Everyone’s spine curves a little bit, but sometimes said curve goes beyond the normal amount. The curvature of your spine is what keeps your head positioned over your pelvis and is what helps to absorb any shock from the stress the biomechanics of moving place on your spine. If your spine is curved too much, so that it starts to look more like a C or an S, then this can result in a number of problems, since it impacts how your spine is meant to function.
This is called scoliosis, and while there is no known cure for it, there are treatment options available which can help. Chiropractors help scoliosis in a number of ways. Here’s what you need to know about scoliosis and the variety of ways that a chiropractor can help.
What Is Scoliosis?
As mentioned above, scoliosis is when your spine curves in a way that isn’t normal. It’s a sideways curvature that generally is mild, and most people who have a mild case of scoliosis can go about their lives as normal. In more severe cases, though, as the curve of your spine becomes more and more abnormal, this leads to escalated risk for other health issues. While scoliosis most commonly affects the lower section of your back and chest, it is possible for it to impact any area of your spine.
What Are The Signs Of Scoliosis?
We say signs of scoliosis rather than symptoms because more often than not, there aren’t any symptoms with scoliosis. Some of the potential signs of scoliosis include:
- Uneven shoulders
- Uncentered head
- Uneven waist
- Rib cages at different heights
- One or both of the hips raised or unusually high
- The entire body leans to one side
- One side of the back is more prominent when bending over
- Dimples, abnormalities in color, hairy patches, and other differences in the look or texture of the spine over where the spine curves abnormally
- Clothes hanging unevenly
- And of course: the spine curving more to one side than the other
Though scoliosis typically doesn’t come with symptoms, it can, especially if it progresses into more severe cases. Some of the symptoms of scoliosis include:
- Back pain
- Shoulder pain
- The spine feeling weak or tired after sitting or standing for an extended period of time
- Persistent pain from increased wear on spinal bones
- Breathing problems
- Spine or nerve damage
- Spinal fluid leakage
- Lower self-esteem from the changes in appearance as scoliosis progresses to become more noticeable
- Muscle spasms
Scoliosis generally develops gradually, and it can go unnoticed, especially since mild cases don’t usually come with pain. However, it can get worse over time, so if you suspect you or your child may have scoliosis, it’s best to go to a doctor to have it diagnosed so you can get it treated. You may also see a chiropractor, because chiropractors help scoliosis with their expert knowledge of the spine and joints.
What Causes Scoliosis?
Scoliosis is one of those medical issues that we don’t know much about yet, aside from what it looks like and what it can do. Generally, it seems like there’s something in the genes that can put one at higher risk for developing scoliosis, as it’s a condition that tends to run in families. There are other potential causes for scoliosis too.
There are three types of scoliosis: idiopathic, congenital, and neuromuscular.
- Idiopathic scoliosis is the most common kind, where the potential causes of scoliosis have been eliminated from diagnosis. Aka: we’re not sure why your spine is curving abnormally, but it is.
- Congenital scoliosis is when there’s an embryological malformation in the vertebrae of your spine, and since it occurs during fetal development, it’s easier to diagnose earlier in life.
- Neuromuscular scoliosis refers to scoliosis that goes hand in hand with neurological and/or muscular diseases, such as cerebral palsy. This type generally progresses faster than the others and is most likely to require surgery in order to treat.
There are several risk factors that make one more likely to develop idiopathic scoliosis, such as: age (scoliosis typically starts in adolescence), sex (girls are more likely than boys to have scoliosis that progresses from mild to needing treatment), and family history (as mentioned before, it could have something to do with genetics, although many children with scoliosis don’t have a family history of it). Generally, chiropractors help scoliosis, especially if it is mild, but depending on the cause, you could need more invasive treatment.
How Is Scoliosis Diagnosed?
Scoliosis can be diagnosed through physical examinations, such as a doctor or chiropractor inspecting your spine and having you bend over in order to see if one shoulder protrudes more than the other, and the like. It can also be diagnosed with exams and tests such as x-rays, MRIs, CT scans, and spinal radiographs.
The treatment options available to you depend on your specific case of scoliosis. For instance, if you’re still growing, that impacts the treatments that may be recommended to you, as can how severe the curve is, its location, and how likely it is to worsen. Depending on the factors impacting your case, it may be recommended that:
- It simply be observed to monitor it for any potentially progression from mild and not painful to worse.
- Bracing, which is best for adolescents, as it improves the curvature of the spine.
- Surgery, in severe cases where other treatments aren’t enough.
Chiropractors help scoliosis too, mostly in mild cases. If you need your scoliosis diagnosed or confirmed or treated, chiropractors help scoliosis in a number of ways, from diagnosis to suggesting treatment options and more.
How Can Chiropractors Help Scoliosis?
As mentioned above, there are several ways chiropractors help scoliosis. It’s important to choose a chiropractor who is educated about scoliosis, though, as some chiropractors aren’t aware of how chiropractors help scoliosis differs from simple spinal manipulation and can worsen it.
Since scoliosis involved the spine being curved out of proper positioning, chiropractors help scoliosis through decreasing the pressure on your spine, suggesting exercises to strengthen your body’s body as well as methods to move that can relieve pain and help joint support, help you breathe easier, and provide ideas on ways that you can stay active without causing the scoliosis to progress.
Chiropractors help scoliosis with natural, non-invasive methods that help you manage it and get stronger and better equipped to deal with it. If you’re looking for treatments that don’t involve drugs or invasive procedures, chiropractors help scoliosis in ways that don’t include that, making them a great option for treatment of mild scoliosis.
If you want chiropractic help for scoliosis, look no further! Grant Chiropractic offers expertly trained chiropractic care that is non-invasive and drug-free. We know the way chiropractors help scoliosis differs from a typical chiropractic adjustment, so there’s no need to worry about us making your condition worse. Contact us today to set up an appointment!