What should my lumbar spine look like?

From front-to-back, your lumbar spine should be straight up and down. This helps to provide strong structural support for the body. From the side, your lumbar spine should have a curvature that curves towards your front with more of a curve at the bottom of your low back and less of a curve at the top. The curve is an oval shape and when you think of curves, think of shock absorption. Too much, too little, or reversal of your lumbar curve has a negative impact on its ability to absorb shock. Your lumbar spine’s ability to absorb shock protects your bones, joints, ligaments, muscles, tendons, discs, nerves, and spinal cord.[1-6]

How do I know what my lumbar spine looks like?

Do you have a current x-ray of your lumbar spine?

If you answered, “No,” then you do not know what your lumbar spine looks like. But don’t feel bad. You can always have a properly trained doctor take x-rays of your lumbar spine and analyze them for you. Did you know there are doctors, physical therapists, trainers and others who think they can predict lumbar spine alignment from posture? Unfortunately, using your outer posture to predict your internal lumbar spine alignment is guessing. It is irresponsible and dangerous to gamble with your low back health by guessing.[7]

If you answered, “Yes.” then you may know what your lumbar spine looks like. Several factors affect lumbar spine x-rays. Body positioning, proper x-ray analysis, and a thorough understanding of spinal alignment can mean the difference between a proper and improper understanding of your lumbar spine. These factors depend on the person taking and analyzing your x-ray. “Practice without knowledge is dangerous.”

How can I find a CBP® doctor?

You can find the locations and contact information for CBP® doctors at the CBP® Doctors Directory. The CBP® Doctors Directory includes and identifies doctors who have received CBP® training, earned Basic and Advanced Certifications, and those who have achieved Instructor level. Fully equipped and trained CBP® offices are exceptional and may see patients that travel from out of state or country to help with lumbar spine problems.

Chiropractic BioPhysics® (CBP®) is one of the most extensively researched and results-oriented chiropractic techniques in the world. Dr. Daniel Kraus is among the few practitioners in Bethesda, Maryland who is CBP® Advanced Certified. Contact Bethesda Spine and Posture for your x-ray analysis of your lumbar spine. 


  1. Diab AAM, Moustafa IM. The efficacy of lumbar extension traction for sagittal alignment in mechanical low back pain: a randomized trial. J Back Musculoskelet Rehabil. 2013;26(2):213-220.

  2. Moustafa IM, Diab AA. Extension traction treatment for patients with discogenic lumbosacral radiculopathy: a randomized controlled trial. Clin Rehab. 2012;27(1):51-62.

  3. Diab AA, Moustafa IM. Lumbar lordosis rehabilitation for pain and lumbar segmental motion in chronic mechanical low back pain. J Manip Physiol Ther. 2012;35(4):246-253.

  4. Sadler SG, Spink MJ, Ho A, De Jonge XJ, Chuter VH. Restriction in lateral bending range of motion, lumbar lordosis, and hamstring flexibility predicts the development of low back pain: a systematic review of prospective cohort studies. BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2017 May 5;18(1):179.

  5.  Chun SW, Lim CY, Kim K, Hwang J, Chung SG. The relationships between low back pain and lumbar lordosis: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Spine J. 2017 Aug;17(8):1180-1191. 

  6. Pellisé F, Vila-Casademunt A, Ferrer M, Domingo-Sàbat M, Bagó J, Pérez-Grueso FJ, Alanay A, Mannion AF, Acaroglu E; European Spine Study Group, ESSG. Impact on health related quality of life of adult spinal deformity (ASD) compared with other chronic conditions. Eur Spine J. 2015 Jan;24(1):3-11. 

  7. Oakley PA, Cuttler JM, Harrison DE. Xray imaging is essential for contemporary chiropractic and manual therapy spinal rehabilitation: radiography increases benefits and reduces risks. Dose Response 2018;April-June: 1-7

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