Lordosis


Definition - What does Lordosis mean?

Lordosis refers to the abnormal curvature of the cervical or lumbar spine characteristic of a concave arch, or shifting inward of vertebral discs; marking displacement of the spinal column in line with the center of gravity to temper the biomechanical stress from the weight of the head and body to maintain equilibrium. The natural curvature of the spine follows the S-shaped configuration, facilitating the multidirectional range of motion within the axial planes of the body.

WorkplaceTesting explains Lordosis

Although a natural lordosis (curve) occurs along the cervical and lumbar segments of the spine, abnormal lordosis can induce debilitating symptoms including radiating pain spells, numbness, tingling sensations, incontinence, and muscle fatigue. A physician will collect medical history documentation followed by X-ray imaging to observe the structural integrity of the spine to spot lordotic deviations underpinning epidemiological implications including obesity, osteoporosis, osteosarcoma, and spondylolisthesis. Individuals can check their own cervical and lumbar arches as a self-assessment and relay that information to a physician for comparative analysis against diagnostic procedures, accounting for physiological variables such as age, body mass, and height.

Depending on the severity of lordosis, treatment solutions can cover prescribed medication to reduce inflammation/swelling, physical therapy visits to improve muscle strength and range of motion (ROM), and weight loss programs to rectify posture. The relative health of the spine serves as the mainstay for an individual’s capacity to demonstrate biomechanical functionality with physically demanding tasks that involve flexibility, strength, and stability. Evidence suggests that prolonged standing can alter the curve of the spine as opposed to sitting; thus, individuals who stand extensively at a workstation are more susceptible to lower back issues unless occasional sitting breaks are authorized.

In the workplace, ergonomic workstations featuring adaptable equipment and furnishings (i.e., adjustable chairs/desks) are specially tailored to conform to the curvature of the spine, enhancing biomechanical support to individuals in a growing job market of sedentary positions. When bending and straightening, the lordotic curve should retain its elasticity against gravity, leveraging the amount of momentum necessary to fulfill daily activities.

This definition was written in the context of Ergonomics
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