When it comes to overall health, the spine is often overlooked yet a common complaint of the human experience. How much do you know about Scoliosis?
Scoliosis affects nearly 3% of the population, affecting nearly nine million people within the United States alone. During scoliosis awareness month, it’s important to look into this condition, its causes, and potential treatment options in order to create a pain-free tomorrow for the millions that suffer from it.
If you or someone you love is currently struggling with scoliosis or simply want to know how to get involved with scoliosis awareness month, read on for more information.
What is Scoliosis?
Scoliosis is known as a sideways curvature within the spine that can affect the way an individual grows, walks, and functions on a day-to-day basis. There is a wide range of scoliosis cases ranging from mild to more severe.
While the majority of scoliosis cases tend to develop in childhood, they can also occur in adults and can become disabling when not properly treated or corrected. In some cases, scoliosis can even affect the lungs making it difficult for the individual to breathe properly.
It’s important that children that have been diagnosed with mild scoliosis are carefully monitored through the use of x-rays in order to catch if the condition is becoming worse.
In some cases, a brace may even be needed in order to prevent the gradual worsening of the condition. In extreme cases, surgery may be necessary in order to correct and straighten the spine.
Symptoms of Scoliosis
If you believe that you or someone you love may be suffering from scoliosis it’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms. The earlier you can catch the symptoms of this condition, the sooner you’ll be able to speak with a doctor and start looking into potential treatments.
Some possible symptoms associated with scoliosis may include:
- Shoulders that sit at an uneven height
- Head being uncentered from the rest of the body
- Hips sitting at uneven heights or locations
- Shoulder blades not within an alignment
- One prominent shoulder blade that sticks out
- Uneven arm length when standing straight
- An asymmetrical alignment within the back when bending forward
If you noticed one or more of these symptoms in yourself or someone you love, it’s important to discuss them with a doctor as soon as possible. While these may be symptoms of scoliosis, they may also be a direct result of a pending infection or some form of injury.
It’s wise to have a doctor rule out scoliosis as soon as possible.
The Causes of Scoliosis
One of the primary causes of scoliosis is a nerve or muscle disease that occurs within early development. Additional injuries or illnesses may also play a role in the deformity within the spine.
Cerebral palsy is often associated with cases of scoliosis, as well as spina bifida and muscular dystrophy.
Some additional causes of scoliosis may include:
- Bone dysplasia
- Connective tissue disorder
- Differences within leg length
- A spinal cord injury
- Temporary or long-term paralysis
While these are just some of the causes that may result in scoliosis, it’s important to remember that scoliosis is not a necessary result of any of the conditions listed above.
Unfortunately, there are no preventive measures that can currently be taken in order to avoid scoliosis. As noted above, a number of the causes come without warning or occur genetically.
While you can’t prevent scoliosis, there are certain measures that can be taken to prevent it from increasing or becoming worse.
The treatment option you choose will depend on your own unique case and what your doctor suggests.
For those suffering from scoliosis, there are a number of treatment options that are available.
The use of braces is typically recommended for those who are still developing or those who are in the early stages of scoliosis.
Typically children who are still in the growing stages can correct scoliosis by wearing a brace that can point the continued development in the right direction.
While a brace may not necessarily reverse the curve of the spine once it’s occurred, it can help prevent it from further progression.
Severe cases of scoliosis tend to worsen over time, where surgery is often the solution suggested by doctors.
A scoliosis surgery, also known as a spinal fusion, will be used to connect two or more of the bones within the spine together to prevent the bones from moving independently.
Some scoliosis patients may choose to opt for alternative medicine practices.
These alternative practices may include:
- Electrical stimulation within the muscles and nerves
- Dietary supplements
- Chiropractic manipulation
- Physical therapy
While there’s no hard evidence that these treatments show any enhanced results in reversing or halting the progression of scoliosis, you can easily find a number of personal testimonies where patients have experienced positive results.
Getting the Treatment You Need
Fighting scoliosis can often seem like an uphill battle, which is why it’s important to have the right support in your corner. Meeting with the right physician with experience in conditions like scoliosis is one of the most important factors in seeking treatment and halting progression.
If you or someone you love is currently battling with the pain of scoliosis, we suggest contacting us today to schedule your appointment. We’ll be able to discuss a unique treatment option that fits your lifestyle as well as your physical needs.