What is Scoliosis?
Scoliosis is often set on prior to puberty while the body is growing at a faster rate. The spine develops a sideways curvature in one or more regions of the spine. In more serious cases, the spine will also rotate triggering the ribs on one side of the body to become more prominent.
- Uneven shoulders
- Uneven waist
- Uneven Hips
- Back pain
What Causes Scoliosis?
Scoliosis can be triggered by conditions such as cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, spinal infection, or injury. However, the cause of most scoliosis is unknown, though some scientist suspect hereditary factors may be involved.
- Age: Signs and symptoms arise prior to puberty.
- Sex: Although both boys and girls develop initial symptoms at similar rate, girls have an increased risk of developing severe scoliosis and requiring treatment.
- Family history: Scoliosis can be hereditary.
Though the majority of scoliosis are mild, some children can develop spine deformities that become continuously more severe as they grow. Severe scoliosis can be disabling as severe spinal curvature can reduce chest volume, impacting lung function.
- Lung and heart damage: The rib cage may press against the lungs and heart, debilitating cardiac and respiratory function.
- Back problems: Adults who had been diagnosed with scoliosis as children are more likely to have chronic back pain in the future.
Children are often tested for scoliosis in school while in the prime developmental period of the disease. Children who have been diagnosed with mild scoliosis are closely monitored with X-rays to determine if the curvature becomes more severe. Some children will need to wear a brace to prohibit the curvature from increasing. Surgery may be needed in severe cases in order to straighten the spine and prevent increased curvature.
How can chiropractic help?
While chiropractic care cannot cure scoliosis, it can help manage symptoms and improve function and joint mobility. In a 24 month study analyzing the benefits of chiropractic care on patients with scoliosis it was found that patients with all curvature types who had chiropractic care had decreased pain and disability after 6 months treatment. Patients who had scoliosis in thoracic, lumbar and thoracolumbar groups’ demonstrated improvement in spirometry, a test that determines the speed air can come into and out of lungs (indicates lung function).
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