What is Scoliosis?
Scoliosis is any lateral curvature of the spine. they are very common and effect approximately 3% of the population. You or perhaps your parents may remember having scoliosis checks back in primary school.
One of the biggest misnomers when it comes to scoliosis is that it is only a lateral curve. However, because of the 3 dimensional nature of our bodies, any curve must be a curve in all dimensions. What this might translate to is a scoliosis causing pressure throughout the mid, lower or upper back or also through the rib cage.
Female will suffer from scoliosis approximately 8 x more than males. The vast majority of people though, will not need any treatment for their scoliosis. Typically a scoliotic curve will begin to develop during childhood as a minor bend in the spine which may gradually become more and more curved.
Chiropractic Treatment of Scoliosis
The good news is in many instances, if the bending of the spine is discovered before advancing too far, and cared for properly during its early stages using Chiropractic care, it can be prevented from worsening over time.
Chiropractic care has been demonstrated in numerous research studies to slow or stop the progression of scoliosis. Most chiropractors will have the resources and experience to provide you the most appropriate care, which may keep you from looking into more invasive or even surgical treatments. Treatment of scoliosis will often involve adjusting and mobilising the tense or tight areas near the developing curve as well as strengthening exercises and stretches to the supportive muscles.
Conservative treatment is often very successful. Exercise is a key component to helping you successfully manage your scoliosis.
Other Treatment Options
Unfortunately, because of the severity of the scoliotic curve, sometimes treatment greater than conservative care is required. This may include the use of bracing and at worst case, possible surgical fusion. These are only done with the most severe curves and only if the curve appears to be worsening over time. Comparative x rays are the best way to confirm this.
Will the Scoliosis get worse?
The causes behind a scoliosis are numerous. Many times a small bend in the spine begins with the simple misalignment of a single vertebra. Over time, the body is forced to compensate for this abnormality and the spine develops “S” and “C” shaped curves. Often parents and children first notice the presence of scoliosis due to an obvious deformity of the shoulders and pelvis.
Generally speaking, a scoliotic curve will start in teenage years, as the body grows, if left untreated the curve will worsen. It is important to realise that these scoliotic curves can develop in older adults too. As people age, degenerative disorders such as osteoporosis can cause the bones in the spine to lose their normal shape. As a result, the body must compensate by producing lateral curves in the spine to ensure that the head remains level. In such cases, if the cause of the bending is not addressed there may be severe consequences, such as heart and lunch problems.
An x-ray examination performed by your Chiropractor is the most effective means of detecting curvature of the spine. Chiropractors will also examine the hips and shoulders, and check the legs for variation in length which can be a clue to the development of scoliosis.
If you have any questions regarding scoliosis or chiropractic care at our Newcastle location, give our team at Transitions Chiropractic + Massage a call.