Lordosis (Swayback): All You Need to Know

Lordosis, also known as ‘Swayback’, is a spine condition that can occur for different reasons and the effects to the body may vary from person to person. In most cases, if the back is flexible, lordosis does not require treatment, as it is unlikely to worsen or lead to any complications.

Let’s take a closer look at what lordosis is, what might be causing it, and different ways to treat it, including exercises that you can do.

What is Lordosis or Swayback?

Lordosis, or ‘swayback’, is a medical condition marked by an abnormal curvature of the spine, usually in the lower back which causes pain and discomfort. Lordosis can affect the cervical spine (neck), thoracic spine (upper and mid back), lumbar spine (lower back), and sacral spine (tailbone).

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Source: https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases–conditions/spine-basics/

For those with lordosis, it can be difficult to find comfortable positions for sitting and sleeping. It can also be difficult to engage in activities and hobbies that require standing or sitting for extended periods of time. In addition, lordosis can make it difficult to engage in physical activities, as the pain and discomfort can limit the amount of exertion a person can handle.

What are the different types of Lordosis

Lordosis can happen in all age groups–young, adult, pregnant women. Lordosis changes your posture, and the effects depend on where you have it. Learn if your lordosis is manageable or it’s too extreme that it requires medical attention.

There are three main types of lordosis and each has its own characteristics and causes: 

  • Cervical Lordosis

Cervical lordosis is a curved spine in the neck area, and is commonly seen in people who have to look down frequently, such as those who use computers or those who work in an office. This type of lordosis can cause neck pain and stiffness, as well as headaches and difficulty turning the head. 

  • Lumbar Lordosis

It is an abnormal curvature in the lower back which is often caused by weak abdominal muscles, obesity, or pregnancy. This type of lordosis is characterized by a swayback or an excessive arching of the lower spine, which can cause lower back pain, leg pain, or difficulty standing or walking. 

  • Thoracic Lordosis

It is an abnormal curvature in the upper back or mid-back region. It is caused by poor posture or an injury and can cause pain in the upper back, neck, and shoulders. It can also be caused by poor posture, muscle imbalances, or other conditions such as scoliosis or kyphosis.

Common Causes of Lordosis

Certain diseases can weaken the spine’s structure and lead to an excessive inward curvature of the spine which can cause discomfort and restrict mobility.

For people with lordosis, some of the common causes include:

  • Poor posture and slouching
  • Muscular imbalances
  • Spinal abnormalities
  • Hip problems
  • Traumatic injury
  • Neuromuscular condition
  • Obesity
  • Scoliosis
  • Pregnancy
  • Other genetic conditions

Treatment of Lordosis

Not all types of lordosis require medical attention. However, if the curve is rigid and the patient is not able to move, it is important to seek medical help. Treatment is often tailored to the underlying cause of lordosis, and can be treated with a combination of physical therapy, medications, and lifestyle changes. 

  1. Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is a key component in treating lordosis. A physical therapist can teach exercises to help strengthen and stretch the muscles in the back, abdomen, and hips. This can help to improve posture, reduce pain, and improve flexibility. 

  1. Medications

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help to reduce pain and inflammation associated with lordosis. Corticosteroids may also be prescribed to reduce inflammation.

  1. Lifestyle Changes

It is important to maintain an appropriate body weight and to practice good posture. Avoid activities that involve bending and twisting of the spine. Additionally, avoid activities that involve lifting heavy objects.

  1. Surgery: 

If conservative treatments do not improve symptoms, surgery may be recommended. Surgery is usually only recommended for severe cases of lordosis, and will depend on the underlying cause of the condition. No matter what type of surgery is recommended, it is important to discuss the risks and benefits of the procedure with your doctor to determine if it is the right choice for you.

No matter what treatment is chosen, it is important to remember that lordosis is a condition that can be managed and that people with lordosis can still lead full and active lives.

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Get the Help You Need from a Spine Specialist

With proper diagnosis and treatment, the symptoms of lordosis can be managed and the spine can be restored to its normal alignment. If you, your loved one, or someone you know has a serious case of lordosis and in need of help, Matthew Hepler MD is one of the best spine surgeons in South Florida who is ready to provide treatment of the spine with individualized care. 

Our clinics are strategically located to provide patients with easy access to their healthcare needs. Visit one of our facilities near you:  

Start your healing journey! Contact us today for consultation or treatment of spine-related injuries, pains, or any discomfort. 


The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.