What is Scoliosis?
Scoliosis is a medical term that refers to spinal curvatures. Scoliosis is a condition that almost always begins in early childhood. And it is exceedingly rare. In fact, only about 5 out of 1,000 American children usually develop curved spines enough to warrant treatment. Scoliosis affects only 1 percent of the world's population.
In normal children, the spinal column grows in a straight line from the neck down to the tailbone. Curved spines have an abnormal sideways bend. In other words, looking at tieback from behind, the spine of a child with scoliosis will curve to the left or right, instead of going straight down.
If a child with scoliosis is not treated for the condition, it could later cause chronic pain, a deformed spine, poor posture, and in some cases, heart, lung, or gastrointestinal problems.
A curved spine is one that fails to develop normal front-to-back arches, causing undue weight to be carried on the vertebral discs. If a disc or vertebra shifts to one side or another, the spine may follow.
There are many causes of scoliosis. The birth event, or even daily activities, may cause vertebrae to become misaligned, a condition called subluxation. In some cases, scoliosis can be inherited as a result of a short leg or pelvic distortion. Some early childhood diseases also have been linked as possible contributors to scoliosis. Some think children are forced to walk at too early an age before their spines fully develop.
Is Scoliosis just poor posture?
Scoliosis is a spinal deformity defined by an abnormal lateral curvature in the spine of more than 10 degrees. A child with scoliosis may appear to have poor posture, constantly lean to one side with clothes that don't quite fit normally.
It is commonly developed in children, especially during growth spurts prior to puberty.
As a child, scoliosis may not present any pain symptoms, however, if left untreated the condition often progresses and causes complications later in adult life such as chronic pain, reduced mobility, and abnormal organ function.
How common is Scoliosis?
The American Chiropractic Association estimated that around 3% of the US - which is over 9.8 million Americans suffer from scoliosis. And it affects females 8 times more than males. Minor cases of scoliosis are typically invisible to the untrained eye. As the degree of curvature increases, scoliosis becomes more noticeable and can cause various health problems.
Scoliosis is an irregular spine curvature. The spine is naturally meant to have three curves that create an “S” shape from the side. A person with scoliosis has a lateral curve that is greater than 10 degrees, which typically causes an “S” or “C” figure from the front or the back view of the body. Many individuals suffering from scoliosis have obvious uneven shoulders, waist, and/or hips. They may also have noticeable rib humps or protrusion of the lower back on the side with the curve.
Adult scoliosis is a protraction of adolescent scoliosis, which is typically detected during a person’s teenage years. Most adolescent patients are initially diagnosed with Idiopathic Adolescent Scoliosis. Some individuals can develop scoliosis during their adult life, but most of them have had this condition for much of their adolescent life.
Adult scoliosis can create issues with your balance, as well as reduce your height as the lateral spine curvature bends the body shape out of proportion. If left untreated, it can potentially lead to numerous health issues. Even minor cases of scoliosis that a young child may have can cause degenerative disc disease and spinal osteoarthritis when they get older. Degenerative changes can ultimately interfere with nerve functions to vital organs and muscles, which can cause a series of additional health problems.
Types of Scoliosis
Congenital Scoliosis – This form of scoliosis is caused by bone abnormalities. Congenital scoliosis develops before birth.
Degenerative Scoliosis – This is can either be caused by a traumatic injury, bone deformity, osteoporosis, or even by spinal surgery.
Idiopathic Scoliosis – This condition develops unexpectedly without any known cause. This type of scoliosis is the most common form and has been detected to run hereditarily.
Neuromuscular Scoliosis – This is typically seen in people with cerebral palsy or Spinal Bifida. It is caused by abnormal nerve or muscle formations.
What can Cause Scoliosis
While muscle imbalance, hormonal imbalance, asymmetrical leg length, hereditary history, injury, and disease can contribute to the cause of scoliosis, 80% of scoliotic cases are considered Idiopathicmeaning that there is not a clear reason to the cause.
Other types of scoliosis include congenital scoliosis which occurs in infants with improper vertebrae development and neuromuscular scoliosis which can be caused by disease and brain, spinal cord and muscular disorder caused by conditions such as bone deformity, traumatic injury, osteoporosis, and spinal surgery.
Identification of Scoliosis
Scoliosis rarely has symptoms associated with it. Most children with curved spines do not complain of pain. So it is important to have your child examined by a medical professional if you suspect he or she has a curved spine.
Scoliosis and Chiropractic
Many individuals with adult scoliosis are surprised when they find out that the use of chiropractic care can help reduce their pain significantly, prevent further spine degradation and improve their overall quality of life.
Talk to Dr. Tilson today about getting your child screened for scoliosis or
managing adult scoliosis related pain with chiropractic care. Call us at (630) 428-2299