The spine is made up of small bones known as vertebrae that are stacked on top of one another, extending from the base of your skull to your buttocks. Muscles, ligaments, nerves, and intervertebral disks are all part of your spine as well.

Your spine consists of three segments, which form three natural curves when viewed from the side. The “c-shaped” curves of the neck (cervical spine) and lower back (lumbar spine) are called lordosis. The “reverse c-shaped” curve of the chest (thoracic spine) is called kyphosis.

These curves are important for balance and they help us to stand upright. It is important that these curves stay in shape, because if any one of the curves becomes too large or small, there will be problems with our standing positions and posture.

When abnormal curvatures of the spine occur (known as spinal deformity), this can result in conditions such as kyphosis of the thoracic spine (“hunchback”), lordosis of the lumbar spine (“swayback”), and “flatback syndrome,” a condition in which there is too little curvature of the spine.