Overview

A curving inward of the lower back.
Some lordosis is normal. Too much is referred to as sway-back. It may be inherited or caused by conditions such as arthritis, muscular dystrophy and dwarfism.
Lordosis causes an unusually large, inward arch on the lower back, just above the buttocks. The condition may cause lower back pain.
In children, lordosis often fixes itself. Some adults with lordosis may need physiotherapy.

Symptoms

Lordosis can cause pain that sometimes affects the ability to move. It is usually found in the lower back, where the inward curve can make the buttocks seem more prominent.

When lying on the back on a hard surface, someone with a large degree of lordosis will have a space beneath the lower back and the surface. If the curve is flexible (or reverses itself when the person bends forward), there is little need for medical concern. If the curve does not change when the person bends forward, the lordosis is fixed, and treatment may be needed.

Causes

Lordosis can affect people of any age. Certain conditions and factors can increase your risk for lordosis. This includes:

Spondylolisthesis: Spondylolisthesis is a spinal condition in which one of the lower vertebras slips forward onto the bone below. It’s usually treated with therapy or surgery. Find out more about the condition here.
Achondroplasia: Achondroplasia is one of the most common types of dwarfism. Learn about its causes, diagnosis, and treatment.
Osteoporosis: Osteoporosis is a bone disease that causes a loss of bone density, which increases your risk of fractures. Learn about its causes, symptoms, and treatments.
Osteosarcoma: Osteosarcoma is a bone cancer that typically develops in the shinbone near the knee, the thighbone near the knee, or the upper arm bone near the shoulder. Read more about symptoms, diagnosis, and treatments.
Obesity: Obesity is an epidemic in the U.S. This condition puts people at a higher risk for serious diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Learn about obesity here.

Treatment

The medical history will cover such issues as when the excessive curve became noticeable, if it is getting worse and whether the amount of the curve seems to change. During the examination, the patient will be asked to bend forward and to the side to see whether the curve is flexible or fixed, how much range of motion the patient has and if the spine is aligned properly. The doctor may feel the spine, checking for abnormalities.

Diagonsis

The medical history will cover such issues as when the excessive curve became noticeable, if it is getting worse and whether the amount of the curve seems to change. During the examination, the patient will be asked to bend forward and to the side to see whether the curve is flexible or fixed, how much range of motion the patient has and if the spine is aligned properly. The doctor may feel the spine, checking for abnormalities.