Cervical lordosis is a curve in the upper spine (the cervical region), namely the neck vertebrae. The curvature in the spine normally helps to stabilize the head and spine while maintaining balance. The cervical spine is usually in a c-shape (with the C pointing toward the back of the neck) but there are times when the curvature is deeper than normal causing what’s known as cervical lordosis. Cervical lordosis is an abnormal curvature inward in the neck area that makes the head appear to be pushing forward (or protruding) beyond its normal positioning. There is also a reverse lordosis (known as cervical kyphosis) where the cervical spine either straightens up or bows in the other direction.
There are several factors that have been known to cause cervical lordosis. In many cases it is an inherited condition. In most instances cervical lordosis is caused by neglecting to maintain good posture. It can also be caused by injury and/or trauma, stress and strain to the neck. Osteoporosis, which is the thinning of bone tissue and loss of bone density over time and can often be found in the neck region, is also a cause of cervical lordosis. With the thinning of the bone tissue the neck isn’t as sturdy and may be inclined to shift outward in a relaxed state as opposed to maintaining its upright position. There are those who suffer from osteoporosis that find the forward positioning of the neck to feel more normal and accommodating though it can appear awkward.
Outside of osteoporosis, obesity has been known to cause cervical lordosis, as well. Obesity can affect the body’s balance and center by offering a weight and strain to the body that is unnatural so the body is ill-equipped to support and maintain proper posture. The neck is delicate so when there is an added weight applied minus added muscles the neck tends to conform as opposed to offering support.
Many live full lives never knowing that they have cervical lordosis. Cervical lordosis is often accompanied by no pain like symptoms. There are many who do not notice changes in the curvature of the neck as time progresses as the change is often gradual and steady. If the change is brought about due to a type of trauma or if the forward protruding of the neck causes a compression of nerves in the neck region then a pain may be noticed.
Cervical lordosis is usually detected by physician through examinations such as MRI’s and X-rays. These examinations help to determine how cast the changes in the spine curve are and whether or not the changes in the curve are a result of a neurological condition. Unless it is severe, cervical lordosis does not require any medical treatment. If there is a bit of discomfort noticed with cervical lordosis over the counter pain killers should do the trick. If pain killers do not remedy the discomfort, those with cervical lordosis may want to consider physical therapy to assist with regaining proper posture.
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Written By: Updated: June 27,2011