A simple definition for scoliosis is that it’s a curvature of the spine. Nothing else about the condition is simple: Its causes, the severity of symptoms, and treatment options all are wide-ranging.
At Aligned Modern Health, we believe that scoliosis patients may greatly benefit from our natural, evidence-based approach to treatment. Safe, effective and noninvasive chiropractic care can help resolve underlying issues that may be contributing to the condition or exacerbating the symptoms. Our team, which includes experienced chiropractic physicians, will create an individualized treatment plan designed to help scoliosis patients live their lives to the fullest.
What Is Scoliosis? What Are Some Scoliosis Signs/Symptoms?
Scoliosis is a condition in which the spine is curved to the side, rather than running straight up and down the back. A curve of more than 10 degrees generally is considered scoliosis. The condition can range from mild to severe, depending on the curvature’s severity. It can be present at birth or can be caused by external factors or illness. In some cases, the underlying causes of scoliosis can be treated and the condition can be cured. However, in other cases the scoliosis treatment must focus on relieving symptoms.
Scoliosis signs/symptoms can range from relatively mild (such as uneven posture) to much more serious (chronic back problems, lung and heart damage caused by pressure from the rib cage). Because the backbone is curved and out of alignment, scoliosis can have multiple effects on the skeletal system as well as internal organs. Some of the most common scoliosis signs/symptoms include:
- Uneven hips or shoulders
- One shoulder blade appears more prominently than the other
- Uneven waist
- Protruding rib cage
- Twisted spine in more serious cases
Scoliosis Treatments: How Chiropractic Care Can Help
There are cases where surgery is necessary to address scoliosis, and adolescents in particular may benefit from corrective back braces. But noninvasive treatments administered by the caring team at Aligned Modern Health also can result in improved posture and comfort, as well as pain relief.
Chiropractic care will not cure or reverse scoliosis, but chiropractic adjustments may improve a patient’s form and functionality and increase joint mobility. Improved posture also can go a long way toward helping a patient feel less self-conscious about his or her appearance, boosting self-esteem and improving the patient’s overall outlook on life.
Understanding Scoliosis Causes
Scoliosis causes can vary, and it’s not always possible to determine the cause. When no direct cause is apparent, the condition is referred to as idiopathic scoliosis. The condition is present at birth, and sometimes is not detected until the child undergoes a growth spurt.
Other scoliosis causes are easily identifiable, and doctors divide these into two distinct types: nonstructural and structural. In nonstructural scoliosis, the spine becomes curved because of an external factor — i.e., muscle spasms, inflammations caused by appendicitis, or one leg being longer than the other.
With structural scoliosis, the spinal curve is permanent because something has affected the shape of the vertebrae. Structural scoliosis can be caused by hereditary conditions such as Down syndrome or cerebral palsy, birth defects, or an infection or tumor.
For anyone concerned about scoliosis, info such as family history can be important. Among the most common risk factors for scoliosis are:
- Age: The first signs of the condition typically appear during the growth spurt that occurs just before puberty.
- Genetics: Although the condition can run in families, many children who develop scoliosis do not have a prior family history of the condition.
- Sex: Boys and girls are equally likely to develop scoliosis. However, girls have a higher probability of developing more serious forms of the condition that result in more severe curving of the backbone.
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