Scoliosis refers to an abnormal curvature of the spine. The angle of the curve may vary from large to small, but any curve that is greater than 10% is considered to be scoliosis. Doctors may use the letters “S” or “C,” depending on the shape of the spine, to refer to the backbone’s curve.
Those that have scoliosis may appear to have uneven shoulders and waist. In some cases, one shoulder blade might stick out farther than the other, or one hip might appear to be higher than the other hip. You may notice that they lean a little bit to one side when standing straight up. For those with severe scoliosis, the spine might begin to rotate in addition to the initial curving to one side. If this happens and the spine continues to twist, the ribs on one side may become more prominent than the other side.
Scoliosis usually shows up in adolescence during growth spurts. While minor idiopathic scoliosis affects equal numbers of girls and boys, girls are more likely to have the condition escalate and worsen, where treatment might be necessary.
The majority of scoliosis cases do not have a known cause, which doctors refer to as “idiopathic.” Genetics can play a role in idiopathic scoliosis. If you have this condition or one of your children has idiopathic scoliosis, it would be a good idea to have your other children routinely screened.
That said, other scoliosis cases do have known causes. Doctors categorize these cases as either structural or nonstructural.
With nonstructural scoliosis, the spine looks curved, but seems to work normally. There are many different causes of nonstructural scoliosis, including one leg being longer than the other leg, muscle spasms, and appendicitis. When these conditions are treated, the scoliosis tends to go away and is no longer an issue.
With structural scoliosis, the curve of the spine remains, and the effects are long-term. Causes of structural scoliosis includes cerebral palsy, tumors, muscular dystrophy, and infections.
If a person’s spinal curves are mild, they probably will not need to treat the condition with a brace or surgery. They will just need regular doctor appointments to reassess the curvature to make sure it is not getting larger. Treatment is always recommended on an individual basis.
If a person has moderate scoliosis, a brace might be recommended to rectify the curve. Especially if it is a child that is suffering from moderate scoliosis, since his or her bones are still growing. A brace will not permanently cure scoliosis, but it may prevent the condition from progressing. When the bones stop growing, the person will discontinue wearing a brace.
If a person has severe scoliosis, the doctor might recommend surgery, such as spinal fusion. Surgery will reduce the severity of the spinal curve and stop it from worsening. As with any surgery, complications might occur, which may include excessive bleeding, pain, or nerve damage.
Contact Absolute Chiropractic & Wellness Center in Herndon, VA
If you think you or your child might be dealing with scoliosis in Herndon, VA, do not hesitate to reach out to a chiropractor at Absolute Chiropractic & Wellness Center. They will be able to provide excellent care and answer any questions you may have about scoliosis. Call us at (703) 742-5470 today!