Scoliosis is a condition many people have heard of, but aren’t quite sure what it is. Scoliosis is a lateral curve of the spine. When looking at someone from the back, the spine should be straight. In a patient with scoliosis the spine is S-shaped.
Scoliosis is most common in females, and is usually detected sometime between 9 and 16 years of age. A person is more likely to have scoliosis if a close relative, such as a mother, aunt, or grandmother also has scoliosis. The cause of most cases of scoliosis is unknown. It is believed that information from the muscles and joints around the spine is misinterpreted in the spinal cord or in the brain. This misinterpretation of information leads to curving of the spine. This misinterpretation may also lead to problems with balance. Many children with scoliosis may seem a little more clumsy than children without it. Most cases of scoliosis do not cause back pain. This means that a child can have the problem, but show no obvious symptoms.
So how can you find out if your child has scoliosis? Children should be screened by a trained professional at least one time between 5th and 9th Grade. Some schools provide these screenings while your child is at school. However, school screenings are not always mandatory, so call your school to determine what their policy is. If you are unsure whether your child has been checked for scoliosis, contact your Doctor of Chiropractic and schedule a scoliosis screening for your child. It is important to have your child checked for scoliosis because the earlier it is found, the better the treatment opportunities are.
If the scoliosis screening reveals scoliosis might be present, a more thorough spinal examination is necessary. Doctors of Chiropractic are experts in spinal examination, and can accurately determine if your child has scoliosis or not. If scoliosis is found during the examination, x-rays will most likely be taken to determine how large the curve is. The degree of curvature can be measured on the x-rays. Curves that measure less than 20 degrees can usually be treated with chiropractic care. Curves that measure 20 degrees to 40 degrees can usually be treated with chiropractic care, but will also require close monitoring and possibly bracing. These larger curves are more likely to increase in size, especially if the child hasn’t stopped growing yet. However, most scoliosis cases are non-progressive and can be treated with chiropractic care alone.
The treatment of scoliosis usually includes exercises to strengthen the spine, physical therapies, and chiropractic adjustments. Bracing is sometimes required in the larger curves that show signs of increasing in size. Chiropractic adjustments help to reduce muscular tension and improve spinal balance. The adjustments also help to restore as much normal motion as possible to the joints in the spine. Exercises can help strengthen the muscles around the spine, and physical therapies can reduce any muscular tightness around the curves. If the scoliosis is found before the child has stopped growing, sometimes treatment can reduce the size of the curve.
What if you are an adult with scoliosis? Scoliosis in adults does not usually increase in size because the spine is finished growing. Scoliosis in adults is more likely to cause a dull aching pain in the spine. This pain is usually caused by arthritis at the areas with the most curvature. Chiropractic adjustments can help restore motion to the joints, relax the muscles, and significantly reduce the pain.
To schedule a free scoliosis screening for your child, or to speak with a chiropractor in the Edwardsville, IL area to determine if chiropractic care could help you manage your scoliosis, call Dr. Emily Brueggeman at 618-692-0000 .