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Cervical Lordosis: What Is It and How Is It Treated?

By Last updated on September 15th, 2022September 15th, 2022No Comments

The mobility of the neck, as well as muscle and nerve function throughout the body, are all dependent on a healthy cervical spine. The cervical lordosis is made up of seven vertebrae that are found inside the anatomy of the neck.

This form provides for a proper range of motion in the head and neck while also supporting the weight of the head. An irregular shape can cause discomfort, pain, and even health problems.

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What Is Cervical Lordosis?

In the neck, upper back, and lower back, everyone’s spine bends slightly. The lordotic (neck and lower back) and kyphotic (upper back) curves are what give your spine its S shape (upper back).

They benefit your body in the following ways:

  • Absorbs shock
  • Supports the head’s weight
  • Aligns your head over your pelvis
  • Maintains and stabilizes the structures of the neck
  • Bend and move with flexibility

Your natural lordotic curvature, which is normal, is referred to as lordosis. However, lordosis, or swayback, occurs when your curvature curves too far inward. Lordosis is a condition that affects the lower back and neck. Excessive pressure on the spine might result, producing pain and discomfort.

If it’s severe and untreated, it might impair your ability to move. Treatment for lordosis is determined by the severity of the curvature and the cause of lordosis. If your lower back curvature reverses as you bend forward, it’s not a medical emergency. 

Physical treatment and everyday exercises can most likely help you manage your illness. However, if the curvature remains the same as you bend forward, you should visit a doctor. 

What Causes Cervical Lordosis?

What Causes Cervical Lordosis

The cervical lordosis condition can occur to anyone of any age. There are instances in which a direct injury to the cervical spine or injury due to persistent muscle spasms may change the degree of the neck curvature. More common causes of cervical lordosis are:

  • Postural changes: A change in the curvature can happen over time with habitually poor posture when standing, frequent weightlifting activity, or abnormal sitting posture.
  • Congenital conditions: There may be a slightly visible change in the neck spine at birth. This can be due to development within the womb or trauma to the neck during birth, whether by natural delivery or cesarean section.
  • Musculoskeletal conditions: Medical conditions affecting the spine can cause a curvature change. This may be seen with scoliosis, kyphosis (forward rounding of the back), and spondylolisthesis (sliding lower vertebrae). In osteoporosis, the bones of the spine can become weak over time and shift, while the conditions of discitis or disc herniation can alter the spinal discs.

Symptoms of Cervical Lordosis

An excessive inward bend of the spine is the distinguishing feature of lordosis. The buttocks and stomach region may protrude depending on the location of lordosis. A person with lordosis may find it difficult to lie flat on the floor due to the curvature in their back.

In many circumstances, lordosis changes a person’s look but does not produce any symptoms. Severe lordosis, on the other hand, might result in:

  • Neck or back pain
  • Sciatica; a term used by doctors to describe discomfort that extends into the legs and foot
  • Numbness or tingling 

Occasionally, lordosis can result in a person losing control of their bladder or bowels, as well as abrupt, acute leg discomfort or paralysis. If this occurs, they should seek medical attention.

Diagnosis of Cervical Lordosis

Because of the different degrees of cervical lordosis, a physical examination and a patient’s medical history may not be enough to provide a correct diagnosis. It’s possible that more X-rays and diagnostic screening may be necessary. As with degenerating discs, many examinations over time may reveal alterations in the spine and the specific reason.

Once a cervical lordosis diagnosis is made, treatment options are determined by the amount of the curvature and whether or not discomfort is present. To relieve any strain on the nerves and prevent additional curvature, postural physical therapy is frequently employed. Medication, compresses, focused exercises, or the use of a supportive device such as a neck brace can all be used to treat muscular spasms and related discomfort.

Reversal of Cervical Lordosis

When contemplating the difficulties that might occur from cervical lordosis, the significance of effective therapy becomes clear. Treatment of the curvature, in addition to addressing bad posture, can help to avoid future spinal injuries.

The vertebrae are supposed to act as shock absorbers for the spine, and any degradation or change in location caused by cervical curvature might result in spinal damage. This is also evident in degenerative disc disease and joint disease.

Another danger of cervical lordosis is a disturbance of the brain’s vital nutrients and oxygen sources. Hypertension, discomfort, lethargy, nausea, dizziness, and even sleeplessness are all possible side effects.

Preventing disorders that affect the alignment of the spine, such as osteoporosis or the permanent use of a back or neck brace, can be as simple as paying attention to and taking care to avoid any aberrant curvature.

Exercises for Cervical Lordosis

You can use a variety of neck curvature exercises to aid with cervical lordosis. Working with a professional to verify you’re completing neck lordosis exercises appropriately is recommended.
If you’re practicing these exercises at home, monitor yourself for any sudden discomfort, pain, or tingling sensations. 

 

If you have any of these symptoms, or any other unusual pain or discomfort, stop doing the exercises immediately and see your doctor. The goal of these at-home workouts is to aid in the rehabilitation process. 

Seated chin nodding​

  1. Place a cloth over the back of your neck and sit up straight.
  2. Keep both ends of the cloth in your hands.
  3. Look all the way down, then gently raise your eyes. Nodding your head up and down is comparable to this.
  4. Perform 1-2 sets of 8-10 repetitions.

You can use a resistance band in place of a towel.

Seated chin tuck​

  1. Sit up straight and direct your eyes forward.
  2. Push your head back as far as you can comfortably with one hand on your chin.
  3. For 1-2 seconds, stay in this position.
  4. Move your neck backward and forwards slowly.
  5. Perform 1-2 sets of 8-10 repetitions.

Upper thoracic and shoulder extension​

  1. Place a big towel beneath your back after rolling it up.
  2. Place the towel parallel to your upper thoracic spine and lie down. If you’re on a workout bench, this is the greatest way to do it.
  3. Lay with your arms at 90 degrees and slightly stretched out to the sides.
  4. Pull your shoulder blades together and keep them there for 1-2 seconds before relaxing.
  5. Perform 1-2 sets of 8-10 repetitions.

Orthobiologic Treatment for Cervical Lordosis

Regenerative medicine is gaining popularity in several orthopedic, spine, and sports injuries. It includes orthobiologic treatments, which are cell-based therapies and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy. These methods are non-invasive, less painful, and have a shorter recovery period. 

At CELLAXYS, we perform two types of orthobiologic treatment for cervical lordosis:

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy

PRP therapy takes blood from the patient’s own body, processes the blood sample, and isolates platelets. These platelets are then reinjected into the injury site to promote healing. Platelets are healing components containing 10 Growth Factors that promote the growth of healthy tissues. 

They also release chemical signals to attract healthy cells in the blood and produce fibrin, a sticky web-like scaffolding to support the development of new tissues.

PRP is a popular treatment for several sports-related injuries and is an outpatient procedure, meaning you can go home right after the process. The process is complete in about 45 minutes. 

Cell-based therapies

Also known as stem cell therapies, this treatment is one of the most effective solutions to treat pain associated with an abnormality of cervical lordosis. The cells are harvested from the patient’s body, processed, and then reinjected into the injury site. 

Depending on the condition, the doctor may opt for one of the two types of cell-based therapies:

  • Minimally Manipulated Adipose Tissue (MMAT) transplant: It involves harvesting healthy cells from your adipose (fat) tissue, processing them, and replacing them with damaged cells. 
  • Bone Marrow Concentrate (BMAC): It takes highly concentrated cells from your bone marrow and reinjects them into the injury site

Both cell-based therapies are completed within 1.5 to 2 hours. Like PRP, they are also an outpatient procedure. The doctor uses live X-rays or ultrasounds to detect the exact transplant locations. According to orthopedics, advancement in regenerative treatments has made it possible for doctors to treat diseases like cervical lordosis.

Dr. Pouya Mohajer

Director of Regenerative Interventional Spine Medicine
Board certification in Anesthesiology and Interventional Pain Medicine
Fellowship-trained from Harvard University
UCLA Alumni

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