Did you know the name scoliosis derives from the Greek word meaning bent or curved?
Scoliosis is actually a lateral (sideways) curvature of the spine. It is characterised by postural changes such as a raised shoulder, a prominent shoulder blade or one hip appearing somewhat higher than the other.
Scoliosis most commonly develops during childhood with a higher percentage occurring in females. Symptoms vary in each person from feeling no pain at all to extreme pain and postural changes. Often pain and postural changes only occurs once the scoliosis is advanced.
Scoliosis is a lateral (sideways) curvature of the spine.
It is characterised by postural changes such as a raised shoulder, a prominent shoulder blade or one hip appearing somewhat higher than the other.
A scoliosis can range in severity from being a very minor problem to a life threatening condition.
X-rays are essential to diagnose the severity of scoliosis to see its location and shape and if there are any underlying structural abnormalities.
The scoliotic curve is measured in degrees and in children an early measurement on the x-ray is vital in monitoring the progression of scoliosis.
Different Types of Scoliosis
- Idiopathic (unknown cause) – many theories exist but nothing definitive has been proven. It may be linked to neurological development or even genetics, this is the most common.
- Structural – caused by degenerative, traumatic or congenital issues that affect the spine. such an abnormality is present from birth, an injury or an infection.
- Functional – a curve in the spine due to posture and functional changes, this is not a fixed curve and can be corrected by improving muscle and joint function and removing any aggravating factors.
Childhood scoliosis treatment
Minor scoliotic changes in a child usually needs no invasive treatment. A treatment program by a allied health care provider that is aimed at ensure good function in the child’s spine and pelvis combined with a tailored exercise program may be beneficial in controlling any musculo-skeletal changes associated with scoliosis.
Currently there is currently no high quality scientific studies that have shown any association between chiropractic care and reduction in the degree of scoliosis in children.
If the scoliosis is severe enough a child might need bracing or even surgery. These are in the most severe of cases and the best treatment is achieved by a good working relationship between your doctor, surgeon and any allied practitioners involved.
How do you monitor a scoliosis?
For those children who develop scoliosis regular x-rays and monitoring is extremely important to watch for any worsening of the scoliotic curve. The younger the child is when scoliosis appears the greater the chance of curve progression.
Once growth is complete there is usually no further progression of the scoliosis.
Seeking help for children with scoliosis.
If you are suspicious that you child may have scoliosis contact our office. We can tell you if your child is exhibiting any signs of scoliosis and also what you can look for in their posture that will indicate if a scoliosis is present.
Adult scoliosis and chiropractic
Often patients have presented at out clinic with low back or neck pain that is actually being caused by the musculo-skeletal changes that are associated with an underlying scoliosis.
Sometimes patients only become aware they have a scoliosis when it is found during an examination for low back pain or other related symptoms.
For those adults with scoliosis it is important to keep thier spine working well and balanced. One way to do this is through a combination of a healthy lifestyle including a good diet, regular exercise and maintaining good function in your spine.
Adults seeking help for a scoliosis.
If you suffer from symptoms associated with a scoliosis or just want help in maintaining goos spinal function in the future contact our office to arrange an appointment.