Scoliosis: Causes and Treatment

Most people are born with a straight spine. If you look at just about anybody’s back, you’ll see that his or her spine runs in a straight line down the middle. However, a person who does not have a straight spine and looks more like a “C” or “S” shape, we call that scoliosis.

The backbone of a person with scoliosis curves to the side. This can cause back pain. Luckily, the pain can be treated and reduced if you actively take care of it.

What exactly is scoliosis?

Scoliosis is defined as the “abnormal lateral curvature of the spine.”

The exact angle of the curve may vary. Some patients have small curves, while others are more pronounced.

However, doctors consider any angle measuring more than 10 degrees to be a clinical presentation of scoliosis.

Curves are often described as looking like the letters “C” or even “S”.

What causes scoliosis?

In most cases, doctors aren’t able to define an exact cause for an individual’s scoliosis.  When a condition cannot be traced back medically to a specific event it is called “idiopathic.”. So most cases of scoliosis are idiopathic scoliosis.

Scoliosis may also result from birth defect, injury, or bone diseases such as osteoporosis.

Scoliosis is just as likely in men as it is in women. However, in young girls, untreated scoliosis is 10 times more likely to worsen.

How is scoliosis diagnosed?

Depending on how severe the angle of scoliosis, most people will require an x-ray to be diagnosed.

However, a person with a apparent scoliosis will often have an imbalanced posture. They might lean to one side, have imbalanced hips or shoulders, or stand uncomfortably.

You can perform the Adam’s test where you bend forward and try to touch your toes.  Someone must be able to look at  your ribs and determine if the ribs are leveled.

If they are un-leveled, then you most likely have scoliosis.

Can I prevent scoliosis?

Scoliosis cannot be prevented—only managed and treated.

How do I treat scoliosis?

Scoliosis should be monitored and treated properly by a professional.

Most mild cases won’t need intensive treatment. Regular check-ups are important, but treatments such as braces or surgery are usually not necessary.

However, some patients will have large curves that will need to be closely monitored and treated with body braces or surgery if the condition is severe.

It is important to detect scoliosis early in a young child as the bones and joints are more flexible and can be molded versus someone who is past the age of bone growth where it is more permanent and difficult to mold.

 

After scoliosis has been detected, the patient will experience some pain of the upper back and lower back due to the curvature of the spine.

The curvature causes an imbalance in the muscle causing the patient to compensate and muscles will get tight.

Also, the joints of the spine will also get restricted causing pain.

Chiropractors treat the muscle and joints of patients with scoliosis by adjusting the joints that are restricted and working with the massage therapist to loosen up the muscles.

This will allow you to feel more loose and relaxed resulting in less pain and discomfort.