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Understanding Scoliosis

MP900442477_1_.jpgWHAT IS SCOLIOSIS???

Scoliosis is a curvature of the spine that, if left untreated, can lead to deformity of the spine, cause pain, difficulty breathing and impact quality of life. Diagnosing and treating scoliosis can help manage the symptoms and prevent them from worsening over time. Chiropractic care for scoliosis is a safe and effective way to target and treat scoliosis without pain or surgery.

Who is at risk for scoliosis?

Though it can result from degeneration of the spine in old age, or as a result of osteoporosis, the truth is that most cases of scoliosis are actually seen in young females. That being said, scoliosis is actually rather rare, and afflicts only 2% of the population.[1]

How is scoliosis diagnosed?

Scoliosis produces an unnatural curvature of the spine in a C or S shape, which medical professionals are trained to spot using a diagnostic called The Adams Forward Bending Test. This simple test requires patients to bend forward at the waist, revealing the shape of the spine. If a suspicious curvature seems evident, a referral to a chiropractor is provided.

Chiropractors use a variety of tests to determine the extent of scoliosis and to devise an effective treatment plan. Measurements of the legs are taken to determine if there is a difference in leg length that might cause the spine to curve. Evenness of the shoulders is determined, as well as the patient’s ability to bend at the waist. In some cases, x-rays may be required to fully diagnose scoliosis.

How is scoliosis treated?

The type of treatment for scoliosis depends on the extent of the curvature. For mild cases, spinal adjustment may be sufficient to correct the condition. In more pronounced cases of scoliosis, an orthopedic brace may be needed to correct the curvature of the spine. These braces are lightweight and do not interfere with normal activities. In fact, many can be worn discreetly under regular clothing!

In extreme cases, spinal surgery is required to correct scoliosis, but this usually is reserved as a last resort. When back braces, physical therapy and spinal adjustments do not prove effective over a long period of time, doctors will only then recommend spinal surgery to correct the condition.

Can scoliosis be cured?

When scoliosis in young people is closely monitored by a chiropractor, and spinal adjustments are used to control the progression of the condition, many cases of scoliosis can be slowed or eliminated entirely. Scoliosis cases in the elderly, or scoliosis due to bone degeneration, can be slowed and controlled at the hands of a skilled chiropractor. In many cases, physical therapy is coupled with chiropractic care to help scoliosis patients strengthen their back muscles to stay strong and prevent injury, strain or fracture.

When our patients are diagnosed with scoliosis, we carefully treat and monitor the condition with regular appointments in which we evaluate and measure any changes in spine curvature. Spinal adjustments, back bracing (when necessary) and complete spinal care are all part of our comprehensive scoliosis treatment plan. With proper treatment, scoliosis is a manageable condition that will not interfere with active lifestyles.

If you have any questions please call today to speak to us about scoliosis and what it means for you or someone you care about.

REMEMBER, A HEALTHY SPINE WILL KEEP YOU FEELING FINE.

And as always, we’re here to help!

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