayback. Common causes of excessive lordosis including tight low back muscles, excessive visceral fat, and pregnancy. Although lordosis gives an impression of a stronger back, incongruently it can lead to moderate to severe lower back pain. Loss of lordosis is sometimes seen with painful spinal conditions. If rigid, usually after spinal fusion surgery, it is known as flat-back.

Treatment

Lordosis of the lower back may be treated by strengthening the abdominal muscles and hamstrings, and by stretching the psoas muscles. Back hyper-extensions on a Roman chair or inflatable ball will strengthen the back muscles but may serve to increase the lordosis. Anti-inflammatory pain relievers may be taken as directed for short-term relief. Physical therapy effectively treats 70% of back pain cases due to scoliosis, kyphosis, lordosis and bad posture.[citation needed] Measurement and diagnosis of lumbar lordosis can be difficult. Obliteration of end-plate landmarks by interbody fusion has made the traditional measurement of segmental lumbar lordosis nearly impossible. Because the L4-L5 and L5-S1 levels are most likely to be subjected to fusion procedures or arthroplasty and contribute to more than half of normal lumbar lordosis, it is crucial to identify a reproducible and accurate means of measuring segmental lordosis at these levels.[2][3]

Other

Lordosis behavior refers to the position that some mammalian females (including cats, mice, and rats) display when they are ready to mate ("in heat"). The term is also used to describe mounting behavior in mammalian males.

In radiology, a lordotic view is an X-ray taken of a patient leaning backwards.[4]

See also

  • Lordosis behavior
  • Kyphosis
  • Scoliosis
  • Hyperkyphosis
  • Kyphoscoliosis
  • Pott's disease

Footnotes

  1. Medical Terminology Systems: A Body Systems Approach, 2005
  2. Thomas C. Schuler M.D., F.A.C.S 'Segmental Lumbar Lordosis: Manual Versus Computer-Assisted Measurement Using Seven Different Techniques' J Spinal Disord Tech. 2004 Oct;17(5):372-9 http://www.spinemd.com/publications/articles/segmental-lumbar-lordosis-anual-versus-computer-assisted-measurement-using-seven-different-techniques
  3. Brian R. Subach M.D., F.A.C.S 'Segmental Lumbar Lordosis: Manual Versus Computer-Assisted Measurement Using Seven Different Techniques' J Spinal Disord Tech. 2004 Oct;17(5):372-9 http://www.spinemd.com/publications/articles/segmental-lumbar-lordosis-anual-versus-computer-assisted-measurement-using-seven-different-techniques
  4. http://www.wikiradiography.com/page/Lordotic+Chest+Technique


References

External links



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