Cervical lordosis (lordosis of the cervical spine)
Cervical lordosis is a natural or pathological curvature of the spine with the reversal of its bulge in the cervical spine anteriorly. Cervical lordosis, as a physiological bend, is in every person. As for pathological lordosis, it will be located in the same place, but its degree of bending will differ.
Pathology develops against the background of inflammatory processes of the spinal column, with contractures, congenital defects, against the background of the presence of neoplasms, etc. The main manifestations of the disease are pain in the neck and problems with posture. As for the treatment, it can be both operative and conservative.
- Causes of cervical lordosis
- Symptoms of cervical lordosis
- Diagnostics of the cervical lordosis
- Treatment of cervical lordosis
Causes of cervical lordosis
The causes of cervical lordosis should be considered in parallel with the anatomical norm characteristic of the spinal column. It is known that the human spine is characterized by two physiological lordosis (cervical and lumbar) and two physiological kyphosis (thoracic and sacral). These curves can be found even in an infant, however, they will be very weakly expressed. As the child begins to grow up, stand up and walk, lordosis and kyphosis become more noticeable. But they will form over a long period of time. So, the spinal column completes its full development by the age of 16-18. However, this does not mean that until this time, the child or adolescent will not be able to develop pathological cervical lordosis.
With this disease, the cervical vertebrae are displaced anteriorly and their bodies spindle-shaped. The bone structure of the anterior vertebrae is thinned, and the intervertebral discs are expanded. In this case, the vertebrae of the thoracic, and then the lumbar spine begin to suffer, as their spinous processes gradually become denser and closer.
Especially dangerous is cervical lordosis, which manifests itself at an early and young age, since due to imperfection of the musculoskeletal system, deformation of the chest occurs faster. This deformation, in turn, not only disturbs posture, but also affects the work of internal organs. The longer the child has cervical lordosis, the stronger the pathological changes in bones and organs will be. The formation of deformities in other parts of the body is also likely.
So, the causes of cervical lordosis are as follows:
Diseases and pathological processes in the spine itself, which lead to the formation of primary cervical lordosis.
- Muscular torsion dystonia, which forces the patient to take pathological postures, can lead to the formation of a primary pathological bend in the cervical spine. This disease is neurological in nature and is constantly progressing.
- Any injury to the spinal column, including birth trauma, is a danger.
- Congenital malformations of the spine.
- Neoplasms in the cervical spine (tumors and hernia of the spine).
- Inflammatory processes in the cervical spine.
- Compensatory reactions of the spinal column, which appear in order to adapt to work in non-physiological conditions for it, lead to the development of secondary cervical lordosis. This includes systemic diseases of the musculoskeletal system - osteoporosis, osteomyelitis, ankylosing spondylitis, etc. Also, the cause of the disease can be bone tuberculosis, sciatica and severe scoliosis.
The presence of lumbar pathological lordosis and pathological kyphosis increases the risk of developing cervical lordosis. In 90% of cases, cervical kyphosis is a pathology acquired as a result of impaired posture in childhood.
Risk factors are:
- Forced long stay of a person in the wrong position.
- Physical inactivity, low physical activity, or improper performance of physical exercises, as well as irrational hobby for monotonous exercises.
- Accelerated growth of the spinal column in childhood and adolescence.
- Incorrectly fitted clothing.
- Improperly organized workplace for children and adults (furniture does not match the height and age of the owner, low illumination of the workplace, etc.).
- Diseases of internal organs, hearing and vision impairments.
As a rule, cervical lordosis, which occurs against the background of compensatory reactions of the spine, has a mobile character and is able to completely disappear when the provoking factors are eliminated. However, the longer the pathology exists, the worse the prognosis for recovery. In adult patients, fixed lordosis will persist even if the causes that caused it are eliminated.
Symptoms of cervical lordosis
Symptoms of cervical lordosis can be acute, or they can be smoothed.
The clinical picture of pathology is characterized by:
- The presence of pain in the cervical spine. They can radiate to the shoulder blades and shoulders. The pain is worse when you try to turn your head.
- Pathological disorders of posture.
- High fatigue.
- The appearance of sharp pain when turning the head.
- Headaches, tinnitus and frequent dizziness.
- Numbness of the skin of the neck and face.
- Decreased appetite.
- Deterioration in performance, attention, memory.
- Violation of sensitivity in the upper limbs of the type of numbness, the appearance of a feeling of crawling "goose bumps"
- Limited mobility of the neck and shoulder-scapular zone.
It is known that all bends of the spine are closely related to each other, therefore, an increase or decrease in the cervical bend will lead to a change in the other curvature.
Along with this, the chest will begin to deform, and symptoms of physiological disorders from the internal organs will appear, including:
- Shallow breathing, inability to take a deep breath;
- Difficulty working of the heart;
- Oxygen starvation of the body with the development of anemia;
- Stagnation of blood in the region of the skull, pelvis, peritoneum, etc.
Therefore, it is so important to recognize the symptoms of the disease in time and seek medical help.
Diagnostics of the cervical lordosis
Diagnosis of cervical lordosis is possible in the office of an orthopedist. To begin with, the doctor will carry out an external examination of the patient, assess his posture, palpate the spine, measure the depth of the bend, and determine the most sensitive pain points. If the doctor suspects the presence of pathological cervical lordosis, then the patient is sent for X-ray examination.
During an X-ray, which is performed in two projections, the patient may be asked to bend his head forward and then backward as much as possible. This will make it possible to assess the degree of cervical lordosis. During the examination, a picture of the entire spine will be taken, which will give an idea of its condition.
Studies such as MRI and CT scan help in establishing the cause of cervical lordosis, since even small tumors and hernias of the spine will be clearly visible on the images.
Treatment of cervical lordosis
Treatment of cervical lordosis will be most effective if the disease is not started, and the patient has paid attention to the state of his spine in time. Therapy involves an integrated approach and is built on the elimination of the cause that caused the pathology:
Medication for cervical lordosis. Pain is relieved by taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. It can be Ibuprofen, Diclofenac, or another agent from this group. If the pain in the neck is very intense, then the intramuscular administration of the drug Movalis is possible once a day. The full course of treatment is 10 days.
Vitamin complexes will help speed up recovery. Most often, for cervical lordosis, the drug Neuromultivit is prescribed, which contains vitamins of group B. With spasms of the neck muscles, the intake of muscle relaxants is indicated, for example, the drug Mydocalm.
Physiotherapy treatment of cervical lordosis. Physiotherapy techniques are aimed at improving tissue nutrition, at increasing the contractile activity of muscles in the problem area. They also have a tonic effect. Electrophoresis of calcium and phosphorus, ultraviolet irradiation, and inductometry are widely used.
Implementation of a complex of physiotherapy exercises. Exercise therapy plays a leading role in the treatment of cervical lordosis. They are aimed at the formation of stable connections between the muscles of the back and the spinal column, contribute to the creation of a muscle corset that will reliably hold the spine in the correct position. Even if the disease cannot be completely eliminated, regular exercise will make it possible to stop its progression. Complexes of physiotherapy exercises are made on an individual basis, depending on the degree of curvature of the spine, on the age of the patient and his state of health in general.
Rational nutrition and daily routine. It is important that the menu of patients is balanced and enriched with mineral salts and vitamins. It is from food that useful substances are absorbed by the body as much as possible, in comparison with synthetic vitamins. The patient should have adequate rest. Children should purchase an orthopedic mattress and pillow. It is important that a person constantly monitors his posture, both during rest and during work. Competent organization of the workplace is of no small importance.
Massage. Massage is an indispensable component of comprehensive treatment for people with cervical lordosis. A general back and neck massage is used; it should be performed only by a professional massage therapist. With its help, it will be possible to improve lymphatic outflow, increase blood supply, strengthen the muscles of the neck and back, and tone them. The general well-being of the patient improves.
Surgical intervention. Surgical elimination of the pathology is possible if the patient's primary cervical lordosis was provoked by a hernia, tumor, trauma. The method of eliminating pathology depends on its nature. To reduce pain, it is possible to wear corsets and bandages, but, as a rule, they do not have a therapeutic effect. It is possible to undergo spa treatment at specialized resorts. Patients should choose sanatoriums that offer mineral baths, balneotherapy, thalassotherapy.
It is important to remember that timely treatment of cervical lordosis will not allow the development of various disorders of the internal organs. In addition, advanced stages of the disease can negatively affect intracranial pressure, the work of the upper limbs, a person's vision and hearing, as well as his cognitive abilities.
Author of the article: Sokov Andrey Vladimirovich | Neurologist
Education: In 2005 completed an internship at the IM Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University and received a diploma in Neurology. In 2009, completed postgraduate studies in the specialty "Nervous diseases".