What Is Scoliosis?
Scoliosis is a condtition of abdnormal spinal curvature(s) and it's the most common spinal deformity in the world. In the United States along, it affects 7 million individuals which is 2-3% of the population. Scoliosis is a condition that almost always begins in early childhood and girls are 8x more likely to develop it. If a child with scoliosis is not treated for the condition, it could later cause chronic pain, a deformed spine, poor posture, and in some cases, heart, lung, or gastrointestinal problems.
A curved spine is one that fails to develop normal front-to-back arches, causing undue weight to be carried on the vertebral discs. If a disc or vertebra shifts to one side or another, the spine may follow. From the back to front, the spinal column should be a straight line from the neck down to the tailbone . When the spine starts to shift from side to side over 10 degrees, it can be classified as scoliosis. Curved spines have an abnormal sideways bend.
There are many causes of scoliosis. The birth event, or even daily activities, may cause vertebrae to become misaligned, a condition called subluxation. In some cases, scoliosis can be inherited as a result of a short leg or pelvic distortion. Some early childhood diseases also have been linked as possible contributors to scoliosis. Some think children are forced to walk at too early an age before their spines fully develop. By far, the most common type of scoliosis diagnosis with "Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis." With the term idiopathic referring to unknown causes.
An amazing fact is that symptoms in children do not correlate with the degree of a deformity. They can have significantly deformed curves in their backs without any pain at all. This is why screening from a young age is imperative for all school aged children. Chiropractors specialize in biomechanics of the spine and addressing discrepancies, so they regularly check children for curves.
Signs that a child make have a curvature includes:
- Unleveling of the shoulder height compared from side to side
- A shoulder blade that wings out
- Length of legs are not even
- The height of the pelvis is unleveled compared from side to side
- Back pain, neck pain or headaches
Chiropractic care, including spinal manipulation, can be an effective means to stem further spine curvature, and in some cases, even reverse the damage. In addition, back braces, which have become technologically advanced and lightweight, may assist the spine in returning to its normal straight position. Only about 10 percent of those with scoliosis eventually require surgical treatment.