Scoliosis is when the spine is abnormally curved sideways rather than being straight. A normal spine should have curves when the person is faced sideways. One in the neck and one in the lower back. However, if your spine is curved side to side from a back view, in the shape of a “S” or “C”, this may be scoliosis. Scoliosis most often occurs during the growth spurt before puberty and is normally diagnosed during the first 7 years of a child’s life. Scoliosis is almost 2 times more common in boys than girls and is hereditary.
Many cases of scoliosis are mild, but can become more severe as children grow. This is why it is essential to have children with scoliosis monitored regularly. This is usually done by taking X-rays to see if the curve becomes worse. Scoliosis ranges from 10-20 degrees, 20-50 degrees and greater than 50 degrees, (mild, moderate and severe).
Types of Scoliosis:
- Idiopathic – accounts for 8 out of 10 cases of scoliosis. This type can sometimes start as early as infancy but it is in adolescence that is more commonly seen. The cause for this type is unknown.
- Degenerative – occurs in adults as the joints in the spine start to degenerate.
- Neuromuscular- caused due to a pre-existing neuromuscular condition.
- Congenital – present in infancy as it develops in utero. This is a rare, severe condition.
Symptoms of Scoliosis:
- Uneven shoulders
- One shoulder blade that is more prominent than the other one.
- Uneven waist.
- Uneven hips- one is higher than the other.
- Clothes fitting awkwardly or hanging unevenly.
- A rotating spine.
- Back pain.
- Problems breathing due to a reduced area in the chest for the lungs to expand.
How can Chiropractic help?
Chiropractors can help patients with scoliosis by offering drug free treatments with help reduce pain levels. Chiropractic care cannot fix it, but it can help your overall alignment and posture to improve by being adjusted. This increases your quality of life and decreases pain. In scoliosis patients, there spine is constantly in an unnatural position, this misalignment leads to muscle strain and pain in the back, neck shoulders or hips. A Chiropractic adjustment can help decrease that muscle strain which allows blood to flow better to muscles, and decreases pain.
Many patients manage their pain with drugs which have their own set of risks and side effects. Chiropractic care offers pain relief without the use of drugs. For some people, surgery will be the last resort for pain treatment. Surgery involves a nig cost along with complications. Chiropractic care from an early stage can help you manage scoliosis the best you can without needing surgery.