Scoliosis is something that most people have heard of but are unaware of what it means and how it impacts someone’s health. The truth is, most people know that ‘they got checked for it in elementary school’ but that is about it. By definition, Scoliosis is a lateral curvature in the spine greater than ten degrees when measuring the angle of the curve. There is also rotation, or twisting, of the spine as well. It is definitely one of the more common spinal problems that affect humans, but is the least understood.
The two most common types of scoliosis are: adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) and adult-onset degenerative scoliosis (ADS). Idiopathic simply means that there is no known cause of why the scoliosis exists. Most adolescents discover that they have AIS during screenings in school or at a pediatric checkup. Adolescents are the most commonly affected young age group because scoliosis can rapidly progress through sudden growth spurts, such as occurs during the adolescent years. Thinner children are more susceptible to scoliosis, with females being the more common gender affected. Girls also have higher risk for more progressive forms of scoliosis. The adult onset type (ADS) forms when age and degeneration break down the spine and cause it to curve. This has been associated with significant low back pain and even sciatica in adults.
So how do you determine if you or your child may have scoliosis? There are common signs that are used to assess if one may have this spinal problem or not. Some signs include:
One shoulder that is higher than the other
One hip and leg that looks lower or shorter than the other
Rib humping and scapular winging (where the shoulder blade sticks out from the ribcage)
Head shifting to one side on the shoulders
Adolescents with scoliosis don’t often have pain that is associated with having scoliosis, but adults will more commonly have pain in the site of the curvature, radicular symptoms like numbness and tingling and pain down one leg, or both, hip pain, etc. But again, pain does not have to be there to have scoliosis.
It is widely understood that scoliosis is not curable. So what are the best options for treating scoliosis? There are a few different options available for those of all ages. One of those options is seeing a chiropractor, especially one that is trained in the CBP or Chiropractic Biophysics technique. Being a CBP-trained doctor, we have helped many kids and adults help better their scoliosis and become more functional, pain-free people. Using a combination of mirror image exercises, adjustments, scoliosis specific traction and possibly bracing using ScoliBrace, correction and balance can be achieved in most cases. Of course, every spine is different and must have a proper exam and x-rays to determine severity and prognosis/treatability. If you or a loved one may have or has scoliosis, please give our office a call to sit down with one of our CBP-trained doctors for a complimentary consultation.