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Understanding what is scoliosis and how chiropractic care could benefits you

¿What is scoliosis?

Scoliosis is a lateral curvature of the spine.

When people says: “You have a crooked back!” It can be scoliosis.

Approximately, it affects almost 3 percent of the population, totaling more than 7 million people.

The quality of life may be diminished and participation in activities or sports may be limited due to pain, reduced respiratory function or even self-esteem.

Most cases of scoliosis occur during the period of growth just before adolescence, which could cause potential deformities.

Other consequences may even include cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy.

To date, doctors do not know what causes scoliosis, although they do involve early hereditary and postural factors.

While there is also no clear cure, there may be ways to provide relief and improve the quality of life of patients with scoliosis. For example, with chiropractic care.

In our consultation we have many patients with scoliosis that if in past, they knew how it would affect them over time, they would have looked for alternatives to prevent those injuries and those symptoms, such as coming to see us, much earlier. 

All of them, at some point, were told something like: 

  • You have a crooked back (you are very crooked),
  • Or you have a more outgoing shoulder blade,
  • As a child you always turned your head more on one side,
  • Your right hip is higher than the left
  • Yes, they told me I had scoliosis but I didn’t see it as something severe.

These comments may be early diagnoses of this pathology.

Types of scoliosis:

  • Congenital scoliosis: caused by a bone abnormality present at birth.
  • Neuromuscular scoliosis: frequently present in children and adults with spina bifida or cerebral palsy or in those with some type of paralysis.
  • Degenerative scoliosis: a traumatic collapse of some vertebrae (injury, severe blow or disease) due to physical trauma, back surgery or from osteoporosis.
  • Idiopathic scoliosis: it is the most common type of scoliosis, it has no specific identifiable cause. There are theories, but none has been conclusive. However, several investigations have shown that idiopathic scoliosis is hereditary.

There is no one hundred percent certain way to prevent all cases of scoliosis in adults. But certain conditions (that can be prevented by you) increase the chances for developing, such as: being overweight or obese, smoking, or lack of physical fitness, resulting in weak central muscles of the trunk.

These types of scoliosis can occur at different points of your back.

It would be the place of origin of scoliosis in your spine, but that ends up affecting your entire spine: lumbar, dorsal, dorso-lumbar, double-curve scoliosis.

Scoliosis in adults:

Sometimes it occurs due to degenerative diseases such as osteoarthritis. This is when the vertebrae begin to weaken on one side of the spine, which causes it to become uneven and form a curve.

And adult scoliosis in 90% of cases creates discomfort / pain.

Problems that scoliosis may cause:

A “crooked” body is the least serious consequence that scoliosis can cause you. It can inflict you pain in the buttocks, back or legs, and neuropathy, a disruption of sensation and function when a spinal nerve is compressed between the vertebrae.

Neuropathy should be treated without delay to prevent nerve death and permanent loss of function.

How can chiropractic care help people with scoliosis?

  • Pain is reduced and discomfort relieved.
  • Decreases inflammation.
  • Improves range of motion and joint mobility.
  • The flexibility increases.
  • The function of the nervous system is encouraged to work better.
  • This improves the lifestyle, as well as the activity that can be done.

Most importantly, it is a safe non-invasive and non-addictive alternative to prescription medications or over-the-counter pain relievers, which are commonly prescribed to patients to help them control their pain.

Remember that when the vertebrae are poorly placed, a pressure is exerted on the nerves and that’s not good..

By not letting the position get worse, the nerve function improves because the nerves do not pinch.

How it affects the muscles:

By relaxing the root (the nervous system and the vertebrae) the next layer in the human body is the muscular one.

And by managing pain and restoring nerve function, muscles can begin to strengthen.

And in turn, improves posture.

Making a good posture is not uncomfortable, and in fact, if we are in a bad posture and we are comfortable, that is a sign that we have a misaligned body. That, in the medium term, generates problems beyond a physical symptom.

You, who fell a couple of times, but a long time ago:

A spinal injury that deforms the vertebrae can also cause scoliosis.

In general, adults do not seek treatment for this until they develop symptoms, the most common being low back pain, stiffness and numbness, cramps or stabbing pain in the legs. Those affected often lean forward to try to relieve pressure on their affected nerves.

Others with scoliosis may lean forward because they lose the natural curve in their  lower back. This compensatory posture, in turn, can tighten the muscles of their lower back and legs, causing excessive fatigue and difficulty performing routine tasks.

Surgical treatment often involves spinal fusion to relieve pressure on the affected nerves. It has more risk in adults than in adolescents with scoliosis. But in general, the complication rates are high and the recovery is very slow, the Scoliosis Research Society also states.

But progress is being made in the development of less invasive measures.

And obviously, chiropractic is one of them. You will treat the root of the problem, this problem is will not go on, you will prevent it from getting worse, and is not an invasive method.

So,

We highly recommend you to have a checkup. 

If we think of prevention rather than sudden cure when the problem comes up, we could be healthier.

As each body is a different world, to see how chiropractic care can help you, we hope to see you on a first visit, very soon!

If they ever told you those phrases … really, come see us!

 

 Ilustration: Colaboration with Lara Trece.

Sources:
NYTIMES
The joint
Scoliosis Research Society

 

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