Scoliosis is one of the most common spinal conditions impacting Americans today. Chances are, you remember getting “checked” in school for scoliosis, or an abnormal curvature in the spine. Scoliosis is typically diagnosed when a person is a teenager, and is more common in girls than boys, but it can be diagnosed at any time. This is because anywhere from 5-7 million Americans today struggle with scoliosis.
What Exactly Is Scoliosis?
A “normal” or healthy spine should look like a vertical or straight line from the back. A spine with scoliosis can have anything from a small lateral curvature of the spine to a full “S” shaped curvature. In prominent cases of scoliosis, the individual will have uneven hips, a body that leans to one side, or shoulders that are unbalanced.
In most cases, scoliosis is diagnosed by a chiropractor or medical doctor with a physical examination or x-rays.
Here at our Howard County, MD chiropractic office, we see a lot of spines, and understand that a lot of people struggle with varying levels of scoliosis. Many cases of scoliosis have a small curvature that is less than 20 degrees. Typically, people with these mild cases of scoliosis have very little symptoms, and their condition can only be diagnosed by the eye of a trained professional.
What Are the Different Types of Scoliosis?
While many people are familiar with scoliosis, most individuals don’t realize there are multiple types of scoliosis, each with their own unique features. This includes the following forms of scoliosis:
- Congenital Scoliosis: This is present at birth and is caused by a bone abnormality.
- Degenerative Scoliosis: Comes from a traumatic injury, deformation, major spinal surgery or osteoporosis.
- Idiopathic Scoliosis: This is a condition that arises spontaneously without any known cause. It is the most common form of scoliosis and often runs in families.
- Neuromuscular Scoliosis: This is the type of scoliosis that commonly occurs in individuals with certain conditions such as spinal bifida or cerebral palsy. It can come from irregular nerve or muscle formation.
What Are the Symptoms and Side Effects of Scoliosis?
Many people don’t realize they have scoliosis until it is confirmed by a doctor, because many mild cases of scoliosis don’t have any noticeable symptoms or pain right away. However, like most conditions that are left untreated, sometimes scoliosis can lead to future health problems.
More specifically, scoliosis can lead to degenerative disc disease and spinal osteoarthritis as someone with scoliosis ages. This can interfere with the nerve supply to vital muscles and organs and lead to additional health problems including:
- Digestive issues
- Numbness or tingling in the extremities
- Heart issues or high blood pressure
There is a very real potential for scoliosis to turn into something more serious. This is why it is so important for anyone with this condition to get treatment for this irregular curvature. The first and most important step in this process is to visit a Doctor of Chiropractic.
A chiropractor will be able to take x-rays of the spine and perform a full evaluation of your spine to determine if you have scoliosis and how severe your curvature may be. From here, your chiropractor will be able to create a treatment plan to help you with your scoliosis treatment.
How Can a Chiropractor Help With Scoliosis?
Chiropractic care is a non-invasive, pro-active treatment that is proven to help individual with scoliosis. With proper, regular, chiropractic adjustments, a chiropractor can gently help bring the spine back to its normal position and straighten unnatural lateral curves.
The process will take time and consistency and is most effective in mild cases and doesn’t require any torso braces. However, even in extreme, “Stage 3” cases, where the curve is more than 40 degrees, chiropractic can help lessen the intensity of the curve and prevent it from getting worse.
It is important to note that while chiropractic care can help in many scoliosis cases, there are also some severe cases that may benefit from surgical intervention. After taking x-rays your chiropractor will be able to give you a detailed look at your spine and realistic expectations regarding what to expect with treatment.
If you have already gotten surgical metal rods to correct your scoliosis, you can still visit a chiropractor for treatment. A Doctor of Chiropractic will know how to safely and properly adjust around metal rods.
Here at McAuliffe Chiropractic Office, we understand there are a lot of uncertainties surrounding scoliosis and how to get the proper care and treatment for this condition. We are happy to answer any questions that you may have about scoliosis and chiropractic care. This is why we are here to help our patients in the greater Laurel, MD and Howard County area find the care they need to feel their best. Call us today with any questions that you may have at 301-776-0755 or book an appointment with us online today.