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Scoliosis
 
What is scoliosis?
 

Everyone's spine has a natural front-to-back curve -- that's what produces the normal rounding of the shoulders and the sway of the lower back. However, some people suffer from "Scoliosis" -- an abnormal curvature of the spine, especially one characterized by a rotational side-to-side deformity. In simple terms, what this means is that the spine is twisted side-to-side, often taking on an "S" shaped appearance and even resembling a corkscrew in some cases. Almost three out of every 100 people have some degree of abnormal spinal curvature, and for some it never becomes a serious problem. But for many others, the curve gets worse over time and can cause considerable pain, frustration, and limitations on normal activities. Severe scoliosis can even complicate breathing and circulation.

 
Who suffers from scoliosis?
 

The most common form of scoliosis is called idiopathic scoliosis, which basically means that the cause is unknown. Anyone can suffer from scoliosis; the condition usually begins in childhood, although too often it is not identified until the teenage years or later. Scoliosis tends to run in families, and it affects many more girls than boys. In fact, research indicates that girls are nearly eight times more likely than boys to have scoliosis and five times more likely to require some form of treatment for their condition than boys, and the curvature of their spine is more likely to worsen over time, especially if left unattended.

 
What are some of the symptoms of scoliosis?
 

Sometimes curvature of the spine is visible (the body tilts to the left or the right, or one shoulder blade is raised higher than the other. Some of the actual physical symptoms of scoliosis can include back pain, fatigue (especially postural fatigue -- feeling tired when standing, sitting, etc.), and in more severe cases, problems with circulation and breathing.

 
What can chiropractic do?
 

Doctors of chiropractic are trained to identify and manage problems relating to the spine and the back. An initial visit to the chiropractor will include a thorough physical and diagnostic examination (including range-of-motion tests and spinal x-rays) to identify any problems you may be having, including whether you or your children may be suffering from abnormal or dangerous curvature of the spine. If you do show signs of scoliosis, the physicians at Spinal Rehab and Wellness Center can provide a variety of techniques to help your condition, including spinal adjustments to increase movement and biomechanical function, and advice on posture and exercise to help prevent further increase in the problem.

 

References
• Oda I, Abumi K, Lu D, et al. Biomechanical role of the posterior elements, costovertebral joints, and chest cage in the   stability of the thoracic spine. Spine, 1996: Vol. 21, pp1423-29.
• Jones RS, Kennedy JD, Hasham F, et al. Mechanical insufficiency of the thoracic cage in scoliosis. Thorax, 1981: Vol. 36,   pp456-61.
• Gupta P, Lenke LG, Bridwell KH. Incidence of neural axis abnormalities in infantile and juvenile patients with spinal   deformity. Is a magnetic resonance imaging screening necessary? Spine, Jan. 1999: Vol. 23, No. 6, pp206-210.
• Maiocco B, Deeney VF, Coulon R, et al. Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis and the presence of spinal cord abnormalities.   Spine, Nov. 1997: Vol. 22, No. 21, pp2537-41.
• Goldberg CJ, Moore DP, Fogarty EE, et al. Left thoracic curve patterns and their association with disease. Spine, June 15,     1999: Vol. 24, No. 12, pp1228-1233.
• Lloyd-Roberts GC, et al. Progression in idiopathic scoliosis. Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, 1978: 60B(4).
• Sunderland S. Nerves and Nerve Injuries, 1978. Churchill-Livingstone, New York.
• Trontelj JV, et al. Segmental neurophysiological mechanisms in scoliosis. Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, 1979:   61B(4).

 
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