Lordosis refers to a backward curving of the spine. The normal spine is curved backward at the neck (cervical) and low back (lumbar). When the spine curves too far inward, the condition is called lordosis or swayback.
Kyphosis literally means hump-back and is used to describe a condition in which the spine is bent forward. Normally, the mid-back (thoracic spine) is slightly bent. Kyphosis is a forward rounding of your upper back (thoracic spine). This can be caused by congenital or birth defects of the spine or from compression fractures such as those that may occur in osteoporosis patients.
Scoliosis literally means crookedness and is used to describe a bending of the spine to the side. There are many causes including deformities present at birth, fractures that occur from trauma or from having osteoporosis, damage from infections in the spine, or abnormal nerves or muscles.
Osteoporosis is a condition in which bones gradually become weak and vulnerable to injury. The weakened vertebrae of the spine may collapse under the patient's weight or be fractured by minor injuries, including the mere force of coughing. These compression fractures result in loss of height and may distort the curvature of the spine, sometimes causing what is sometimes called "dowager's hump".
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general information purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the BootsWebMD Site. If you have a medical problem please contact your GP. In England call 111 or NHS Direct. In Scotland call NHS 24. In Wales, call NHS Direct Wales. In the case of medical emergencies, always dial 999.
To provide even greater transparency and choice, we are working on a number of other cookie-related enhancements. More information