What is Lordosis?

What is Lordosis?

Lordosis is an exaggerated inward curve of the spine. A slight forward curve is natural in the cervical (neck) and lumbar (lower back) parts of the spine. This natural curve helps absorb the shock of movements like walking and jumping. Lordosis is present when the curve is excessive and causes problems with posture and potentially pain or discomfort that can be treated.

Lordosis vs. kyphosis vs. scoliosis

Lordosis is an inward curving of the cervical or lumbar spine, while kyphosis refers to an outward curving of the spine in the upper back, leading to a “hunchback” appearance. Scoliosis refers to lateral curving of the spine to the left or right.

Types of Lordosis


Types of Lordosis
There are two types of lordosis, which occur in different parts of the spine:

  • Cervical lordosis occurs in the cervical spine, the first seven vertebrae in the spine located in the neck
  • Lumbar lordosis occurs in the lumbar spine, the five vertebrae in the lower back

Signs & Symptoms of Lordosis


In many cases, lordosis will not cause noticeable symptoms or alter posture and appearance but will not cause discomforti. The most common symptom of lordosis is a change in posture, including:

  • A “swayback” appearance
  • The buttocks sticking out
  • Head and neck pushed forward
  • Hips pushed forward

In more serious cases, severe lordosis can cause additional symptoms like:

The spine specialists at NewYork-Presbyterian can help identify the cause of these symptoms with a physical exam and create a treatment plan.

What Causes Lordosis?


While many cases occur without apparent cause, several things can lead someone to develop lordosis, including:

  • Posture: poor posture or weak abdominal muscles can lead to a lordotic curve
  • Trauma: accidents, injuries or falls can cause fractures in the spine that in turn, cause the affected vertebrae to curve
  • Muscular or spinal disorders: several diseases can cause lordosis, including spondylolisthesis, osteosarcoma, osteoporosis, muscular dystrophy and cerebral palsy.

Risk Factors

Risk Factors

Lordosis can affect anyone, but some factors increase your risk of developing the condition. These include:

  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Age above 50 years
  • Going through a growth spurt



Lordosis cannot be entirely prevented, but maintaining a healthy weight and posture can lower your risk of developing the condition.

Get Care

Trust NewYork-Presbyterian for Lordosis Care

The multidisciplinary experts at NewYork-Presbyterian have experience identifying and diagnosing the symptoms of spinal conditions like lordosis. With convenient appointments available online and at our many locations, NewYork-Presbyterian is the best choice for anyone concerned with spinal curvature.