Normal vs. Reversal of Cervical Lordosis
This exhibit depicts normal cervical lordosis compared to abnormal cervical kyphosis. When observed from a lateral or sagittal view, a healthy cervical spine retains a lordotic curve with convexity in regard to the anterior aspect of the body. This creates a curve similar to an opening parenthesis. Cervical lordosis functions to maintain balance by distributing the weight of the head, and provides the flexibility necessary for shock absorption. Reversal of cervical lordosis, known as kyphosis, is a degenerative condition of the spine resulting from age, congenital abnormalities, or trauma. It creates a cervical curve with concavity in regards to the anterior aspect of the body, resembling the curve of a closing parenthesis. Cervical kyphosis alters weight distribution, flexibility, shock absorption, and the alignment of neurological structures. This places stress on the intervertebral discs, facet joints, and nerve roots, increasing the risk of injury.