The spine runs straight down the middle of the back, but when someone has scoliosis, the backbone curves to the side. This curve may be small or large. Anything that measures more than ten degrees is scoliosis. Someone with scoliosis may lean while they are standing, or appear to have shoulders or hips that look uneven.
The cause of Scoliosis
Doctors can’t find the exact reason for a curved spine in many cases, so it is called idiopathic, meaning it doesn’t have a known cause. However, there are some kinds of scoliosis that do have clear causes. There are two types, structural and nonstructural.
Nonstructural scoliosis is where the spine works normally, but looks curved. Reasons for this may be:
- One leg being longer than the other
- Muscle spasms
- Inflammations such as appendicitis
When these problems are treated, nonstructural scoliosis often goes away.
Structural scoliosis is when the curve of the spine is rigid and can’t be reversed. Causes include:
- Birth defects
- Muscular dystrophy
- Cerebral palsy
- Genetic conditions
Congenial scoliosis begins as a baby’s back develops before birth. If there are problems in the tiny bones in the back, vertebrae, a curve to the spine can occur. Vertebrae may be incomplete or fail to divide properly. This may be able to be detected when the child is born, but it may not be found until the child is in their teen years.
Degenerative scoliosis affects adults, and usually develops in the lower back as the disks and joints of the spine wear out as you age.
Risk Factors for Idiopathic Scoliosis
Family history and genetics can be risk factors. If one child has this condition, your other children should be screened regularly. Scoliosis often shows up during growth spurts, typically between 10 and 15. Though the same number of boys and girls are diagnosed with minor idiopathic scoliosis, curves in girls are ten times more likely to get worse.
Scoliosis diagnosed during teen years can continue into adulthood. The greater the angle of the spine curve is, the more likely it will increase over time. If you have had scoliosis in the past, have your doctor check your back regularly.
The first step to treatment is finding a chiropractor that can effectively diagnose scoliosis. Chiropractic treatment can’t straighten the spine when it comes to scoliosis, but they are a great as a supportive member of your team that can stop or lessen worsening of the spine.
A few things need to happen together so scoliosis can be treated effectively.
- Reposition joints of the spine.
- You do need to learn how to use the muscles and spinal joints differently than you’re accustomed to.
- Your muscles need to be relaxed.
Treatment can include scoliosis stretches, massages, and exercises alongside scoliosis-specific adjustments.
If you’re looking for a consultation for your spinal health needs, give Cross Valley Chiropractic a call at (570) 822-484.