Scoliosis is a progressive, lateral (sideways) curvature of the spine. When viewed from the side, the spine should have curves. But when viewed from the front, the spine should be straight.
The most commonly found type of scoliosis is called “adolescent idiopathic scoliosis”. Idiopathic means “of unknown origin”. But recent research into the cause of scoliosis seems to suggest that there is often a familial or a genetic factor which affects the control of the growth of the spine. Scoliosis can affect both children and adults. In children it can be a more serious condition because it can rapidly progress as the child grows.
Scoliosis is usually first seen in children between the ages of 10 and 15 and is more common in girls than boys. However, it can occur in younger children aged 3 to 10 years (juvenile scoliosis) and in babies (infantile scoliosis). Scoliosis can also occur in adults with no previous history, due to spinal degeneration and advancing age. This is called De Novo scoliosis.
The effects of scoliosis include: poor posture, shoulder humping, muscle weakness, and pain. In rare cases scoliosis can lead to heart and lung problems. If scoliosis is detected and treated early, patients can avoid these symptoms in many cases. If left untreated, scoliosis can sometimes require surgery.
Treatment of Scoliosis
Conservative scoliosis treatments have the best result when the condition is detected early. By combining treatments into a program tailored for each patient and adjusted according to response it is often possible to avoid the more unpleasant, expensive or dangerous treatment options.
- Specific Chiropractic Adjustments, designed to correct associated dysfunction of skeletal structures and reduce the torsion in the spinal cord
- Use of foot Orthotics and Heel Lifts to level the pelvis
- Exercises specifically designed to address balance, co-ordination and proprioceptive (body awareness) problems as well as stretch the muscles around the curves and correct changes in muscle fibres
- Nutritional support, there have been some suggestions that adolescents low in melatonin may be more susceptible but as yet the research supporting this idea is not compelling.
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