Children with Lordosis
The doctors at Medical City Children’s Orthopedics and Spine Specialists treat children with Lordosis. Lordosis is a deformity of the spine. It’s when the bones of the spine (vertebrae) in the lower back curve inward more than normal. A child with lordosis has a swayback appearance.
If your child needs surgery or casting, our Fracture Care Clinic opens every day and you do not need an appointment. Surgery rooms get scheduled every morning, so your child receives the care and attention they need right away.
Lordosis is the natural curve of the spine’s lower back (lumbar). The lower spine will have a deep curve with an extreme curve, causing the abdomen (stomach area) to stick out and the pelvis (hip areas) to curve back and up. These extreme curves can be caused by poor posture, family genetics (inherited from father or mother), injury, spinal illnesses, or spine surgery.
What Exactly Is Lordosis?
Children with Lordosis are characterized by an abnormally inward curve of the spine. It differs from the normal curves of the spine in the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar regions, which are either kyphotic (near the neck) or lordotic (closer to the low back). The natural curves of the spine position the head over the pelvis and act as shock absorbers during movement to distribute mechanical stress.
Lordosis Comes in Several Varieties
Lordosis affects people of all ages. It mostly affects the lumbar spine, but it can also occur in the neck (cervical). When a herniated disc is found in the lumbar spine, the patient may appear to be swayback, with the buttocks more prominent, and in general, appear to have an exaggerated posture. Lumbar lordosis can also be painful, limiting movement.
The Lower Back Lordosis
The majority of lordosis cases, as previously stated, affect the lower back. If a person has lordosis in the lower back, they can lie on a flat surface with space between their lower back and the surface. Although many people with lordosis experience low back pain, this emanates from other factors like trunk weakness, short hamstrings, and weak thighs rather than the condition itself.
The Neck Lordosis
Cervical lordosis is a type of lordosis of the neck that, while less common than lordosis of the lower back, can occur. It can cause a “swayback” neck, and the curve does not always compress any nerves or vertebrae. However, the curve forces the muscles of the neck to work harder, which can result in neck pain, spasms, and restricted mobility.
Common Causes of Children with Lordosis
Certain disease processes can have a negative impact on the structural integrity of the spine, contributing to lordosis. Among the most common causes are:
- Discitis is defined as inflammation of the intervertebral disc space.
- Kyphosis (also known as a “humpback”) may cause the low back to compensate for an imbalance caused by a curve at a higher level of the spine.
- Obesity may cause some obese people to lean backward in order to improve their balance. This has an adverse effect on posture.
- Osteoporosis is a bone density disorder that can cause vertebrae to lose strength, compromising the structural integrity of the spine.
- Spondylolisthesis occurs when one vertebra slips forward relative to another, most commonly in the lumbar spine.
Doctors often don’t know what causes lordosis. While lordosis usually develops during adolescence, some children are born with a predisposition to the condition.
Children with Lordosis are Frequently Associated with the Following:
- Posture: The muscles surrounding the stomach and lower back support the lumbar spine (abdominal muscles). Children with weak abdominal muscles are more likely to develop lordosis.
- Being overweight puts strain on the lower back and pulls it forward, increasing the risk of lordosis.
- Trauma: Sports-related injuries, mishaps, or severe falls can result in Spondylolysis, a kind of spine fracture. This can cause the spine to weaken and the affected vertebrae to curve at an extreme angle.
- Surgery: Selective dorsal rhizotomy, a minimally invasive surgery used to reduce leg spasticity in some cerebral palsy patients, can result in lordosis.
- Neuromuscular disorders: Children who have disorders that impair nerve and muscle function may develop lordosis. Muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, and other conditions fall into this category.
- Hip problems: Some children with hip developmental dysplasia develop lordosis.
Not all lordosis requires medical attention. When the curve is rigid (fixed), medical evaluation is required.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Children with Lordosis?
The most common symptom of lordosis disease is muscle pain. Your child’s muscles are pulled in different directions when his or her spine curves abnormally, causing them to tighten or spasm. This pain may spread to the neck, shoulders, and upper back if your child has cervical lordosis. Your child might also have restricted movement in his or her neck or lower back. When your child lies on a flat surface, look for a lot of space between the curve of your child’s neck and back and the floor to see if her or she has lordosis. Please make an appointment with our doctors if your child is experiencing any of the following symptoms:
- Electric shock discomfort.
- Poor bladder control.
- Difficulty keeping muscle control.
These symptoms could indicate a more serious condition, such as a trapped nerve.
Children with Lordosis
Lordosis frequently appears in childhood with no known cause. This is known as benign juvenile lordosis. It occurs as a result of weak or tight muscles around your child’s hips. Benign juvenile lordosis usually resolves on its own as your children grow older. Lordosis can also indicate a hip dislocation, especially if your child has been hit by a car or has fallen. Other conditions that can cause lordosis in children are usually associated with the nervous system and muscle issues. These conditions are uncommon, and they include:
- CP (cerebral palsy).
- Myelomeningocele, an inherited condition in which the spinal cord protrudes through a gap in the backbone.
- Muscular dystrophy, a group of inherited muscle-weakening disorders.
- Spinal muscular atrophy, an inherited disorder characterized by involuntary movements.
- Arthrogryposis, a birth defect in which the joints cannot move as freely as they should.
How is Lordosis Identified?
To determine if you have lordosis, our doctor will review your child’s medical history, perform a physical exam, and ask about other symptoms. Our doctor will ask you to bend forward and to the side during the physical exam. They are verifying:
- Whether or not the curve is flexible.
- Your child’s flexibility.
- If your child’s spine is properly aligned.
- if there are any anomalies
They might also ask you questions like:
- When did you first notice your child’s back excessive curve?
- Is the curve deteriorating?
- Is the shape of the curve changing?
- Where is your child experiencing pain?
After our doctor has narrowed down the possible causes, he or she will order tests, such as X-rays of your spine to determine the angle of your lordotic curve. Our doctor will determine if your child has lordosis by comparing the angle to other factors such as height, age, and body mass.
Children with Lordosis Treatment
Unless the case is severe, most children with lordosis do not require medical treatment. The severity of the curve and the presence of other symptoms will determine how your child is treated for lordosis.
Among the treatment options are:
- pain and swelling relief medication
- daily physical therapy to improve muscle strength and range of motion
- weight loss to improve posture
- braces in children and adolescents
- Surgery in severe cases involving neurological issues.
- Dietary supplements such as vitamin D.
Lordosis does not cause significant health problems in the majority of children. However, maintaining a healthy spine is critical because the spine is responsible for much of our movement and flexibility. Failure to treat lordosis may result in long-term discomfort and an increased risk of problems with the:
- hip girdle
- internal organs
How to Avoid Lordosis
While there are no guidelines for preventing lordosis, your child can maintain good posture and spine health by performing some exercises. These exercises can include:
- Shrugging shoulders.
- Side neck tilts.
- Yoga positions like Cat and Bridge pose.
- Leg lifts.
- Stability ball pelvic tilt.
Standing for an extended period of time may alter the curve of a spine. Sitting, according to one study Trusted Source, significantly reduces changes in the lower back curve. Try taking sitting breaks if you find your child standing a lot due to play or habits. You should also ensure that your child’s chair has adequate back support.
Exercises for Lordosis Prevention
In terms of beneficial exercises, our doctor’s have top exercises to prevent and treat lordosis:
Cat-Cow: Your child should perform this exercise for 2 minutes once a day to help strengthen the abdominal muscles and stretch the spine. Place palms and knees on the floor in a “tabletop” position to finish the cat-cow. Inhale for 10 seconds, then lower the spine to the floor in the shape of an upward U. Then, exhale and push the spine up to the ceiling, forming an upside-down U.
The Bent-Knee Exercise entails lying on the floor with feet flat on the ground and knees bent upwards. Place hands at the sides and inhale for 10 seconds. Then, exhale and push your pelvis to the ceiling for 10 seconds. This exercise can aid in easing lower back stress and reversing some of the lordosis-induced inward curvatures. Perform this exercise for 2 minutes once a day.
When Should You See a Doctor About Lordosis?
You do not need to seek treatment if the lordotic curve corrects itself when you bend forward (the curve is flexible). However, if you bend over and the lordotic curve remains (the curve is rigid), you should seek medical attention. You should also seek treatment if your child’s pain is interfering with daily activities. Much of our flexibility, mobility, and daily activities are dependent on spinal health. Our doctors will be able to advise you on how to manage the excess curvature. Treating lordosis now can help prevent complications such as arthritis and chronic back pain later in life.
Call 214-556-0590 to make an appointment.
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