Scoliosis is a sideways curvature of the spine that most often occurs in adolescents. Most cases of scoliosis are mild, but some curves worsen as children grow. Scoliosis can occur in people with conditions such as cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy.
Scoliosis refers to an abnormal curvature of the spine, where the spine curves into the shape of an 'S' or 'C.' The condition often develops in adolescents aged 10-15, right before they hit puberty. According to the Mayo Clinic, around "3% of adolescents have scoliosis. Scoliosis often goes unnoticed until a friend, parent, or teacher identifies an imbalance in a child's posture.
Most cases of scoliosis have mild symptoms and offer little to no daily disruption. However, the curvature in some adolescents worsens over time and can lead to severe symptoms that can be life-threatening and disabling.
Symptoms may vary with each individual and can range from being a cosmetic problem to being disruptive to daily living. Symptoms can include:
Uneven shoulders and hips
Raised hips and shoulder
Asymmetry between rib cages causes them to jut out
Pain, numbness, or weakness in the legs
Height loss in adults
Noticeable spine curvature
Bowel or bladder dysfunction
Difficulty breathing from ribs placing pressure on the lungs and heart
There is no known cure for scoliosis, but you can manage symptoms through various treatments. For children, wearing a brace can help prevent the spine from curving further. Extreme cases that experience severe symptoms may require surgery, such as spinal fusion. Treating scoliosis with chiropractic medicine can also help relieve pain and stop, slow, and prevent the condition from worsening. The chiropractor may conduct spinal adjustments to relieve tension in stuck joints and encourage the repositioning of the spine. The chiropractor may also recommend specific stretches and exercises to help with long-term recovery.
Finding a chiropractor who takes the time to properly examine your condition, understand your medical history, and identify any underlying conditions before conducting any treatment. If you're looking for a Coquitlam or Port Moody Chiropractor, schedule an appointment at Inspine Therapy for caring practitioners who provide a customized approach to every patient's recovery.
What causes scoliosis?
Most cases of scoliosis are idiopathic—meaning the cause is unclear. In fact, about 80% of all scoliosis conditions are idiopathic, although there is some evidence that it may be genetically tied since it tends to run in families.
Other, more rare, forms of scoliosis are:
Congenital scoliosis: It is when the spine's deformation occurs in utero. This happens when the ribs or spine fuse together or when one side of the body's vertebrae develops slower than the other.
Neuromuscular scoliosis: This type of scoliosis stems from problems in the brain, spinal cord, or muscular systems, such as muscular dystrophy or cerebral palsy.
Thoracogenic scoliosis: Scoliosis that is caused by radiation treatment of tumours or surgery for a heart defect.
Syndromic scoliosis: Scoliosis develops as a result of an underlying disorder such as Marfan syndrome and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.
Can you prevent scoliosis?
There's not much you can do to prevent scoliosis, especially since, the majority of the time cause is unknown.
How do you live with scoliosis?
Scoliosis affects every individual differently. For example, some might become more self-conscious of their image, while others might experience frustration from not being able to participate in certain sports activities. For those with mild symptoms, the condition may be unnoticeable or offer zero impact on daily life. Those with more severe cases must incorporate different treatments and therapies to manage symptoms.
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Our services include massage, chiropractic, acupuncture, active rehab, clinical counselling, and pilates. Visit our newly renovated clinic and book your appointment today!