Functional Chiropractic | Scoliosis
Scoliosis is the term given to the medical condition where curvature of the spine can be left or right sided. This can affect any part of the spine. While scoliosis is generally associated with very young people, scoliosis can occur in adults. Scoliosis is caused by spinal misalignments occurring during the developmental years and should only be diagnosed by spinal specialists known as Chiropractors. It may cause the bones forming asymmetrically or can be caused after birth by injury or trauma to the spine. It is categorized according to the degree of curvature and which part of the spine it affects. Scoliosis can vary in degrees: mild, moderate, or severe. While it typically appears during puberty due to a change in weight distribution and growth spurt, it has been known to develop at any age. It is commonly identified by pain in the upper back or neck caused by spinal nerve compression due to slumping.
A “C-shaped” spine, an “S-shaped” spine, and a double or even triple curvature of the spine are all early symptoms of scoliosis in children that parents should look for. When a child has a moderate to severe scoliosis curve, they will usually experience some degree of rib hump at the apex of their curve. To detect scoliosis at a young age, a scoliosis doctor recommends that children undergo some scoliosis screening. These are the three common ways to determine if someone has scoliosis:
1.) Spinal Radiography (X-ray): It can detect curve severity, disc degeneration, and tumors or cysts.
2.) Computerized Tomography (CT) Scans: This is helpful because it can give more precise images than X-rays without the risk of exposure to harmful radiation.
3.) Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): An MRI is helpful because it can provide detailed images of soft tissue like ligaments, muscles, and the spinal cord.
However, Spinal x-rays are the least invasive approach, and the primary imaging tool used by chiropractors.
Types of Scoliosis
Scoliosis is classified as idiopathic, congenital, or neuromuscular.
This is usually diagnosed in children between the ages of 10 and 18 and is often hereditary.
This is diagnosed in children 3-6 and caused by a bony defect or abnormal connective tissue.
This is a deformity of the spine caused by aberrant muscle spasms or muscle weakening.
Symptoms of Scoliosis
These are the various signs and symptoms of scoliosis that people may experience:
Uneven Shoulders & Hips
One shoulder may be higher than the other, or one hip may be more prominent.
Protruding Shoulder Blade
The shoulder blade protrudes at the spine causing discomfort in the upper back/neck area.
Difference in Leg Length
One leg may be longer than the other which causes uneven hips and legs.
Decreased pulmonary function can affect breathing capacity negatively.
It is common to experience back pain due to muscle spasms or nerve discomfort.
Visible Curved Spine
Upon bending over, the spine is apparently curved in one or more places.
Associated Conditions to Scoliosis
Primary factors to consider when diagnosing a patient with scoliosis are:
Nerve and Muscle Conditions
Muscle imbalance caused by bending or slouching when sitting for extended periods.
Cerebral Palsy Syndrome
This is an imbalance of the spine due to a brain injury at birth/in early childhood.
This is a disorder that weakens the muscles over time and can affect the flexibility of the spine.
Frequent Poor Posture
This causes muscle imbalances, putting pressure on different parts of the spine. This can result in curvature or misalignment of your back.
Structural Birth Defects
Many congenital disabilities affect the bones in the spine, leading to fixation problems in the joints that can cause spine malformations.
Spinal Cord Injuries
These injuries are caused by trauma to the spinal column or nerves within it. Effects range from pain and numbness to problems with movement.
Treatment Options and Information for Scoliosis
Early diagnosis is the best chance of treating scoliosis properly. It is important to educate yourself on the options of scoliosis treatment because prevention is the best option. Chiropractic care can identify these spinal imbalances early and prevent the advancement of scoliosis.
Why Choose Functional Chiropractic
The Chiropractor at Functional Chiropractic has years of experience caring for patients with a variety of spinal conditions. He will work closely with each patient to receive personalized care that meets the unique needs and goals for recovery. Our goal is to help you feel better than ever before, which means we’ll work closely with you every step of the way. If you have any symptoms of scoliosis and you live in Huntsville, AL, Functional Chiropractic has the treatment for you.