Most adults today remember getting scoliosis tests while they were in school. You would get into a forward bend position so a physician or school nurse could look for abnormalities in the shoulders, back or rib cage. This is not only a common practice in Laurel, MD area schools but around the country.
For most people, this is essentially all they know about scoliosis. However, this condition is more common and more serious than the average adult realizes.
Scoliosis is actually one of the most common spinal conditions that impacts people today. Scoliosis is defined by an abnormal sideways curvature of the spine. Typically, this condition appears in adolescents during their growth spurts. It is estimated that about 3% of adolescents today have scoliosis, although some cases are so mild they may never be detected until that individual has a set of full spinal x-rays.
What Exactly is Scoliosis?
Scoliosis is diagnosed when the spine curves more than ten degrees to the right or to the left when the patient is facing the examiner. Typically, scoliosis begins as a minor bend in the spine and gradually progresses over your lifetime. When the spine eventually advances to more extreme stages of scoliosis, it can come with serious side effects and health consequences.
The good news is that when scoliosis is discovered early on, it is can be prevented from advancing to a debilitating state. Early detection is the key to preventing this advancement. This is why school-wide scoliosis tests are so common.
The exact cause of scoliosis is still relatively unknown. While there are some extreme cases that can be attributed to cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy, the cause of scoliosis is relatively unknown.
There are also unknowns surrounding the exact origin of the curve. In the early stages of scoliosis, it may just be a tiny bend caused by a single misalignment of an individual vertebra. Over time, the body will begin to compensate to ensure the head remains level, making the condition worse.
You may be able to tell if you or your child has scoliosis if you notice the following signs and symptoms:
- Uneven shoulders
- One shoulder blade appearing more prominently than the other
- Unevenness in the waist
- One hip appears higher than the other
- Extreme leaning to one side
- Visibly curved spine
- Clothes not fitting well
- Ribs sticking out to one side
- Unexplained back pain
- Nerve damage causing weakness, pain and numbness in the legs and feet
So, what do you do if you know or suspect you have this condition? A first step is to see your chiropractor.
Why Should You See Your Laurel Chiropractor For Scoliosis?
Simply put, chiropractors are doctors of the spine. They deal with the spine regularly and can help diagnose your condition so you can get the treatment that you need.
Your chiropractor will typically start with a set of full spinal x-rays to get a clear view of your entire neck and back and to identify if there are any curves or spinal irregularities. This is the most accurate way to diagnose scoliosis.
Early detection and diagnosis is essential to treatment. If the condition goes unchecked, it can lead to severe, long-term consequences. This includes back and neck pain, shoulder issues and reoccurring injuries. Scoliosis has also been linked to sciatica. In severe cases of scoliosis, it can be tied to lung and heart issues, menstruation difficulties and other physical challenges.
Scoliosis Treatment Options in Laurel, MD
Unfortunately, scoliosis is a progressive and will not just fix itself or go away without treatment, meaning there are many adults who have been living with this condition since childhood.
While there are some very extreme cases that may need surgical intervention, many scoliosis cases can be treated with chiropractic care. A doctor of chiropractic is trained to diagnose scoliosis and can either put you on a plan for regular adjustments or refer you to another specialist for care.
Chiropractic adjustments are a gentle and conservative approach to treatment. Adjustments are safe and non-invasive and can help assist the body in the restoration process of compensating for these irregular curves. Over time, regular chiropractic care can help prevent, slow and even stop the progression of scoliosis.
Here at McAuliffe Chiropractic, we have seen countless Laurel area patients with scoliosis and work to make sure that they are getting the care that they need. You don’t have to wait for scoliosis to get worse, you can get a treatment that will help. If you have questions about scoliosis, or if you are interested in getting in full spine x-rays to get a clear diagnosis on your condition, give our Laurel office a call today. You can reach us by calling 301-957-5032 or schedule and appointment online today.