Scoliosis, an unnatural curvature of the spine, is typically diagnosed in early childhood or teenage years. This condition can cause poor posture, back pain, and other ailments. Once diagnosed, it’s recommended to seek professional corrective care.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with an abnormal curvature of the spine, a consultation with Specific Care Chiropractic for scoliosis can end the pain it can cause. With proper treatment, this condition can be prevented from worsening.
In this article, we’ll highlight the signs and symptoms of this condition, its three types, and its treatment.
Signs and Symptoms of Scoliosis
Scoliosis can affect people of all ages, although it’s more common to begin to develop in children aged 10 to 15. In mild forms, those with a curvature of the spine can engage in all normal physical activities, including sports and exercise. Common symptoms of scoliosis can include:
- Back pain
- Uneven shoulders
- A visibly curved spine
- A natural tendency to lean to one side when standing
- Protruding ribs on one side of the body
- One hip or shoulder sticking out unnaturally
Types of Scoliosis
Scoliosis is categorized into 4 different types. They’re broken down by severity and cause.
- Idiopathic scoliosis – By far, the most common type of scoliosis is referred to as idiopathic. This type defies cause, although some experts believe it could have been due to poor posture, lack of exercise, or poor diet.
- Congenital scoliosis – Congenital scoliosis occurs when the child is still in the womb and results from a development issue. The bones of the spine form incorrectly, or sections of the spinal column grow at different rates. Diagnosis typically occurs in early childhood.
- Neuromuscular scoliosis – Neuromuscular scoliosis is a symptom of bigger issues. It can be caused by conditions such as spinal bifida, cerebral palsy, and muscular dystrophy.
- Degenerative scoliosis – When older adults are diagnosed with scoliosis, it’s typically due to decades of wear and tear on the spine and can be caused by a sedentary lifestyle or poor nutrition.
How to Prevent Scoliosis from Worsening
Although extreme cases of scoliosis may require wearing a back brace or invasive corrective surgery known as spinal fusion, most with the condition can greatly benefit from chiropractic care. After reviewing your x-rays or imaging scans, a licensed chiropractor specializing in scoliosis can develop a treatment plan to help prevent the condition from worsening.
Most with idiopathic scoliosis cannot only find relief from back pain but also can help to prevent their condition from worsening by engaging in physical therapy treatments. Common physical therapy treatments can include stretching and strength-building exercises. Under the care of a physical therapist, increasing flexibility and strength can assist with an improved range of motion and an overall better quality of life.
A physical therapy plan can also include other methods for preventing the worsening of scoliosis with massage, ultrasound treatments, and electrical muscle stimulation (E-STIM) therapy.
In conjunction with physical therapy, traditional chiropractic adjustments can also help to alleviate pain and prevent the worsening of scoliosis. These adjustments can help realign the spinal cord, reducing irritation and stiffness in the back.
A chiropractor will perform scoliosis-specific manipulations to gently and gradually correct the spine’s unnatural curve. Over time, these subtle adjustments can prevent the condition from worsening, with the endgame being to reduce the spine’s curvature.
One scoliosis-specific technique chiropractors use known as the Sacro-Occipital Technique or SOT. This helps better to align the head, pelvis, and spine. Using specially designed wedges placed under the patient’s hips, the chiropractor applies gentle pressure on different body parts to help correct misalignments.
Depending on your condition, pain level, and degree of curvature, your chiropractor will use different techniques and strategies to help to slow down or stop your spine from moving further out of alignment.
Types of Scoliosis and Treatments To Prevent It From Worsening: Final Thoughts
Scoliosis has 4 different types, although most with this condition suffer from what’s known as idiopathic scoliosis, meaning its cause is unknown. Fortunately, this most common form of scoliosis is treatable and doesn’t require invasive surgery.
Chiropractors have many different techniques and therapies that can not only lessen or eliminate the pain caused by scoliosis but can also help prevent the condition from worsening. They may recommend strength training, stretching, massage, and chiropractic adjustments as part of your treatment plan.