The spine, or backbone, is made up of small bones (vertebrae) stacked — along with discs — one on top of another. A healthy spine when viewed from the side has gentle curves to it. The curves help the spine absorb stress from body movement and gravity.
When viewed from the back, the spine should run straight down the middle of the back. When abnormalities of the spine occur, the natural curvatures of the spine are misaligned or exaggerated in certain areas, as occurs with lordosis, kyphosis, and scoliosis.
What are the types of spine curvature disorders?
There are three main types of spine curvature disorders, including:
Lordosis. Also called swayback, the spine of a person with lordosis curves significantly inward at the lower back.
Kyphosis. Kyphosis is characterized by an abnormally rounded upper back (more than 50 degrees of curvature).
Scoliosis. A person with scoliosis has a sideways curve to their spine. The curve is often S-shaped or C-shaped.