Scoliosis refers to a sideways spinal curvature. However, it should not be confused with kyphosis – another condition characterized by spinal curvature. Scoliosis is more common among children and adolescents, but it can also develop in older people.
The cause of scoliosis in children, also known as adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, is generally unknown. In adults, this problem can occur due to muscular dystrophy or cerebral palsy.
A severe form of scoliosis can cause disability. For example, the extreme spinal curvature can reduce room for lungs inside the chest, affecting their functions.
Table of Contents
- 1 Symptoms of Scoliosis
- 2 Scoliosis Causes
- 3 Diagnosis of Scoliosis
- 4 Treatment Options for Scoliosis
- 5 Scoliosis Treatment FAQs
- 6 Schedule a Consultation
Symptoms of Scoliosis
Common symptoms of scoliosis include:
- Uneven chest
- Uneven shoulders
- One-shoulder blade becomes more prominent than the other
- One hip appears lower than the other
- Forward projection of one side of the rib cage
- One side of the back is higher than the other when bending down
The spine twists or rotates aside from curving sideways in most scoliosis cases. As a result, the muscles or ribs on one side of the chest may stick out more than on the other side.
The causes of the most common scoliosis type are primarily unknown. Experts believe this problem is genetic and may run from sibling to sibling or parents to offspring. Risk factors for scoliosis may include:
- Congenital diseases affecting the bone and spine development
- Muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, or other neuromuscular conditions (leading causes of scoliosis in adults)
- History of surgical treatment on the chest during childhood
- Infections or injuries to the spine
- Abnormalities with the spinal cord
In general, scoliosis is classified into structural scoliosis and non-structural scoliosis.
- Structural scoliosis occurs due to problems with the spinal structure and is the most common type of scoliosis.
- Non-structural scoliosis happens due to issues not directly related to the spine, such as poor posture and muscle spasms in the back.
Diagnosis of Scoliosis
The initial diagnosis of scoliosis involves a physical exam for body joint assessment and some imaging tests, such as:
- X-rays test
- CT scan or MRI
- Spinal radiograph
Then, the doctor measures the spine deformity using the Cobb method. This method helps determine the severity of the problem by measuring the degree of the curve. Generally, a spine is considered ‘curved’ if its curvature is 10 degrees or more. A curvature of 25-30 degrees curvature is deemed to be significant. And a curvature exceeding 45 degrees is a severe problem.
Treatment Options for Scoliosis
Scoliosis subsides when your child grows into a teenager. However, progressive scoliosis worsens with age. Multiple methods are available to treat or manage this condition. Your doctor will choose a treatment plan depending on its ability to solve your problem and the problem’s severity. The most common scoliosis treatment options are:
- Brace Treatment
- Osteopathic Treatment
Let’s explain these briefly one by one.
Bracing helps slow down spinal growth in a direction that must be prevented and speeds up its development in the right direction. This treatment doesn’t reverse the curvature. However, it can help reduce the progression of the curvature until the child reaches the age at which skeletal maturity is acquired.
The concept of surgery for scoliosis is based on spinal fusion. This involves fusing the curved vertebrae into a solid, aligned structure. The tools and technology available today allow surgeons to improve the spinal curve significantly.
This body alignment correction treatment mainly depends on the abnormal spinal curve’s effect on a patient’s life. The condition’s progression towards its severity is also a factor to consider in this treatment. Osteopathy aims at mobilizing the lumbar and thoracic spine along with the rib cage. This helps increase the range of movement. Although this treatment is not a cure for scoliosis, it can help manage unsightly and painful symptoms effectively.
Scoliosis Treatment FAQs
How much does it cost for scoliosis treatment?
The cost of scoliosis treatment differs from person to person, depending on the treatment method selected and the problem's severity.
Can scoliosis be cured?
Scoliosis cannot be cured when it progresses into adulthood. It is a progressive condition that can only get worse unless you do something to manage its symptoms or slow its progression through different therapeutic methods
What exercises can help with scoliosis?
Specific exercises can help control scoliosis, such as:
Arm and leg raises
Latissimus dorsi stretch
Practicing a straighter posture
Is scoliosis a serious condition?
Scoliosis is not a life-threatening condition, but it can lead to a severe curve of the spine if left untreated in its progressive state.
What will happen if scoliosis is not treated?
Scoliosis, if left untreated, can cause severe curvature in the spine, which can damage the lungs or heart. Severe scoliosis can cause body malalignment, which affects the ability to walk or work.
Can you correct scoliosis without surgery?
Most cases of scoliosis do not require medical intervention. However, this is not the case with progressive scoliosis. While surgery is a surefire way to treat this spinal misalignment, other treatments are also available to control its progression. Those options include bracing and osteopathy.
What should I avoid if I have scoliosis?
You will need to exclude a few specific things from your life if you have scoliosis. For example, you should not consume fast foods, processed foods, soda, and foods containing corn syrup. Moreover, you will need to avoid sleeping on your stomach and engaging in physical activities involving too much body movement.
Schedule a Consultation
Are you worried about the impact of scoliosis on your life or that of your child? It is undoubtedly time to get this problem treated before it worsens. At Euromed Clinic Dubai, you can get highly customized treatment for scoliosis from the hands of highly skilled practitioners. For more information or to book a consultation, please fill out the online form below.
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