Have you ever been at the mall and notice someone with a spine tilting or bending? Unfortunately, many cases of Scoliosis do not have an obvious cause. There are many theories, but none have been found to be conclusive. There is, however, strong evidence that scoliosis is inherited from one's family. One known cause of scoliosis is a result of abnormal muscles or nerves. Most doctors describe the spinal curve as a "C" or "S" curve. Approximately 6-9 Million Americans have scoliosis by the age of 16. Most people identify their scoliosis between the ages of 10-15. Girls are more likely to be affected by scoliosis. Scoliosis commonly grows during your "growth spurt" years rarely progressing during adulthood. (1)
If a scoliosis curvature worsens, the spine (typically lumbar and thoracic spine) may rotate or twist in addition to curving. This can be seen on a full spine x-ray. This can cause the ribs on the affected side to protrude even more. Go to your medical doctor or a doctor of chiropractic if you notice signs or symptoms of scoliosis in your child or even yourself. Mild curves can develop without anyone noticing and may gradually appear noticeable, typically without pains. Many people develop spine curvatures after a sports injury, or whiplash injury in a car accident. (2)
Many curves typically look a bit like a backward C shape if your looking at the person from behind and involves the spine bending sideways to the right, which is clinically called dextroscoliosis. Regular C shape curves have a sideways spinal curvature on the left side of the back and are called levoscoliosis. Their are thoracic and lumbar spine charts that show the common pain patterns.
- Right thoracic curve - this one bends to the right side of the upper back
- Double major curve - the double curve has a right thoracic curve up top and a left lumbar curve at the bottom. The two curves often balance each other so less deformity is observed.
- Right lumbar curve - this curvature bends to the right side all in the lower back
- Right thoracolumbar curve - right bending curve starting in the thoracic region and ending in the lower back.(3)
Conventional Scoliosis Treatment depend on:
- Type of scoliosis
- Pattern and measured degree of curve
- Person's age/gender
- How much more is the person likely to grow
Based on these findings, the medical doctor may recommend observation, bracing, or surgery.(4)
During the traditional "watch n wait" time, most medical physicians recommend consistent office visits to an orthopedic surgeon for comparison X-rays to determine if the curve is worsening or staying the same. Unfortunately, during the time the patient could be getting the most benefit from chiropractic adjustments, therapeutic exercises, physical therapy, massage therapy or other nonsurgical interventions while this disorder is still in it's mild stage. (5)
For more information about Pragle Chiropractic And Massage Therapy, please visit www.praglechiro.com.