When looked at from the side, a human’s spine has a natural s-curve. When looked at from behind, a spine should be relatively straight. Scoliosis is a sideways curvature of the spine with a curvature angle of more than 10 degrees. Scoliosis may cause either an S-curve or a C-curve in the spine.
Severe scoliosis can make it harder for the heart and lungs to function properly.
While the primary symptom of scoliosis is a curvature of the spine, that curvature may not be obvious unless you notice symptoms like:
There is no identifiable cause for around 80% of scoliosis cases. Doctors call this idiopathic scoliosis. Causes that doctors can identify include:
Idiopathic scoliosis can be broken down into different categories based on the patient’s age:
Scoliosis can strike just about anybody; however, some people are at a higher risk than others. Risk factors for scoliosis include:
Mild scoliosis often has no complications, but as the severity of the curvature of the spine increases, so does the likelihood of complications, including:
A doctor can often diagnose scoliosis with a family and medical history along with a physical exam. During the physical exam, the doctor may ask the patient to bend over to see the spine more clearly.
Imaging tests may be required to confirm the diagnosis and assess the degree of curvature. Diagnostic tests could include x-rays, CT scans, MRIs, or bone scans.
The doctor may also want to rule out other causes by checking for numbness, muscle weakness, or abnormal reflexes.
Treatment for scoliosis will vary depending on the severity of the spinal curvature and the age of the patient. There is no cure for scoliosis. The goal of treatment is to prevent or minimize future curvatures. Treatment may include:
While chiropractic care can’t cure scoliosis, it may slow the progression and improve pain and other symptoms. one study showed improvements in pain, levels of disability, and the curvature of the spine. Most studies are more mixed, but chiropractic care can often relieve pain and other symptoms associated with scoliosis.
Chiropractic care is safe for children and may involve several different types of therapies for best results.
Click here or call Southside Chiropractic Car Injury Clinic today at 904-497-0823 to schedule a consultation to see if we can help improve the symptoms of your scoliosis.