The American Chiropractic Association estimates that as many as 7 million Americans suffer from scoliosis - a condition that occurs when the spine twists and curves to the side, rather than being in a straight column. It can affect patients of any age, but it most commonly starts to develop in children when they are between 10 and 15 years of age. Although scoliosis sounds like it is very serious, in mild cases, little to no treatment will be needed. However, if patients experience issues as a result of their scoliosis, they may want to consider professional support. This is because as the extent of the curve increases, it can cause a range of other health problems, including reduced lung capacity and breathing difficulties.
Chiropractic care is one treatment that has been shown to be helpful in alleviating the effects of scoliosis. Here’s what you need to know about treating scoliosis with chiropractic care.
You or your child could have scoliosis if you experience the following symptoms:
A visibly curved spine
A natural predisposition to lean to one side
Ribs sticking out on one side
One shoulder or hip appears to jut out
Clothes don’t seem to fit well
Back pain (more common in adults than children)
If you think that you may be suffering from scoliosis, your chiropractor – who is specifically trained to diagnose conditions affecting the musculoskeletal system – will be able to conduct an assessment and confirm a diagnosis for you. Once this has been established, your personalized treatment plan can be created.
In the vast majority of cases, the underlying cause of a patient’s scoliosis is never identified, and experts believe that its development isn’t attributed to lifestyle factors such as poor posture, diet, or exercise. Some patients may be more likely to be affected if they have immediate relatives who also have the condition.
There are some different types of scoliosis that occur due to a specific underlying condition, but these are fairly rare. They include:
Congenital scoliosis. This occurs when the bones in the spine don’t form properly when you are a baby still in the womb. Patients with congenital scoliosis are born with a curved spine.
Neuromuscular scoliosis. This can affect patients with nerve or muscle conditions, including cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy.
Degenerative scoliosis. Normally affecting older adults, this occurs when there is wear and tear on the spine associated with advancing age.
If you suffer from scoliosis, chiropractic care represents an excellent alternative to undergoing surgery. Chiropractic techniques for scoliosis are non-invasive and drug-free, focused on reducing the client’s pain by decreasing the pressure on their nervous system and strengthening their body’s core. This in turn can help other body systems to function more effectively, reducing inflammation and promoting the release of natural pain-relieving chemicals which make the patient more comfortable.
Spinal decompression therapy is one specific chiropractic technique that may be recommended for patients with scoliosis. This painless, non-surgical therapy works by gently stretching the spine, which changes the force and position of the spine. This in turn takes the pressure off of the intervertebral discs, which are the gel-like cushions found between the bones of the spine.
Exactly which techniques and therapies you will be offered will depend on your individual circumstances, and your chiropractor will create a specific, tailored treatment plan for you that will help you achieve increased physical comfort and mobility so that your scoliosis has the minimum possible impact on your day to day life.
For more advice on chiropractic care for scoliosis, or to schedule an appointment, please call our pain relief center in North Charleston, SC today.