What is Scoliosis?
Scoliosis is a medical condition where the spine begins to bend in an abnormal way, usually to the side. The curvature may range from moderate up to severe. In scoliosis, any area of the spine can bend, but the most common areas are the lower back (lumbar) and upper chest (thorax). The condition usually begins during adolescence, particularly during the ages of 10 to 15 years. Girls are more likely to develop the condition than boys. Scoliosis may be inherited, therefore children of parents who are affected by the condition should be evaluated by a medical professional.
Since humans are bipedal, their nervous system operates on postural control and reflexes to ensure the spine remains straight. Sometimes a lateral curvature may develop. If this curvature is greater than 10 degrees, then it is diagnosed as scoliosis. Curves that are less than 10 degrees are referred to as postural changes. Curves that occur towards the front are called lordosis and curves that occur towards the back are called kyphosis.
In the United States, close to 7 million individuals have scoliosis.
Although the condition can be inherited, in a majority of the cases the cause is unknown, in which case it is called idiopathic scoliosis. Tumors, trauma, and neurological disease may be responsible. In cases of functional scoliosis, the cause may be due to muscle spasms, leg-length inequality, and postural problems. These can usually be addressed. Children who develop the condition usually do not require medical treatment since the condition improves on its own. Individuals who do seek treatment may wear a back brace and or opt for surgery.
If the condition is not treated, it may lead to serious problems in the lungs, chest, heart, and spine.
How Chiropractic Medicine can help with managing the condition?
Chiropractic treatment involves chiropractic adjustments coupled with muscular rehabilitation procedures to prevent further progression of the condition. Osteopathic or chiropractic manipulation involves specific manipulation and adjustments made by a qualified and certified chiropractor to reduce pain and keep facet joints flexible.
Adults who have degenerative scoliosis may have discs and vertebrae that are not aligned, leading to compressed nerves resulting in scoliosis pain. This leads to the straining of compensatory muscles, misalignments, and interference with nerve function. A chiropractor will start by conduction a thorough exam of your scoliosis situation. He or she will then explain their findings and describe how chiropractic treatments can help you. The goal of chiropractic medicine is to restore optimal functioning of the nervous system and correct structural misalignments. When your treatment plan is executed, the chiropractor will administer gentle adjustments to areas that were identified as misaligned and causing problems. This will help to alleviate pressure that is there on the nerves. It will also help with pain relief. Slowly nerve function will improve, muscle tone will increase, and many postural issues will be rectified.
Living with scoliosis may hamper your quality of life. Chiropractic medicine may be a suitable alternative in managing your condition.