The cervical spine has a C shape and it is curved. Made of 7 cervical vertebras, the cervical spine is basically the spinal area in the neck. Now, when talking about a healthy cervical spine, it has a slight lordotic curve and has been designed in such a way that it can carry the weight of the head.
However, loss of cervical lordosis can end up in making the cervical spine straight. In fact, in extreme cases, the curve even gets reversed. The condition is also known as cervical kyphosis.
As most patients would know, loss of cervical lordosis causes extreme pain and makes the neck stiff. In addition, it can also result in striking pain in hand and even the vertigo. It can also be accompanied with various other complications.
What Causes Cervical Lordosis?
The cervical curvature in a human being can be lost because of improper posture or muscular spasm. An X-ray report can tell the condition of the cervical spine before any medicines are prescribed by the physician. In many cases, treatment can save a patient from further deterioration of the spine and other related complications. It is noteworthy that this condition affects only adults. Children rarely face this extremely painful condition.
When speaking about whether it is gender-specific, it has been found that both men and women suffer equally from cervical lordosis. A prolonged spasm of muscles around the neck region can be observed when suffering from this condition. If fact in young people, a bad posture of neck most of the times is the common cause of this problem.
Some primary reasons for this condition are as follows:
- Long working hours when in a desk job can cause a lot of harm. In fact, working on a computer for long hours without getting up for a break can cause the muscles to strain. The strained muscles disturb the alignment of the cervical spine.
- Sometimes injury to cervical spine may cause this condition. A direct hit to the neck during an accident or any form of physical injury can lead to loss of curvature.
- Osteoporosis can also cause abnormality as well. However, this one reason is most commonly seen in the elder people. In such a condition, the vertebra becomes extremely porous as well as the bone density becomes less. At such a point, weight of the head can add pressure to the spine, thus losing the curvature. In fact obesity can also contribute to the condition.
- There can be many other causes for the loss of cervical lordosis including tumor of cervical spine, as well as ankylosing spondylitis. These are not the really common causes.
What Are The Symptoms One Must Watch Out For?
Loss of cervical lordosis is a continuous and a slow process. It rarely occurs suddenly. When it begins to develop, the conditions aren’t so severe and hence there usually not many signs that one can notice. Sometimes, a patient finds out about the condition when getting an X-ray done for another disease.
Sometimes the patients might experience extreme pain in their neck which might be accompanied with stiffness. Usually a person’s cervical lordosis has 30-40 degree curve. However in some cases, the curve can reach as less as 20 degrees.
Eventually, if the problem is not treated, cervical disc degeneration might occur. It can also result in symptoms such as tingling in hands and fingers and sensation of someone pricking needles inside the body. However, one should know that these symptoms may not be because of loss of cervical lordosis. Instead they can result because of the pressed cervical nerve. Dizziness, headaches, confusion, tinnitus and even anxiety can be some other signs concerned with the condition.
Treatment For Loss Of Cervical Lordosis
X-ray and MRI of cervical spine are mostly the means through which loss of cervical lordosis is detected. Of course, physical examination is also needed. These tests can only tell about the extent to which the loss has occurred and if any damage is done.
- Medical treatment becomes a must when the patient starts experiencing stiffness or pain in the neck. The spasms however can be reduced only with painkillers and even muscle relaxants.
- Physiotherapy can be of great help for this condition as it aims at the neck improvement and posture of a person. One can exercise the neck by bending it forward and backwards. Sideways turning of neck can also provide relief.
- In case the condition becomes sever, one might have to wear braces or use pillows to sleep.