The key difference between lordosis kyphosis and scoliosis is the nature of the curvature of the spine. Lordosis is the exaggerated inward curvature of the lumbar spine, while kyphosis is the exaggerated outward curvature of the thoracolumbar spine, and scoliosis is the abnormal sideways curvature of the thoracic, lumbar or thoracolumbar spine.
There are many different types of spinal conditions that affect people. The natural curve of the spine is extremely important for its strength, flexibility, and ability to evenly distribute stress. The spine has three main sections: cervical, thoracic, and lumbar. The normal lordotic curve and kyphotic curve are natural curves of the spine. Due to this natural curvature, the spine has a soft ’S’ shape when viewed from sides, but when viewed from front or back, it appears straight. However, lordosis kyphosis and scoliosis are types of abnormal curvatures of the spine that affect the natural posture of people.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Lordosis
3. What is Kyphosis
4. What is Scoliosis
5. Similarities – Lordosis Kyphosis and Scoliosis
6. Lordosis vs Kyphosis vs Scoliosis in Tabular Form
What is Lordosis?
Lordosis is defined as the exaggerated inward curvature of the lumber spine. The cervical spine can also cause this condition. The normal lordotic curve is between 40 to 60 degrees, and when a lordotic curve of a person falls beyond this normal range, lordosis can occur. When a person develops an excessive lumbar lordosis, it can give a swayback appearance where buttocks are more prominent in general posture elements. This condition can affect people of all ages. It causes varying levels of back pain and mobility issues.
The typical symptoms of this condition are swayback appearance, prominent buttocks, a noticeable gap between the back and the floor when lying flat on the floor, back pain and discomfort, mobility issues, etc. The treatments include pain and swelling reducing medications, weight loss, physical therapy, braces, surgery for people with neurological concerns, and nutritional supplements like vitamin D.
What is Kyphosis?
Kyphosis is the exaggerated outward curvature of the thoracolumbar spine. This condition can affect the cervical spine as well. It can cause forward rounded posture. A normal kyphotic curve is between 20 to 45 degrees. When a kyphotic curve of a person falls beyond this normal range, kyphosis can occur. People with excessive kyphosis have an overly rounded forward appearance with excessively rounded shoulders. This appearance is called round back appearance.
The typical symptoms of kyphosis are rounded shoulders, pitched forward posture, a visible arch on the back, spinal stiffness, fatigue, tight hamstrings, muscle pain, etc. The treatment options include regular monitoring of curves with X-rays in teenage years, physical therapy, back braces, pain reduction medications and surgery.
What is Scoliosis?
Scoliosis is the abnormal sideways curvature of the thoracic, lumbar or thoracolumbar spine. Severe scoliosis can cause sideways curvature of more than 50 degrees. Mild scoliosis does not cause any typical problems. But severe scoliosis can cause breathing difficulties and mobility issues. The pain is normally present in adults, and it can worsen with age. Scoliosis makes the person stand or sit unevenly, with one shoulder lower than the other. The cause of this medical condition is unknown. But it is believed to be due to genetic and environmental factors.
The typical symptoms include pain in the back, shoulders, neck, ribs and buttocks, respiratory problems, cardiac problems, constipation, limited mobility, slow nerve action, uneven posture, calcium deposits in cartilage endplate, etc. Furthermore, the treatment may include bracing, specific exercises, pain medication, electrostimulation, posture checking, dietary supplements, and surgery.
Similarities Between Lordosis Kyphosis and Scoliosis
- Lordosis, kyphosis, and scoliosis are three types of abnormal curvatures of the spine.
- All these medical conditions are responsible for abnormal posture.
- They cause pain in different parts of the body.
- All these conditions can be diagnosed from physical examinations and imaging tests such as X-rays.
- Vitamin D supplements can be used to treat all these three conditions.
Difference Between Lordosis Kyphosis and Scoliosis
Lordosis is the exaggerated inward curvature of the lumber spine, while kyphosis is the exaggerated outward curvature of the thoracolumbar spine, and scoliosis is the abnormal sideways curvature of the thoracic lumbar or thoracolumbar spine. So, this is the key difference between lordosis kyphosis and scoliosis. Furthermore, lordosis affects lumber or cervical sections of the spine. Kyphosis affects the thoracolumbar or cervical sections of the spine. Scoliosis, on the other hand, affects thoracic, lumbar or thoracolumbar sections of the spine. Thus, this is another difference between lordosis kyphosis and scoliosis.
The below infographic lists the differences between lordosis kyphosis and scoliosis in tabular form.
Summary – Lordosis vs Kyphosis vs Scoliosis
Lordosis, kyphosis, and scoliosis are abnormal spine curvatures that can cause pain and discomfort. Lordosis refers to the exaggerated inward curvature of the lumber or cervical spine, while kyphosis refers to the exaggerated outward curvature of the thoracolumbar or cervical spine. Scoliosis is the abnormal sideways curvature of the thoracic, lumbar or thoracolumbar spine. Thus, this is the summary of what is the difference between lordosis kyphosis and scoliosis.
1. “Lordosis, Kyphosis, and Scoliosis: Know the Differences.” Skoliosis.
2. “Scoliosis.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.
1. “Lumbar lordosis” By sportEX journals (CC BY-ND 2.0) via Flcikr
2.”3D Medical Animation scoliosis Intervertibral Disc” By Scientificanimations.com – (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia
3. “Kyphosis Degenerative” By BruceBlaus – Own work (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia